Dining Diaries: Avocado and Kale Salad

Blog Column: 

It's almost Thanksgiving break, and not a moment too soon! I am so, so ready for a whole week off to sleep in, catch up on everything I've fallen behind in, and eat lots and lots of food. 

When I get busy, I tend to get super scattered and absent-minded, so I've had more than a few funny bumps in the road this semester. Last week I was sitting on the couch when a Google Calendar notification popped up on my phone that I'd completely forgotten about. "I'm supposed to be at the Campus Center in five minutes!" I exclaimed, leaping off the couch and running out of my apartment, before remembering to grab my key. Another day, I looked up from my laptop when my roommate Tara got home and said, "Wanna hear the funniest thing?" I intended to finish the story, I think, but somehow got distracted by my laptop again until Tara started laughing. I'd completely forgotten to finish the sentence!

Whoops. Of course, it's not always funny once deadlines and homework assignments start sneaking up on you, so I've really been trying to slow down a little bit and focus on completing tasks. I think the Thanksgiving break will be a good blend of time off and time to focus on my work. It's good to strive for balance! Last weekend, for example, I took a few hours off to adventure into Northampton with some friends. We checked out bookstores, a (free!) cheese tasting, and had lunch at The Local. When I got home, I was ready to take on my journalism ethics paper and an essay for French class that I'd been putting off. 

Speaking of balance and things that are good for you, I'm hoping to make avocado and kale salads again when I get back from break. My family discovered the recipe a few years ago, and it's been one of our favorite salads ever since. For a long time, I didn't really like raw kale. It's an intense flavor and can be really bitter, even with salad dressing. But an avocado mashed with lemon juice makes a great "dressing" that coats the kale and masks any bitterness. Trust me—it really is worth trying out! They key here is that the avocado is really ripe. 

Avocado and Kale Salad
1 whole avocado
4 cups chopped kale leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt

Pit the avocado and mash in a salad bowl with the back of a spoon. Stir in the lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt, and using two spoons or salad hands, mix into the kale leaves until evenly coated. 

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