Lemony Lentil Kale Salad
& coming clean about my struggles
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, musings, and faves in your inbox every Wednesday! Paid subscribers get even more! Learn more about the paid tier of my newsletter here. You can also try a week for free!
I have mentioned here many, many times that I treat this newsletter as a little diary of sorts, and I mean it. I feel closest to my Substack community because of this, and I view it as my safe space on the internet. So it has been really hard the past six to eight months because I feel like I have been holding in so much.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my post last week in which I finally shared something that’s been weighing heavily on me for awhile. I’ll share it here in case you missed it, but I basically I’ve been having a really hard time because Grant and I have been struggling to get pregnant. We had an early miscarriage in the beginning of September and have been unsuccessful since. You can read more details in the post below:
I’ve been carrying this with me for a long time now, and it sounds dramatic, but I think unless you’ve gone through it yourself, it’s really hard to envision how much it can take over. I don’t like that it is all consuming, but the emotional rollercoaster is just a lot to handle. Speaking out online though has been immensely helpful, as I now feel like I can talk freely about how I am really doing. And my community has been amazing — so many people coming to me with their stories and support, and I remember WHY I love having a platform in the first place during moments like this.
And it’s not always so bad. I had a really happy January, and I was feeling very motivated with work and life. We actually planned our trip to Japan last October after we experienced the loss of the pregnancy, and that trip was so incredible and had been bucket list for us for a long time. We had been putting it off because we thought I might be pregnant during 2023, so I’m really happy we ended up doing that.
Anyway, I wanted to discuss this a little further on here because the feelings are so nuanced and complicated, and this whole experience is a major part of my life right now. I’m trying my hardest to focus on other things to get my mind off it, and I think sharing on social media is a big part of acceptance for me and essential to my mental wellbeing. As you probably know, I also started therapy and acupuncture, and talking to all the women (and men!) who sent me messages after I shared has also been healing. So many people go through this and don’t feel like they can speak up, and I get it, I’ve been there. But as someone who shares my life online, I felt like I wasn’t being fully authentic unless I let people know that my life is actually not all sunshine and roses right now.
Anyway… this will NOT be the topic of my newsletter every week, but I just wanted to address it here so I could let you know how I’ve been feeling. I sure hope that I will have other things in life to discuss because it means my life is multifaceted and filled with other meaning :)
THINGS I’M LOVING!
Okay, my Fudgy Mint Cookie Cashew Butter is making a return appearance because 1. It’s almost Valentine’s Day and this would make a great gift! 2. You can get 20% off now through 2/15 with code KALEMEMAYBE. This is a nut butter flavor I created in collaboration with Ground Up, and it is the bestttt in my humble ,totally unbiased opinion. Honestly, go get yourself some heart shaped cookie cutters and make my homemade thin mint recipe using the nut butter!!
Grab ‘em before they’re gone, cause once they’re gone, they’re gone forever!!
I have been doing a pre-shampoo hair oil routine for awhile now, so when Briogeo sent me their new Scalp Revival Spray, I was excited. It’s a Rosemary Pre-Wash Scalp and Hair Oil that you just spray on your roots before you shower, and I love it! I love that it’s a spray and not a dropper, and it feels gentle on my scalp.
Grant and I have both been feeling a little sick of eggs and have been craving overnight oats and chia pudding. I just bought these Glass Jars with Bamboo Lids so I can meal prep different breakfast options for us! They also make for attractive storage of ingredients.
Not a whole lot to say about this salad other than it’s a bright and fresh salad that’s simple to make and filled with veggies and a creamy lemony dressing that’s made with lemons and shallots. I used roasted carrots, peppers, and tomatoes, but honestly, whatever veggies you have at home would work too!
The dressing recipe makes slightly more than you need, so use as much as you’d like and save the rest for later — trust me, you’ll be happy to have it.
Lemony Kale Lentil Salad
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 small bunch carrots, cut at the diagonal (about 1 cup)
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes (I used yellow/orange)
1 bunch of kale, finely chopped (about 4 cups)
2 cups cooked lentils
2 scallion stalks, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped basil
¼ cup crumbled feta
Salt & pepper
Juice of 3 lemons
2 tbsp mustard
2 tsp honey
1 shallot, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and add the bell peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. Drizzle generously with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until everything is soft and just beginning to get crisp. Prepare your lentils according to package, if you haven’t already.
2. While everything is roasting, add kale to a large bowl. Add a drizzle of salt and a small pinch of pepper, and massage with your hands to soften the kale.
3. Prepare the dressing by blending everything together until smooth. Taste, and season with a little salt if necessary.
4. Let the vegetables and lentils cool for a bit so they’re not very hot. Add everything to the bowl with the kale, along with the feta, scallions, and basil. Toss in the dressing (I used a little over half, save the rest for later) and serve!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
Last week, I continued on my series “30-Minute Budget Meals” with a recipe for Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups! This recipe is like a mini lasagna bake using zucchini instead of pasta and cottage cheese instead of ricotta! Plus there’s a whole layer of marinara and ground turkey for lots of protein!
I’m actually upping this series to once a week, so if you’re a paid subscriber, you’re about to get a lot more!! And it’s never too late to join — new members get access to all of the archives!