Our Edible Garden + A Spicy Peanut Kale Salad

December 30, 2012

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Spicy Peanut Kale Salad | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI admit, I am not very good in the garden. I could easily be called a plant killer. But, after all,  it just makes perfect sense for me to have an edible garden. I am already making all of our condiments (just made both peanut butter and hazelnut spread), have gradually omitted all the products in our house loaded with additives, the garden just seemed like the logical next step.

Planting Spinach | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.com

However I knew I couldn’t do this myself. I enlisted my good friend, Angela. Like me, Angela left corporate America to follow her passions. And her passion is all things gardening and she really knows her stuff. We discussed my ultimate edible garden and within 48 hours Angela emailed me a concise and simple “to-do” list.

The next day (which was conviently a school holiday), Levi and I were off to the nursery.

Gardening with Angela | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI was overwhelmed with Levi’s enthusiasm. He picked out more veggies than was on my list; brocolli, cauliflower, eggplant, artichoke, radishes, snap peas, cabbage, all kinds of lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, arugula, strawberries (he insisted) and every herb except cilantro (I don’t like cilantro).

Levi's Gardening Project | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comWhen I woke him up the next morning for school, he fake coughed and said he didn’t feel well. With Angela coming over to plant, it was only fair that he saw this project from start to finish. Besides, I viewed this as a lesson in agriculture, food, and our planet (Levi called it “home schooling”).

While Angela and I got to work digging and planting, Levi was in charge of creating the markers. He could not be more proud. He was into this project 200%, thus I could not have been more proud.

Lola | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comEven Lola got involved. She, too, is a writer!

Sustainable Garden | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comWhen everything was planted, Angela gave Levi a lesson on watering and using the nozzle attached to the hose.

Levi's New Passion | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comHe’s a quick study. He has continued to take care of this garden everyday since. Even though we have had a wet month, with more rain than usual, he still goes outside each day to check out his plants.

A little piece of Eli in the Garden | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comWhen the boys came home from school that day, the first thing he said to them was, “want to see MY garden”. As, he, Isaac, and Eli squatted next to the edibles growing in our backyard, he asked them, “what’s your favorite vegetable?” I beamed. What a wonderful gift Angela has bestowed upon me and my family. Not only are we going to have nutritious, organic greens growing in our yard, but the appreciation my kids are going to gain from eating what they grow will be invaluable.

My Edible Garden | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comAfter all of our hard work was done, Angela and I sat down to lunch with one of my favorite salads along with a batch of Zucchini Parmesan Bites. Now that I have kale growing in my back yard, this salad can be found on our dinner table a few times a week.

I am looking forward to more growth, both in our garden and in life,  in 2013

Spicy Peanut Kale Salad

ingredients:
2 large bunches of kale (or 3 small)
1 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup toasted cashews, chopped
1 carrot, peeled into strips
2 tablespoons creamy salted peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons agave syrup
a pinch of cayenne

instructions:
• place a large sautee pan over medium-high heat on your stove top. add all the sauce ingredients and whisk briskly until they melt and blend together. reduce heat to medium and simmer, while whisking, for about two minutes. turn heat to low.
• tear the kale leaves away from the stem. add the kale leaves to the pot. fold the kale into the hot sauce. the peanut sauce will wilt the kale.
• add onions, carrots, and cashews. toss to combine.
• serve warm. it’s also equally good cold.

 

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marla December 31, 2012 at 1:45 am

Such a GREAT idea for salad ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours :) XO

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2 Toni December 31, 2012 at 5:14 am

I don’t know what I’d do without our garden. Such great education for kids too. Happiest of all things to you and your family in 2013 Susan!

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3 Susan December 31, 2012 at 6:58 am

I have always had one off and on. But I am not great at tending to it. Thank goodness I have Levi to remind me everyday to nurture and love it! Yes, Toni, an education for all of us. Happy and Healthy to you and your family! xx

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4 Catherine McCord December 31, 2012 at 8:19 am

I’m running out into our garden right now and grabbing all of the baby kale to make this delectable salad. Thanks for the inspiration! Yum!

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5 Susan December 31, 2012 at 9:35 am

Happy New Year, Catherine. Meeting you, face to face, in 2013 is on the “to-do” list!

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6 HeatherChristo December 31, 2012 at 8:58 am

I am actually really inspired by this post Susan. It looks incredible. I am not typically a huge kale fan, but this truly looks delicious. I also love that you have a garden with your kids- we finally planted a big one this year and it was such a delight!

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7 Susan December 31, 2012 at 10:11 am

I recall reading about your garden – I was thoroughly impressed. Try to embrace kale, Heather. You won’t regret it or look back!

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8 Kareen December 31, 2012 at 11:29 am

Found your site through Angela (who is wonderful!). I loved this post and how invested your son is in the project. I look forward to seeing what you create with the booty from your garden. Happy New Year!

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9 Susan December 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Welcome Kareen and thank you! Last night we made a delicious salad with all things green from the garden and I am looking forward to lots more green dishes.

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10 elizabeth silver December 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Happy New Year Susan to you and your family. I thoroughly enjoy your website all the wonderful recipes and your thoughts. I look forward to it each time you post. May you have a wonderful new year with lots of good things to discover. sending love and hugs lizzy

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11 Susan December 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Happy New Year, Lizzy! Thanks so much for your support and for getting to know my family via this medium. Hopefully we can see each other in the new year!

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12 Allison [@AllisonnTweets] December 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Congrats on the garden. What an amazing accomplishment!

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13 Brooke @ Food Woolf December 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Inspiring images. Especially the puppy pics! Happy New Year!

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14 Amanda January 1, 2013 at 6:09 am

Love this!!! Love kids learning the best and most nutritious ways to eat! Plus this salad looks amazing. :)

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15 Deliciously Organic January 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

I can’t wait to try this salad. It looks amazing!!

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16 Jan January 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Hi Susan, I found you through Angela as well–she’s so talented isn’t she? She has so many ways to make urban spots beautiful.

I’m right with you when it comes to getting rid of additives–synthetic chemicals, too–in all the products I use every day. Our whole life is 100% natural now, organic veggie garden and all. I was a newbie to gardening 2 summers ago and was just amazed at how well things grow here in CA in the summer.

I love your blog and I look forward to more!

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17 Susan January 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Wow – 100% natural – that is quite an accomplishment. Good for you for being so responsible. It is so satisfying pulling lettuce from your backyard. Regardless of how much or how little space on has, this can be done. So great to meet you! Happy New Year, Jan – to more wonderful conversations in the days to follow.

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18 Jeannine January 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I want to try a potted garden with my son – we would all love it – nice job!

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19 Susan January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Thanks, jeannine. Your son would love this joint project with you…it’s worth the effort. xx

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20 Nancy@acommunaltable January 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

Happy New Year Susan! I have a completely black thumb – even have trouble growing herbs… which is funny since my grandfather was a professional gardener!
Your garden is beautiful and your story is even more so… (and that salad is no slouch either!!)
Can’t wait to see what blossoms in your garden in 2013!!

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21 a farmer in the dell January 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

Oh, I love your garden! And how special for your son. I love when kids get their hands dirty and find out where food comes from. My husband and I are vegetable farmers. We love it! This kale salad sounds amazing as well. So happy I found your blog!

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22 Susan January 27, 2013 at 8:11 am

He still takes great pride in “his” garden. We are getting ready to add to the garden and he counts the days to visit the nursery. Now, if I just have to figure out how to get him to eat more green stuff!

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