Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's a bird...It's a plane... It's super Kale!

These days going out to eat at a restaurant has taken on a whole new level of seriousness. I mean when you have been living off ramen noodles, eggs and expired food for months, even going out to McDonalds would be a big deal.  So it was a HUGE deal (think first 40 degree day after this past winter or rainfall after a terrible drought and you get the idea) when my boss informed me that we had a lunch meeting in Grand Rapids this week! I was like a kid anxiously awaiting Christmas. I even made a super cool paper chain to help me countdown to the day of the big meal!

So there we were at a nice enough restaurant (which shall remain annonymous because I dont want to get sued, or harrassed or anthing for what I am about to tell you) and it was there at this nameless nice enough restaurant that I was betrayed by my true love; Yes, I was led astray by Gouda.  Seriously, I spent about 45 minutes trying to decide what to order because I was actually eating out at a nice restaurant and was overwhelmed by all of the interesting options.  After much deliberation, I eventually selected my entree based soley on the presence of the gouda held within the shells of the Barbecue Chicken and Gouda quesadillas. I was absolutely certain that anything that included gouda had to be incredible.  It seemed logical that something that contained chicken, peppers and gouda would be tasty, but sadly I was disappointed. They were not very good.  It fact, they were bad.  The shells were over cooked and dry and they were lacking in the flavor department too. And there was no salsa, sour cream or quacamole served with them. In all fairness, it is possible that my assessment was partly due to the fact that I am fighting a cold and my clogged nose and sinuses had my taste buds off their typical A game. However, I served the leftovers to my husband for dinner that very night and he agreed that they were "nothing special, too dry and not very good".   Although he did mention that it was a nice change from ramen noodles.  The problem was simple; there wasnt enough of the stuff between the shells.  Everyone knows that you eat quesadillas for the stuff, not the shells. It was the first time I have been disappointed by Gouda and so I was quite unprepared for the failure.  I was at a loss for words...
Hazel wonders!?
How the heck something with gouda can be anything but DELICIOUS!

...So I went home mystified by lunch hour gouda failure and pondered the situation and since I couldn't get out for a run, I started to cook because cooking is what I do when I am stumped, and don't know what to do, and I can't get out for a run.  I whipped up a concoction not unlike Cari Draft's D&W Inspired Kale Salad but I modified it slightly based on what was in my fridge and cupboards. Whatever it takes to avoid a trip to the store!  It is noteworthy that Kale is a super food which means it is packed with vitamins and other healthy stuff so that it is really, really good for you!

It's a bird; it's a plane; it's super KALE!

 The Usual Suspects!
 The finished product was better than the quesadilla lunch. 
Mouth-watering delicious and packed full of nutrients and vitamins!

                                              My Super Kale Salad!
                                                6 ounces of kale
                                                6 ounces of romaine lettuce
                                                1 can of garbanzo beans (fresh from the pantry!)
                                                about a half cup of craisins
                                                about a half cup of toasted almonds
                                             a large granny smith apple cut it bite size pieces
                                           2 tablespoons  Lime Juice
                                           4 tablespoons olive oil
                                           Fresh basil to taste
                                          1 tsp.Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato Garlic Pesto
                                            salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to taste

The rest of the week was rather uneventful until tonight when I ended up at work until 6 and had no dinner plans whatsoever.  I stopped at Orchard Markets and stocked up on a rottisierre chicken, a few deli salads and a frozen pizza.  I know not very healthy at all, but at least I ate Kale salad on the side! We survived and the kids actually liked the random smorgasbord.

One other noteworthy occurence; I did cheat the other day in the name of peanut butter  crackers. I love peanut butter crackers!  I had a major craving for some PB crackers the day after 5th 3rd run and I decided I deserved them.  I had eaten healthy for two whole weeks, trained hard for months and not quit (or died) along the 15.5 mile course so I bought these crackers to satisfy my craving.  I also plan to make these Bacon Crisps tomorrow night for bookclub. DBC ladies you better watch out bacon is making an appearance!!!

Bacon Crisps:

Club Crackers
Fresh shaved parmesan cheese
hot sauce (optional)

Take a club cracker
put a pile of fresh parmesan cheese on top of it
sprinkle a little of your favorite hot sauce on top
wrap a piece of bacon around the cracker
Bake at 200 for 1 1/2 or 2 hours until bacon is done

Vern Out

1 comment:

  1. YUM! your version of kale salad sounds delish too. honestly, hard to go wrong with any combo of kale, apples & chickpeas... and lime juice & olive oil! :-) XO