The question caught me off guard.
“Are people still eating kale? Like, is kale still trendy?”
I looked up from my menu to give my friend a weird look before considering it.
“I think so? I mean I still eat it.”
Though, there wasn’t a single kale dish on that particular menu. She said she’d just read in some magazine that kale was out and cauliflower was in.
I’ve heard so many refrains of this statement, it’s exhausting. Not to mention the fact that cauliflower isn’t exactly new to most dinner tables. Broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collard greens, avocados, turmeric, moringa. All have been dubbed “the new kale” at some point. What’s next, I wonder. Spinach surely must make a comeback here at some point right? What a time to be alive!
And what’s the consequence of this lazy labeling?
I suppose it has to do with marketability. Once food companies catch wind of any particular item that us millenialzzz are eating they tend to start grinding it into powders, forming it into noodles, ricing it, mashing it, or baking it into chips. And we eat it all. By the boatload.
Is it problematic? I don’t know. Perhaps in the sense that some people may stop eating kale if they’re reading headlines which suggest it’s no longer in season? Or maybe restaurants will pull their sautéed kale side in favor of roasted cauliflower.
As with many other food fads, it’s probably best to take note and then move along eating whatever it is you want to eat. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t explore more vegetables. I love trying eclectic menus and experimenting with fun new recipes. But let’s not discount kale (or cauliflower, or any vegetable for that matter) for the sake of a trend. And puh-lease, let us stop calling things “the new kale.”
Kale + Sweet Potato Salad with Maple-Basil Dressing
- 2 heads leafy green kale
- 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/3 cup Maple Basil Dressing (see below)
- Sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Dressing (combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth):
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and add butternut squash cubes. Drizzle cubes with a bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper and roast for 20 mins or until cooked through.
2. Wash the kale, discard the stems, and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and dry leaves with a paper towel.
3. Pour maple basil dressing over the top and use your hands to massage it into the leaves.
4. Add the cooked squash and feta cheese.
5. Add avocado right before serving.
The dressing will store in the fridge for up to 7 days. This stuff is so good I could eat it alone by spoonful and be plenty content.
Any food fads entertaining you these days? What will the next, next kale be? Share below!