Chopped Asian Kale Salad

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We are having a grand time in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina. It officially feels like summer with the weather being sunny every day. Ahhhh, so nice. It feels like winter went on forever and that spring hardly made an appearance. I am glad that I am able to get some quality Vitamin D.


It took us a total of 12 hours to drive from East Lansing to Chapel Hill, although we almost thought we made really great time when we thought we were arriving in 11 hours. Somehow our GPS was not corrected to daylight savings time so even though it was telling us we were about to arrive in 15 minutes it told us we have 70 miles to go. It was REALLY wacky. How does a GPS not automatically adjust?? Either way, we were bummer we had an extra hour before we arrived and could meet our friends for dinner. BOY was I hungry!


Why are we in North Carolina? Well, Ryan and 2 other grad students were comissioned to compose choral pieces for a friend who is now teaching at a high school in Chapel Hill. They have been spending time coaching and teaching different choirs their compositions. It has been really neat. Their performance is this coming Tuesday so I am really looking forward hearing these great pieces.

What have I been doing? Well I am totally doing much better. The pain is all gone and I am almost finished with my antibiotics. It is incredible to think that I was feeling pretty crummy just this time last week. The car ride was not so bad but I had to lie down a lot because I was feeling a little car sick. It was all good though, thanks to God!

Anyway, I have been working, doing my day job wherever there is free wireless so that has been real nice. I also went by a Whole Foods and visited a friend’s daughter who works in the bakery. We set up a lunch date so it was real nice to know someone else in a town I have never been.



Yesterday, we were supposed to go to a minor league game at the Durham Ball Park but the only seats left were on the lawn and noone was really excited about that so we just hung around the American Tobacco area and decided to eat outdoors at a Cuban restaurant. It was not the best restaurant but the company was fun and the evening was gorgeous!



One thing I miss now that I am pregnant is not being able to enjoy in fruity alcoholic drinks. Our friends ordered mojitos and beer and I had a sweet tea. Oh well, this too shall pass. I bought a bottle of Mexican non-alcoholic sangria to go with our cook-out tonight so I am looking forward to that!



This morning, Saturday, we slept in, which only meant 8am to me and 9:30am for the rest of the guys. I took advantage of the morning and took a walk while munching a Pink Lady apple. We had talked the night before that were going to a diner for brunch so I knew I had to put something in my tummy so I would prevent any morning sickness.

Our friend took us around Durham downtown and to a great diner called Elmos. There was a nice short wait which we had heard sometimes can be a long wait. We had a great brunch, with Ryan and I ordering omelettes with home fries and biscuits and our friends ordering biscuits and gravy and a Mexican breakfast burrito. It was good! We were assured when we arrived Wednesday that we were going to be eating alot and at good places so we have been prepared.

After brunch, we stopped at the grocery store because we were invited to a cookout and swim at another friend’s house. I made my Papa Rusa, my Chilean Russian potato salad and my friend made an Asian Salad. I will have to update you on how our evening goes.

With that note I leave you a recipe for a salad I created before we left for North Carolina. I had a monstrous bag of curly kale I needed to use and I realy craved a salad. Let me tell you, this is something I have not craved since getting pregnant. If anything I have been feeding myslef greens because I had to but this was a whole different thing.

Once I cleaned the kale I realized I had 10 cups of fresh kale so I froze half of it and used the rest for the salad.  I stripped the leaves from the stalks and chopped in smaller chunks and massaged the leaves with sesame oil. If you have an aversion to kale or really do not know what to do with kale, this is one of the best ways to eat kale RAW. The massaging process softens the leaves and makes them easier to chew and enjoy. This was a DELICIOUS salad and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Ryan suprisingly liked it too!

Chopped Asian Kale Salad
serves 2 large portions
5-6 cups chopped curly kale, stems removed
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 avocado, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
3 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 Tablespoons ume plum vinegar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons agave nectar
3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Wash the kale very thoroughly and dry the leaves with paper towels. Chop the leaves in smaller pieces.
Add the kale to a large bowl and drizzle the sesame oil to the leaves. Massage the leaves with your hand until the leaves have softened.
Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the kale leaves. Mix in the avocado and serve.

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  • chow vegan

    What a fun trip! Really glad to hear you’re feeling better! The kale salad looks delicious! I just started to eat raw kale myself and I like it. :-)

  • Monet

    I am so glad you are having such a lovely trip. You look just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing…we have a bunch of kale in our fridge so I’m especially thankful for your post :-)

  • kirsten

    That is awesome that you are feeling better! I have some ume plum paste in my fridge! I never use it…Not a huge fan of kale but the dressing sounds really good :)

  • Maris (In Good Taste)

    Such lovely pictures of a wonderful trip. Kale has quickly become a favorite veg of mine so I will certainly be making this.

  • Karena

    Oh this looks delish!! I am so glad you are feeling better. Wonderful images!

    Art by Karena

    Do Come and enter my Great Giveaway from Serena & Lily!

    You will love it!

  • Conor @ Hold the Beef

    Great to hear you’re feeling better! I’ve never eaten kale raw – just can’t go past turning it into chips – but this really does sound like a delicious salad.

  • Lauren Friedman

    Hi! I happened upon your blog after googling “asian kale salad” and couldn’t believe my eyes when the entry was about Durham!! I grew up there and even worked at Elmo’s for years. Totally crazy! Hope you had a great time there!!! Its my favorite place in the world :)
    I’m gonna try a version of your salad for dinner! (don’t have all the ingredients but we’ll see) Thanks!!!