All Kale Everything

Feb 27, 2013

All Kale Everything
by rachel bolden-kramer

kale salad flow

“That’s different, yeah that’s different.”

Kids love anti-oxidant rich greens, a better source of calcium than milk, and with more vitamin C than orange juice.  Don’t believe me, just watch.

I have a food budget to spend on the last minute lesson plan I created just after receiving the call to substitute for the usual chef on duty at three after school cooking classes in Brooklyn.  All Kale Everything demands only the finest ingredients, so let me give yo a$$ a checklist: 6 tomatoes, red bell peppers, cucumbers, and lemons; 12 avocados, 32 ounces of brazil nuts; and 30 nori wraps, it’s nothing!  That is in addition to the 8 bunches of the green super leaf that these young chefs are about to get real intimate with.  I’ve planned to teach them the ancient method of kale massage with olive oil and lemon juice.  And since time is limited, I’m blowing my entire budget at Green Planet on Fulton despite Tenzin’s prices.  Since sticking to my EBT enhancement strategies typically means nailing bargains at larger chain stores, I’ma balance it out and support my local organic market for All Kale Everything.  Trinidad James would approve of this organic ostentatiousness.

When asked what we will be making in class today I answer that first we will start with the cheese.  After identifying where cheese usually comes from, cows’ udders, I introduce our first task – to make cheese out of vegetables.  As most students get down to washing, de-stemming, and chiffonade-ing our kale leaves, I put the hyperactive chefs in charge of the food processor.  I’d rather see them make nut paté in a safety locking Cuisinart than hand them knives.  They’ll also be in charge of the kale chips – operating an oven and watching to make sure the chips don’t burn is very demanding of attention!  Bell peppers, added to the nut mix introduces a creamy texture, and a capful of turmeric turns our paté bright yellow.

The kale chips are an instant hit.  The salad is a tougher sell.  Tremaine went a little overboard with the dulse powder, which he is referring to as purple magic.  So along with our nori wraps, which make salad a fun activity to eat, this remix is a bit more seaweedish.  A couple picky eaters turn down their share of the green goodness.  I remind them that instead of thinking of it as bad, they might want to consider it something different from their usual food routine.  Sierra jumps right in with the 2 Chainz treatment:  “That’s different, yeah that’s different / Pull up to the scene with the sushi wrapper, pull up to the scene with the sushi wrapper.”  See video.

My second leg of the trip home is the A train at rush hour.  I am that woman who will nestle into that empty seat between the other two people on the three-seater.  A toddler in Romanian woman’s arms reaches out to caress the bumpy lacinato leaves peaking out of my tote.  I assure his mom in the universal language of smiles and baby talk that it’s all good.  She mimes the universal nom nom nom as he lifts a sample to his lips.  I pass him his very own small leaf, which he tears to pieces and distributes to the woman and girl in the seat adjacent to us.  We all delight in this moment, and I’ve never felt richer, as kale currency circulates from Avenue P to Utica.

Lesson plan and recipe here.

1 Comment

  1. Hip Dhamma » All Kale Everything Recipes/Lesson Plan
    March 15, 2013

    […] All Kale Everything – Massaged Kale Salad, Cheezy Kale Chips Lesson plan created by rachel bolden-kramer for culinary classes at Keys to Abundant Life Read about how the youth responded to the recipe and more here. […]


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