Could there be a better holiday than Easter, honestly?
People always think I’m crazy for deeming Easter my favorite holiday. There aren’t any presents, fireworks or costumes, right? Exactly.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, which is the beginning of everything, one might say. Of course that’s exciting, and midnight mass always brings an ultimate peace to me. But leading up to that is oodles of built-up stress from thinking up gift ideas, buying gifts, financing gifts, wrapping gifts, transporting gifts, opening gifts and wasting all the gift-wrapping paper. It’s so much.
Then you’ve got the other holidays, which for the most part, have either become children’s holidays or special days for adults to drink more alcohol than usual. I mean, in college, my friends and I drank bottles of Arbor Mist on Arbor Day. People will think of any excuse to drink.
That’s not the case for Easter. Maybe I’m partial, because I was born on Holy Thursday and brought home from the hospital on Easter. Either way, I find everything about Easter to be perfect. It arrives after 40 days of giving up something you love, so you can once again enjoy that love without guilt. It comes at a time when the world around us is bursting back to life, full of colorful blooms, vibrant greens, bright sunshine and alluring aromas.
Just as nature is reborn, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate after the mourning that takes place on Friday. We celebrate with family and friends, with delicious food and amazing company. My only complaint about Easter, actually, is that Monday morning comes way too fast after my family and I leave my uncles house at the time I’d normally be hitting the sack!
Back to the food. Oh my, did we enjoy the food. My uncle’s girlfriend has Polish traditions that we all get to enjoy, such as an assortment of sausages, sauerkrauts, perogies and kolaches. Then, everyone else brings a dish, which this year included fresh asparagus, mixed vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes, veggie pasta, a pistachio masterpiece, and my two dishes, Greek quinoa salad and kale waldorf salad.
I’ve made the Greek quinoa salad multiple times. It’s always a huge hit, as it was last Easter. The kale salad was a new recipe, and I’ll admit, I was nervous about it. Kale doesn’t always go over well with newbies to this most nutritious of all greens. However, the worry was unnecessary, because it turned out amazing. I’m not kidding. It was like eating a dessert. So, so, so delicious.
I found the recipe on the Whole Foods website and basically just added more of everything because it didn’t seem like enough toppings to me.
Make it for your family one night around the dinner table and enjoy all of its nutritious goodness.
Kale Waldorf Salad based on a Whole Foods recipe
4 cups kale, cut and packed
1 1/2 red apples, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons water; more if needed
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sprinkle of sea salt
In a large bowl, mix all of the kale, one chopped apple, all of the celery, one cup walnuts and half a cup of raisins together.
Blend the half apple, one-fourth walnuts, two tablespoons raisins, mustard, water, vinegar and salt together in a food processor or blender until it turns into a paste. You can add water to make it thinner. (I ended up adding one more tablespoon of water.)
Dump the paste onto the salad and stir well. Then, with clean hands, dig in and massage paste into kale leaves until evenly distributed.
Let the salad sit overnight in fridge, so kale leaves become soft. Enjoy!