The Aggressive Deployment of Kale

Let’s talk about kale. Actually, let’s talk first about Brussel sprouts. I used to hate Brussel sprouts. I only ate them when I was feeling sorry for myself. You know—those days when you are just wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing and you aren’t even a good enough person to eat broccoli, so you can only eat Brussel sprouts which you despise.

Everyone has those days, right?



I actually ate Brussel sprouts so often in my twenties that I started to like them. I eventually ate them on days when I was happy. Now, I force my children to eat them and tell them they are wonderful. And I truly believe it. 

Now that I liked Brussel sprouts, though, I had no Vegetable of Self-Pity. I don’t spend nearly as much time wallowing about in self-pity these days, but when I do, I like to have a go-to vegetable. Recently, I discovered kale. 

Kale is a superfood.  It has no fat, is low in calories and high in fiber. It has calcium and iron and all the nutrients one needs. Eating kale is good for you and something that should be done on a regular basis. Except it tastes like something I ran over with the lawnmower. I have tried it raw, baked, and sautéed in butter. If something cannot be improved by butter you know it’s a tragic side dish. 

Kale is hands-down the worst tasting vegetable I have ever encountered. I’m not even sure it is a vegetable, come to think of it. It tastes like a cruel joke. It’s like all the nutrition experts in the country went out drinking and decided to promote kale this year because they really don’t like people very much. 

As happy as I was to have replaced my Vegetable of Self-Pity, I don’t really like feeling self-pity, so I don’t do it very often, which is a waste of a terrible side dish. But recently, I have found an alternative use of kale. I have rebranded it as the Vegetable of Passive Aggression.

Kale is truly the perfect vegetable to deploy when you have family members or dinner guests that need to suffer.  And as the chef, you can smile sweetly and tout the many health benefits. You can tell everyone that you love them and are concerned about their nutrition and you can even add that eating kale is probably better than swallowing a multivitamin, which everyone in the house avoids doing like the plague. You can explain that really, kale is love and so you made it for dinner. And then you can go in the kitchen and laugh and laugh.    



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