Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Kale it's what's for dinner

Three and a half years later, the “Kale it’s what’s for dinner” design remains our all-time best selling t-shirt. Printed on a super soft blend of 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton, and emblazoned with a snarky yet whimsical message that promotes good nutrition while poking fun at the artery-bursting beef council and the tooth-rotting soft drink industry, it’s something almost everyone can get into. (Follow these links for MEN’S and WOMEN’S Kale shirts.)

I still get compliments every time I wear, like today at the post office, as a matter of fact. The shirt has gotten good mileage, and never fails to earn a smile and a chuckle wherever I go. I usually don’t have time to explain the whole “kale for marriage equality” story, which is a little bit long and complicated, but when I do, everyone just loves it all the more. (Full story HERE.)

While we parodied the beef slogan and the coca-cola logo, it’s interesting to see how others have taken liberty in posting our “Kale it’s what’s for dinner” design, unattributed, on their websites and Facebook pages. But that’s OK. Like bamboo, kale is a renewable resource, and unlike some things, there’s more than enough of it to go around. So go ahead and dig in, because kale is still what’s for dinner, not to mention breakfast and lunch. And, of course, it makes a great snack!

Kale salad

Recipe serves two simple meals or four lip-smacking kale salad appetizers. Prep time approximately 15 minutes. No cooking involved.

Start with one hearty bunch of kale — Tuscan, dino, curly, any variety will do. Carefully remove the leaves and tear into more-or-less bite sized squares, discarding the fibrous stalks into your nearest compost receptacle.

Mix the following in a measuring cup: 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup Braggs® aminos

Then add roughly 1/4 cup of minced red onion, to taste. Let the onions soak in the juices for about 10 minutes if you want to take the edge off of the raw onion flavor.

Pour the dressing over the bite-sized strips of kale and massage gently and evenly until the kale feels tender. NOTE: it is important to actually massage the kale, rubbing and squeezing with your hands to really get the oil and lemon juice in there and soften up the leaves.

Finally, sprinkle with roasted pepitas and call it done. You can add a pinch of salt and pepper, but it’s really unnecessary. You can also add other salad toppings, depending on what’s in season. Our summertime kale salad often has fresh tomatoes and avocado.

Mothers have reported that “the teenagers just devour it!” But rest assured, ordinary children and adults clearly crave it as well.

 

Kale for Marriage Equality

What do leafy green vegetables have to do with gay marriage? That’s what people are asking when they hear that Bambu Batu is sending $5 to a pro-marriage-equality organization every time they sell a bamboo t-shirt emblazoned with the parody slogan “KALE: It’s what’s for dinner.”

The connection can be traced back to the Baptist-owned fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Last fall, Chick-fil-A went after independent shirt maker Bo Muller-Moore and charged him with copyright infringement for selling hand-printed t-shirts that say “Eat More Kale.” The junk food juggernaut claims that this slogan is a direct violation of its own motto, “Eat mor chikin” (scrawled by cows). Muller-Moore refused to comply with their order to cease and desist, and a legal drama has ensued.

As an avid kale enthusiast himself, Bambu Batu owner Fred Hornaday was disappointed to learn of Muller-Moore’s harassment by corporate bullies. But when it recently came to light that Chick-fil-A had also been donating millions of dollars to organizations fighting same-sex marriage, Hornaday, a self-described human rights enthusiast, had no choice but to cry “fowl!”

Bambu Batu, an all-bamboo store based in San Luis Obispo, CA, specializes in ethically produced goods and natural fiber clothing and holds social responsibility as a top priority in its business model. The family-owned eco-boutique already has a series of original shirt designs addressing issues from clean energy to spiritual awakening, and this month Bambu Batu is releasing its own pro-kale message, hand-printed locally on 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton.

Moved by Chick-fil-A’s saga of unapologetic tastelessness, Hornaday has decided that with this product it’s not enough to simply send a mindful message on a natural fiber t-shirt. So with every shirt sold, Bambu Batu is sending five dollars to the pro-marriage equality organization of the customer’s choice, or to MEUSA if no preference is expressed.

The Kale for Marriage Equality t-shirts are now available online here.

There are certain actions that as a decent human being, you would never consider doing.  You wouldn’t hit a someone with glasses, steal candy from a baby, or sue a guy who promotes kale on a t-shirt.  Bo Muller-Moore, a Vermont artist and supporter of local agriculture, has for more than 10 years created shirts that encourage the world at large to “Eat More Kale”.

  Somehow, the people at Chick-fil-A, a company that the New York Times points out is a business large enough to sell over 530 sandwiches a minute, got wind of the shirts and decided to send a cease-and-desist letter to Muller-Moore.  They assert that his t-shirt tagline infringes on their ads that feature the motto “Eat mor chickn”, words written by cows looking to direct attention away from beef and sell more nuggets.  The fast food giant stated that the kudos for kale “is likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-fil-A’s intellectual property.” Yet, Chick-fil-A has no stores in Vermont, Muller-Moore’s shirts predate the chicken campaign, and only someone who has difficulty differentiating a vegetable from an animal would have trouble with telling the two businesses apart.

Luckily, Muller-Moore has a lot of grassroots support.  Labeled by admirer as a “Vermont institution”, his legal support has been provided for free, a petition on Change.org set up for him by a local soup company, and he is being assisted with publicity by a former aide to governor Jim Douglas.  Peter Shumlin, the current governor, has also offered to appear with him at a news conference in order to back his cause.  In a state where community, artisanal food, and local businesses are taken very seriously, “Eat More Kale” has become a rallying cry to those who value quality, the environment, and the social implications of what people consume.

Currently, Muller-Moore is are planning to trademark his merchandise.  True to his green and proclivities, each shirt is printed on a Comfort Colors garment, dyed in Vermont by an environmentally-minded shop using a process that takes 2/3 less water than conventional methods and recycles liquid runoff.  The shirts are then hand-screened, one at a time, in a garage over Muller-Moore’s home that his wife helped him to build.  All of his stencils are cut individually, and the water-soluble ink is heat set for a flexible, durable design.  For stickers or clothing, visit the EMK site to wear your love for the earth, craft, and the people who work to make community happen where they live.

 

The first time I heard about Kale Chips I thought it was some kind of joke: a recipe concocted by The Onion magazine as something a hairy hippie might serve as an appetizer to go with a glass of patchouli-carrot juice.

Don’t get me wrong. I like kale as much as anyone. I’ve actually got at least two varieties growing in my backyard garden. We steam it, we stir fry it, we throw it into our soup pot. Its nutritional properties are formidable, its uses are manifold, but I had no idea.

Then my wife presented a bowl of dark green, crispy kale chips. In three minutes or less the entire bowl had been devoured, inhaled actually. (They’re pretty light.) Yep. That good. And it was a big bowl, too. No kidding. But it gets better because — guess what? —  the preparation could not be simpler.

Here’s how it’s done. You can make it more complicated if you want, but all you really need are two bundles of kale, a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt. A dash of nutritional yeast helps too.

· Begin by separating out the fibrous spines of the kale, either by hand or with a knife, and set them aside for your compost.

· You’ll probably want to rinse your kale too, but just be careful to dry the leaves very thoroughly. If it goes into the oven wet, it will cook rather than dehydrate.

· Then cut the leaves into large bite-sized pieces. (Remember they will shrink down during the dehydration.)

· Now throw this heap of kale bits into a large mixing bowl, and add 2 tablespoons (1 Tbsp per kale bunch) of high quality olive oil. (I get mine from SLO Grown Produce.)

· Go ahead and add a couple pinches each of salt and nutritional yeast, and stir thoroughly. You might not think you’ve got enough oil, but once you’ve mixed the leaves, you’ll see that two tablespoons is really enough.

· Now spread the leaves evenly, don’t crowd them, on a couple of baking sheets. (see photo above) It’s probably going to cover about four baking sheets all together. Place them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 300º, and pull them out when they’re thoroughly dried — thin and crispy.

· That’s it… serve and enjoy!

One last thing, you might want to brush afterwards, before going into public, because those crispy flakes of kale have a tendency to stick all over your teeth.

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