This “Mixed Bag” Kale Salad is so simple to make, yet you’ll never tire of it. Be sure to use the freshest kale you can find and shaved gruyere or Parmesan cheese right off the block.
So, we’ve been living out of a few hotels for nearly three weeks while home repairs were being done following a rough winter. You probably didn’t even notice since I’ve pretty much been keeping up with my regular posting schedule. Thanks to some advance planning, I had a stash of recipes I made before I could no longer use my kitchen.
When we first moved out of our house and into the hotel, I had grandiose ideas that it was going to be like a vacation. After all, no cooking or cleaning, right? Well, the first few days were kind of nice I have to admit, but as the days waned on and the completion date for work at our house kept getting pushed out week after week, living in a hotel got old very quickly. We’ve still got another week to go before our kitchen will be ready for use, but we’re almost at the finish line.
We moved three times from hotel to hotel, as we tried to find a place that worked best for our family. With end-of-year school exams, proms and graduation coming up, it wasn’t the best timing to be sure. I’ve felt discombobulated many days, living out of a suitcase, with bags containing food, school supplies and reading materials in my car, and tons of laundry waiting to be washed. Not to mention, that my house is also a complete mess with boxes everywhere that will need to be unpacked.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m so grateful to have had a nice roof over my head and good food to eat. It’s just that trying to house a large family in a hotel without a common area to come together just isn’t the same thing as living at home. What I didn’t think about was how we would manage dinners on nights when all the kids were going different directions.
I’ve come to learn and appreciate a lot in the past several weeks, especially the following: (1) having a place for a family to call home and come back to as their home base is so important to the security and stability of a family; (2) keeping a family connected requires good communication and physical/visual contact – texting is not the same thing. On days when my boys had activities into the evening, I asked them to stop by my room to “check-in” so I could chat with them about their day; (3) sharing meals together as a family is so important in keeping a family connected – the importance of social interaction with family members cannot be minimized.
Eating out was fun to begin with, but we soon missed just eating at “home” so we eagerly took up a friend’s offer to hang out at their home for the evening for a home cooked meal, and held “family dinners” in our hotel room, including a home cooked meal from one of my dear friends. We learned to communicate better as a family…no, it’s not all right to assume that you can eat with your friends because you have no idea what your family is doing for dinner…ahem, said son to remain unnamed.
Our mini “vacation” has been a good learning experience for us, and I am so grateful to have a home to return to. And, I never thought I’d say it, but it actually feels good to do laundry in my own home (anyone who knows me can tell you how much I hate doing laundry!) And…I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen cooking again for my family.
This “Mixed Bag” Kale Salad from Baldanza cafe is one of the salads that I’ve been eating often for lunch during my “vacation.” It’s simple, fresh and just plain delicious. Topped with shaved gruyere cheese, and a light lemon olive oil dressing, this salad is a classic. I don’t think I’ll get tire of it.
- 2 cups chopped curly kale and in-season mixed greens (arugula, baby romaine, red leaf lettuce)
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 ounce shaved gruyere or Parmesan cheese
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- juice from ½ lemon
- Toss together kale and other greens, tomatoes and gruyere cheese. Crack some black pepper on top. Mix together olive oil and lemon. Dress salad and serve.