Kale Becoming Uninvited Dinner Guest

A stranger is working into my lunches and dinners. Rough around the edges, lacking any redeeming sense of taste, and abruptly showing up when least expected, I’m done with him.

I am hereby declaring myself not aborad the kale train.

The first time I spied Kale was the vegetable department of a local grocery store, my friend holding out his fresh catch at arm’s length like he had trapped a rabbit in the woods.

“You tried kale yet?”

I shook my head, his grip seemingly tightening on his catch as if primal instincts were kicking in.

“Kale,” I said. “What does it taste like?”

The conversation stalled right there.

The concept of so-called super foods is like a train hurtling down the tracks without an engineer at the helm. Granted I understand the premise of higher concentrations of vitamins or some other healthy appeal. But how did I get over a half-century though life without knowing certain foods were slightly better for me and therefore should cost a small fortune?

My wife likes kale. Well, “likes” might be an overstatement, but she is increasingly finding ways to sneak the green leafy vegetable into my diet at home.

Last week kale showed up in my fish tacos.

I love a good fish taco. Grilled, blackened, even fried. Large or small, fish tacos are a separate food group for me.

But nowhere in the great recipe book of fish tacos, does kale show up.

Picking at the leafy contents, I asked my wife what going on between the flour tortilla. Something was askew, so to speak.

“I used some of the salad from last night,” she said. “Figured why not?”

My mind quickly identified the intruder hidden inside my taco: kale.

My wife is strategically blending kale into meals. Not that she is a huge fan either, but kale is seemingly included in more recipes or dishes at local restaurants. Recently I’ve gone to defensively asking waiters if the salad includes kale.

“We can add some if you wish,” comes the reply.

I then share with my quest to keep kale from being subversively pushed onto my plate or into my palate. Not that the taste of kale is bad – a taste that reminds me of getting a piece of cardboard accidentally stuck in my mouth – but I do wish to have some semblance of control over what shows up on a plate.

Believe it or not, I am not alone. Unscientifically-speaking, half the waiters volunteered they, too, were not on the kale bandwagon. But sprinkling a bit into a salad allowed them to charge a bit more on the menu.

I love vegetables. My mom would be proud. But at kale, I am drawing the line. Superfoods be darned, I am taking back control of my vegetable intake no more cardboard-tasting veggies in my food for the sake of being fashionable.

That is except for at home. There I’ll eat what is on my plate – or fish taco – and like it.

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