“It’s the new spinach.” Ringing up what was probably his 99th bag of kale that day, the Trader Joe’s cashier theorized to the woman in line ahead of me. 

Yes, kale is everywhere these days. You can drink your kale, eat your kale, and then encourage everyone else to do so by tacking an Eat More Kale bumper sticker on your car. This latest food craze confounds me, because I have been eating the sturdy green for as long as I can remember. My grandmother cooked greens often, usually collard and mustard (my favorite), but would occasionally switch things up with some curly kale or turnip.

Kale is full of flavor, hearty, and open to so many different interpretations. Poor spinach. It’s now the equivalent of the ubiquitous extrovert watching his star diminish. Now everyone wants to eat kale and be an introvert. Well, you’re not an introvert

After years of being called weird, hearing “you don’t talk,” and people attempting to force you to go out, I find it interesting that everyone is claiming introversion these days. Introverts have always been here…on the sidelines…eating kale…alone, and wondering why people love spinach so much.

close up of kale salad

Kale Salad with Maple Garlic Vinaigrette
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  1. 7 cups curly kale, rinsed and drained, patted dry, and torn into 1" pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons tahini
  3. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  7. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  8. 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the tahini, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, light soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, and garlic.
  2. Add the kale to a large bowl with a lid. Toss the dressing with the kale, ensuring it thoroughly coats the greens. You can do this by massaging the dressing in with your hands or placing the lid on the bowl and shaking vigorously.
  3. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least two hours (four hours is ideal) to let the flavors absorb.
  4. Enjoy!
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