Daily Life w/ Kale

I’m slouched on my couch, probably ruining my posture as we speak. Today has been kind of a “meh” day in terms of exercise and eating. I certainly did some good things – found the first workout of 30 Day Shred on my cable’s “on demand” programming and got that done before 5:30, and kept my calories under 1,800 today even though I felt snacky enough to probably consume like 500+ more than that without really thinking about it. Buuuuut I wish I would’ve gotten a little longer of a workout in, and I could’ve easily fueled my body with fewer calories than that. So it goes.

I did do something cool today: I froze my monster bunch of kale to eat in the dead of winter! But obviously you can’t just throw fresh kale into the freezer and take it out later and expect it to be good. So after calling my mama and doing a little Google research, hopefully I did it semi-correctly.

Step one: Wash and trim the greens. I would’ve done this anyway if I were cooking the kale in my usual steam-saute method, and my strategy is this: fill my big colander with the leaves, rinse very thoroughly, and then rip them off the stems. The stems & big veins are bitter and I find just ripping and shredding with my hands the quickest way to get the yummy leaves off.

Step two: Blanche! I think this is the first time I’ve used that cooking technique. First I set everything up like this:
Bowl of washed + ready raw kale, big pot of boiling water, and big bowl of ice water (which didn’t actually have water in it yet… pretend). The goal is to kill certain enzymes, I guess, that will eventually taste and texture of food gross during storage, unless of course you kill them with the boiling water. See, that’s why plants are awesome and you should eat more of them. So complex! So alive!

So now:
Half the batch was in the boiling water for two minutes and then transfered to the ice bath (using a slotted spoon, with help from the spatula) while the other half boiled. You only need it to stop cooking in the ice water, so I just transfered the cooled-down kale into my colander in the sink when the other half finished blancheing. Easy peasy.

After a little rest in the colander, I transfered my kale into two freezer bags, getting as much of the air out as possible. And now they’re freezing on an old cookie sheet, just waiting for me to dig into them when it’s snowy outside!
I hope I did it right and the kale ends up tasting okay when I defrost and cook it. Because how awesome is that? I GREW this plant from a SEED, weeded around it and watered it with my own two hands, and now it’s in my freezer and I will cook it into a soup or saute it as a side dish with some sweet potato and tofu or stuff a chicken breast with it and… who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Goal for tomorrow:
+ make oatmeal for breakfast (I had toast this morning since I’d left my Thermos at work and it DIDN’T CUT IT!)
+ make a turkey sandwich, apple, and yogurt for lunch
+ pack some kind of snack for pre-workout (Wasa cracker + almond butter?)
+ pack my gym clothes & supplies and complete at least 30 minutes of cardio
+ stick to only half a beer if I go out after work
+ make dinner using leftover chicken & stuff

Yeesh. That seems like a lot right now, but it is a really do-able day. Mildly challenging to get all those healthy habits in one day, but do-able. It will also be the first day of a new month and great for longer-term goal-setting if I get brave enough… ooooh…!


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