Sunday, August 07, 2011

Coleslaw -> Koleslaw -> Kaleslaw

Alternate title: "A Nod to Natural (Sundry (& Sun-dried Cranberry)) Sound (& Orthographic) Change"

The natural evolution of "c" into "k" is just a matter of poor English phonological transcription of the "k" sound (a bemoaned historic accident), but the "o" to "a" vowel shift is purely my pragmatic lexical move to change "cole" (which morphed into "cold" for a spell until "cole" was rediscovered as the proper morpheme for "cabbage." Though I hesitate to say that "kool" spawned "Koolaid" (from Dutch "koolsla"), I have my suspicions. And, as the final kicker, "slaw" equals "salad").

Let's face it: I only made this recipe in order to satisfy my curiosity about who this slawvenly Cole was, and why he wanted to shred up veggies and sadistically drown them in sauce.

What's more, I did not want to stir-fry the fresh Red Russian kale from the garden. And I wanted to eat the stalks. They're celery-like (and I am notorious for using vegetables in their entirety). I happened to have tender, young kale, but I also like the bigger leaves' stalks. Just chop them up thinly, and they'll add a nice crunch to your 'slaw.

My recipe is a riff off my shredded kale salad I'd eat multiple times a week last summer with almond butter & goat yogurt dressing (I also learned that when you shred kale, always make sure to rinse the leaves and check for rogue beetles).
Almond + goat + pink salt + a touch of sunflower seed oil (last summer)
And why not add some tarragon? (last summer)
My philosophy for balancing any digestive discord is first trying probiotics & digestive enzymes. Although these tactics are not mainstream medical treatment, I have had luck with them, along with treatment from my doctor for food allergy testing and following a (roughly) rotational diet. I include links to my favored brands of probiotic & digestive enzyme products.

Besides a probiotic supplement, I work to add in probiotics through natural food sources: raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar; yogurt; kefir; probiotic-labeled saurkraut & kimchi; kombucha tea. This recipe incorporates a source of probiotics in the yogurt dressing. The digestive system and its malfunctions, according to an experienced gastrointestinologist, is understudied. For me, treatment has largely been a guess-and-check process.

Enough informal health-speak for now! Onto the kitchen, which, as usual, needs to be put in its place.

Kaleslaw (Gluten-free. Vegan if you choose your own adventure!)
I'll note here that I cook "to taste," so I recommend ratios for kale to dressing, etc., but I encourage a supply of small measuring spoons to test out the sweet/salty/creamy/spicy quality of the mix and add a touch more according to what tastes good to you (after all, you're the one eating what you cook, not me!). I also cook with what's on hand, so I strongly discourage recipes that require a special trip to buy all the ingredients. Plus learning to cook with permutations of what's laying about the pantry and fridge shelves is the best way to unleash my kreativity in the kitchen.

4 cups fresh chopped kale
1/4 cup dried cranberries (raisins/currants work too)
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped nuts
(I used brazil nuts. Any type of crunch would be pleasant, whether or not it matches the nut/seed butter you use!)

3 Tablespoons yogurt (I use goat. Any type would work: milk, sheep, soy, coconut)
1.5 Tablespoons nut/seed butter (I use Trader Joe's sunflower seed, which had a touch of evaporated cane juice. If you use another sort of butter (peanut, almond, cashew, tahini) I would suggest adding 1 teaspoon of honey, agave, or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon jam (I use Trader Joe's superfruit blend with cherry, blueberry, pomegranate & grape. I would try whatever you have on hand, including marmalade! I don't foresee any jam flavors clashing terribly with any other permutation of the ingredients)
1 squirt mustard (another option is to add 1 pinch cayenne or black pepper plus 1 pinch turmeric, cumin, or curry)
1 pinch salt (2 pinches if there's no salt in your nut/seed butter. And, of course, give the dressing a twirl and a taste as you add the salt. Plus salt can always be sprinkled on top of the slaw after the dressing's mixed in.)

After chopping the kale into bitty, bite-sized pieces, add your cranberries and carrots, then set it aside in a big bowl that you can put in the fridge soon and has enough space to stir up the kale with the dressing you're about to dream up into delicion (=delicious+oblivion).

In a small bowl, mix your yogurt, nut/seed butter, jam, mustard/spice, and salt (plus any optional ingredients, such as sweetener and more salt). Taste your creation and see how you like it (not creamy enough? Try more yogurt. Too bland? Half a teaspoon of jam, a teaspoon or two of nut butter, some salt and some spice may cure any malaise, though I don't suggest mayonnaise!).

Once you think your dressing tastes pretty boss, use a rubber spatula/scraper to pour over the kale, then mix well. Top with 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds. Let sit in fridge for about an hour. Enjoy your salad, cold!

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