I hope that one day, I can look back on this pregnancy and say…”Oh, that one was my sick pregnancy.” Because if I ever have a pregnancy where I encounter more germs than this one, I will probably just die.
Let’s take a moment and just reflect on what the last nine months have held:
-Round one of a summer stomach flu that left me in the ER. Unjust.
-A month-long cold that turned into a sinus infection. Antibiotics for the win.
-Round two of the stomach flu just before Christmas. How festive.
-And most recently, Owen had impetigo, which caused me to sanitize every surface of my house and every toy he touched like a maniac because I was terrified we’d get his rashy face too and that we’d somehow spread it to this baby girl when she was born.
At one point in my life, I thought it took a room full of kindergarteners to expose me to every virus known to man…but now I know that it just takes one toddler who licks one grocery store cart and then smooshes his face against mine to do the same.
Toddler. germs. are. no. joke.
And honestly, one of my greater fears at this point is that I’m going to be sick when I go into labor. I mean, can you honestly imagine anything worse? You know…instead of just dealing with all-consumingly painful contractions and pressure that makes you feel like your lower half is going to separate from your upper, how ’bout you also add an inability to breathe through your nose…or perhaps nausea and a fever? I can’t even deal.
So…we’ve been Vitamin C-ing like it’s our job around here…going through those 5-lb. bags of Cuties in a matter of days. Chugging orange juice despite the inevitable heartburn it brings. And making a big batch of this kale salad each week. One cup of raw chopped kale? 134% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Done and done.
This salad is where your winter needs to be at, friends. It’s good. Really good. And I’m not just saying that because I should. I’ve come to
realize through this salad that I don’t like cooked kale (besides chips)…but raw kale? Especially raw kale mixed with oranges, orange zest, pomegranate seeds, wild rice, and feta? Yeah, I can get into that.
The fruit and wild rice give this salad a serious texture boost. The feta…well, why wouldn’t you add feta? And the dressing? Oranges and ginger? Germs have no chance.
P.S. This salad is the love child of two other kale salads: one from iFoodReal and one from Pinch of Yum. I took components of both that I liked and made my own, but the credit should really go to these two ladies.
1 1/2 c. cooked wild rice (1/2 c. uncooked)
3-4 c. packed kale, destemmed and chopped
1 t. olive oil
zest from one orange
1 1/2 c. pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)*
1/2 orange (or 2 Cuties), peeled and chopped
1/3 c. chopped nuts, toasted (pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds)
1/2-1 c. feta, chopped
1/2 orange, peeled
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 c. orange juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
*This video was helpful in deseeding the pomegranate!
Cook the Wild Rice:
Rinse your 1/2 c. uncooked rice thoroughly. Bring 1 1/2 c. salted water to a boil; then add the rice. Return water to boil and stir. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 50-60 minutes or just until kernals puff open. Uncover and fluff with fork. Simmer five additional minutes. Drain any excess liquid. Set aside to cool.
To toast the nuts, heat a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped nuts and stir frequently for 3-4 minutes until nuts are golden brown and fragrant. Immediately remove to a plate to cool.
Combine kale, olive oil, orange zest, and salt. Massage kale for a couple of minutes until it softens and shrinks slightly. Add the pomegranate seeds and chopped orange and stir gently to combine.
**See note below about when to add the feta and nuts!
In a food processor, pulse ginger and orange together until a paste forms. Add the orange juice, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper, and pulse together until smooth. (You can also make this without a food processor and just finely, finely mince the ginger and orange, then mix with the other ingredients in a tightly-lidded jar.)
**This salad keeps well in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days IF you keep the feta, toasted nuts, and dressing separately. Once ready to serve, mix in the feta, nuts, and dressing.