Satisfying Salads & Self-Care

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What did you do this week to nurture yourself? If you’re having a hard time answering this, that’s okay. It’s only Wednesday! There’s still time. 

I’m still coming down from the high from last night’s Lizzo concert, who’s known for her self-care anthems and her pushback on commercialism-fueled self-care. Her stance (and mine!) is that self-care is so much more than mimosas and fask masks. It’s the boundaries you set, the people you surround yourself with, the narrative you tell yourself, the food you eat, and the things you pursue that bring you joy. But most of all, it’s about finding the balance that works for you.

Suddenly, conversations about self-care are happening all around me. We’re talking about it at work, it’s coming up in school, and being sung about at concerts I attend. Is this the universe trying to send me a message?!? Balance is hard, y’all. I’m always trying to be a superwomxn and do *all* of the things even if it means sacrificing sleep or time spent writing in my journal and sitting with myself. It’s easy to fall into a pattern and tell yourself that even though things are busy now, it’ll come down once the week is over or once the month is over. But then once the month is over and I’m ready to crash, my immune system is basically like, “LOL girl, same.” It’s definitely not sustainable. 

So how can we disrupt this pattern? Get out a pen and paper and make a list of all the things you do that makes you feel more yourself. What activities relax you? Make you feel at home and balanced? For me, it always comes back to food. Food can be healing in so many ways: the act of cooking is a time to unwind and get creative. Enjoying a meal by yourself or with friends 

But the best thing of all is that food literally has the power to make you physically feel better. After a weekend (and let’s be honest, a Tuesday night) of filling my body with Oreos and beer, my gut was SCREAMING for some greens. This recipe strikes the perfect balance between satisfying (tofu + edamame = protein) and comforting (peanut butter marinade + avocado + soft-boiled egg = creamy dreamy goodness) that’s perfect for some mid-week self care. 

I’m not saying this salad will fix your life or erase days of little sleep and too much gluten-y alcohol, but it’s a damn good place to start. 

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Asian Kale Salad

Makes 4 Servings

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of Tuscan kale, chopped
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1-2 carrots, shaved
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • Togarashi seasoning for finishing

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ⅛ cup full salt soy sauce
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
  • Boiling water as needed to thin out dressing

Preheat the oven to 400. Drain the tofu well and slice into ¼ inch slices for optimal crispiness, and press between kitchen towels to allow for all the water to drain. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, prepare the peanut sauce. Whisk all the ingredients together and thin as needed with the boiling water. Use half of the sauce to marinate the tofu, and reserve the other half to dress the salad. Arrange the marinated tofu onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

While the tofu bakes, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the eggs. Cook for 6-7 minutes for soft boiled eggs or 8-10 minutes for hard-boiled. Turn off heat and place the eggs in ice water to stop cooking.

Place the kale onto a large platter or bowl and add the remaining peanut sauce. Stir well to tenderize the kale and distribute the dressing evenly. Arrange the carrots, edamame, avocado, baked tofu, and soft-boiled eggs on top and finish with a sprinkling of togarashi seasoning if desired. 

If you plan to meal prep this salad for lunch during the week, here’s how you can store it so nothing gets soggy. Layer the salad into large mason jars in the following order to keep ingredients crisp: dressing, edamame, carrots, kale, tofu, and egg. Each morning add ½ a fresh avocado to prevent it from browning.

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