Sweet Sesame Raw Kale Salad

If you’re reading my blog, chances are you know what kale is. Chances are even greater that you’re mildy obsessed with it. If this hasn’t happened yet, just you wait, pretty soon you’ll be buying the 2 lb big bag and putting this green goodness into anything you can think of–and for good reason!

Kale gets its emerald green hue from high levels of two disease-fighting carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). These nutrients are part of the cellular makeup of your eye and help protect those peepers against harmful blue light and ultimately macular degeneration–the leading cause of eyesight loss in Americans over 60.

You like to see right? (Rhetorical question obviously.) Seriously though, go buy some kale and make this raw salad (or my kale chips) and do your part to protect that precious vision. Life is too beautiful not to see it through.

Sweet Sesame Raw Kale Salad


What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
  • 6 cups (or handfuls) curly kale, chopped

How to Make It:

  1. Mix all ingredients except kale in a mason jar (or any small container with a snug lid). Give the contents a good shake until combined.
  2. Put chopped kale (stems removed) in a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing on top and massage kale (yes, massage) for 1-2 min until thoroughly coated. (Manipulating the raw kale like this helps the dressing seep into the leaves, softening the kale and making it easier to digest.)
  3. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. I like to leave mine overnight.

BONUS TIP: this makes for a yummy dressing on just about any salad. Try it over cold soba noodles or shredded romaine with some raw cashews, blood orange segments, and lightly pan-fried tofu for a healthy vegetarian lunch.

Sunday Spread: BBQ Pulled Chicken w/ Asian Broccoli Slaw & Kale Chips

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my Jerk Chicken Sunday Spread. Well with NFL playoff season in full swing–GO PATS!–I decided y’all might enjoy another modified comfort food recipe, and one that will keep your guests happy and healthy. This Sunday Spread is tailgate-inspired with its sandwich, slaw and chip combo. The recipes are nutrient-dense and tasty as can be…leaving a little wiggle room for some of my signature perfect Manhattans (*insert devilish grin here*).

For starters, homemade BBQ sauce is the way to go. Not only do you know exactly what you’re eating and avoid a lot of preservatives, but you also get to control the acidity, sweetness and spice levels. At 32 g of lean protein per serving, the chicken in these sammys gives you a good dose of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein–which for adult women is 46 g and adult men 56 g. Cruciferous vegetables like the broccoli and kale used in these side dishes are packed with disease-fighting nutrients, including several carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and dietary fiber.

Get to cookin’ and enjoy this football-friendly Sunday spread, guilt-free!



What You’ll Need:

  • 2 lbs chicken (about 4 chicken breasts or 5 chicken thighs)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup all-natural ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 whole wheat sandwich rolls

How to Make It:

  1.  Grab a mix bowl and combine the garlic, ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika, cumin, allspice and cinnamon. Give it a good whisk until smooth and well blended.
  2. Add your chicken breasts or thighs in a single layer at the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle the diced onions evenly overtop. Pour your BBQ sauce mixture on top, cover and set heat to low. Let cook for 4-5 hours like this.
  3. Remove chicken from slow cooker. The chicken should be pretty much cooked-through, but now it’s time to shred. Using two forks, gently pull apart the chicken into stringy pieces and/or small chunks. Once you’ve shredded the lot, add it back to the sauce in your slow cooker and cook another 1-2 hours.


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package pre-shredded broccoli slaw mix (your could use the cole slaw mix here as a substitute or shred your own cabbage and carrots)
  • 2 tbs green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tbs fresh cilantro, minced

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger, grated

How to Make It:

  1.  Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add slaw mix, green onions and cilantro. Toss together until well-coated and combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


What You’ll Need:

  •  1 head kale (whatever variety you like best)
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to Make Them:

  1. Pre-heat over to 300°F. Wash, stem and cut kale into bite size pieces.
  2. Toss kale and olive oil together in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spices as evenly as possible over the kale then mix thoroughly with your hands, massaging the kale, for 1-2 min. 
  3. Place wire cooling racks on two cookie sheets. Spread coated kale leaves over both wire racks. (Note: the wire cooling racks allow heat to crisp the kale from top and bottom. Without this added elevation your chips will be soggy and oily.) Bake for 20-30 min depending on the oven. Keep an eye on them for the last 10 min or so to ensure they don’t burn.
  4. Remove from oven, flake them into a bowl and enjoy!

10-Day Cleanse: Smoothies

Here are the recipes you’ll need for breakfast, days 1 through 4 of my 10-Day Cleanse.

Blueberry Beet Smoothie w/ Ginger:

Amy’s 10-Day (Moderate) Cleanse: Breakfast, Days 1 and 2

To Make: Blend together 1-2 medium raw beet (cleaned with skin on, roughly chopped), 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, 1 tbs grated fresh ginger, 2 tbs fresh lemon juice, 1 cup water, and a handful of ice. (Optional: substitute half of that water for a 1/2 cup almond milk)

  • This energizing smoothie is bound to put some pep in your step. The blueberries boast a high concentration of antioxidants and the raw beets are full of folate, vitamin B, and fiber.

Pineapple Banana Kale Smoothie:

Amy’s 10-Day (Moderate) Cleanse: Breakfast, Days 3 and 4

To Make: Blend together 1 cup fresh pineapple (cubed), 1 banana, 2-3 kale leaves (chopped with stems removed), 2 tbs ground flaxseed, 1 cup water, and a handful of ice. (Optional: substitute half of that water for a 1/2 cup almond milk)

  • This powerful smoothie is not only naturally sweet, but packed with dietary fiber, two powerful antioxidants (carotenoids and flavonoids) that are proven to help prevent cancer, and vitamins A, K and C.

Keep in mind this is a cleanse, so while these will taste refreshing and healthy they won’t be as sweet as a typical smoothie. If you are really struggling, try adding in the optional almond milk and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or raw honey to these recipes–with the sweeteners these would also be great non-cleanse smoothies too.