Youth and Kale Salad

I had every intention of writing about my current relationship with yoga. How I sit at an office all day, and find myself too lazy to go to the studio after work.

I was going to make this post poetic and lengthy while describing my love affair with my dainty ankles.

Instead I’m sitting at the corner table in a very crowded coffee shop next to a group of 19 year old girls. Their conversation is fascinating (as I was typing that, frustrating came out unintentionally… woops.) They’ve spent the last hour talking about how shitty it is that they have to work over spring break, and how having sex in dorm rooms is, “so hard”. They then settle into bouts of silence as they all text those boys that have seemed to cause them simultaneous love and heartbreak.

I remember being a freshman in college. I felt dangerous. Hiding tequila in the laundry hamper, I was liberated, searching out house party after house party. Giggling in the bathtub as the cops told everyone to go home. To me, that was what freedom looked like. And god damn, did freedom feel good. I found myself in a few strange beds. I had some hushed conversations with my best friend as I told her where and when to pick me up.

I was a complete idiot.

Yet here I am, 26 years old, judging these ladies. They’ve talked themselves in circles, not digging into anything beyond surface level nonsense. But who am I to talk? I want to believe that when was 19 I was MUCH more mature. I have always had my head screwed on straight, etc. etc… Did I mention the tequila in the laundry basket yet?

Phew… I will get off my high horse and just chuckle with/at these ladies, feeling slightly nostalgic for those times when my biggest worry was getting the boy in African American Literature to notice me (I did, and he was a dream) and what I was going to do on a Friday night.

Now I spend my Friday nights making kale and Brussels sprout salad, writing and getting to sleep before 11 pm so I can stretch my body bright and early on Saturday morning. Alcohol has taken a back seat in my life, and my whole body thanks me for it. My Friday night plans may seem somewhat dull, but boy do I love them.


And I’m sure for these ladies, Friday nights are meant for parties, drinking out of red cups, and figuring out ways to make the ex-boyfriends jealous. They’d be listening to shitty music while they pretend to know how to dance. I speak from experience.

I still don’t know how to dance.

So yes, these girls come off as somewhat petty. There’s no doubt about that. But they’re also living the shit out of life.

They’re being silly and self-involved and taking far too many pictures of themselves doing absolutely nothing. We’ve all been there, and there’s beauty in it. A simple brilliance in living a surface level life, taking those butterflies and turning them into your everything.

So I’m going to sit here in my corner, listen to my Blaze Foley, sip my tea and be thankful that I’ve grown up (just a little bit) since I was 19. That I find joy in kale salad, how good it feels to get 9 hours of sleep and how lovely it is to mix a little bit of local honey into turkish mint tea.

It’s the little things.

Buckwheat Soba Noodle, Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad 

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

  • 8 oz buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 10-15 brussels sprouts
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 5 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated

Start by cutting up your veggies. De-stem the kale, and roll them up lengthwise, and cut it into thin strips. Throw the kale in a big bowl and toss with 1 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Massage the kale to tenderize it. Set aside. Next, take your Brussels sprouts and remove any brown or yellow leaves. The original recipe recommends using a mandoline for cutting the sprouts, but I don’t have one so I just chopped diligently until they were paper thin.

Toss those in with the kale. Then you can make the dressing. Mix the remaining sesame oil with the rice vinegar, tamari, ginger and garlic. Whisk together and then pour over salad, mixing everything up with your hand. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Put the salad in the fridge while you cook the soba noodles. The longer you leave the salad in there, the more the kale will soak up all the flavors.

Prepare you buckwheat soba noodles according to the directions. Once they’re done, drain the water and toss in the with kale. You can wait until they’re cool or toss them in while they’re still warm, either way is delicious. This salad is REALLY good. Who knew that raw Brussels sprouts would float my boat?



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