Watermelon Quinoa Kale Salad
one bunch of kale rinsed and chopped (stems removed)
3 Tbs. organic extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
1 small cucumber thinly sliced
1/4 cup of sliced almonds toasted
3-4 cups of cubed watermelon (seedless or seeds removed)
1 large or 2 small heirloom tomatoes diced
handful of fresh mint leaves torn
1 cup of organic quinoa
1/4 cup of goat cheese crumbled (put in freezer for 5 minutes to make it easy to crumble)
- First, prepare the quinoa according to package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, wash and chop the fruit and vegetables and set aside.
- Add torn kale to a large bowl and drizzle a tiny bit of avocado oil and a squeeze of lemon. Massage the kale with your hands to soften the kale. Season with sea salt and black pepper and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to break down leaves.
- While the kale is marinating, dice the watermelon into 1” cubes, slice the cucumber finely with a mandoline slicer, and dice the tomato and set aside for assembly.
- To assemble the salad, divide the massaged kale between bowls and toss with cooked quinoa, cucumber, optional goat cheese, watermelon, almonds, and fresh mint.
Adapted recipe from Flora & Vino
Just one short year ago Nicola and her partner Jean moved to Wichita to be closer to family. Nicola is a native Californian born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. For the last eighteen years or so she had been living in Sonoma Valley known to most as “wine country” because it is one of the country’s premiere grape growing regions. Sonoma County, however, is also known for the growing of organic produce and for its organic and sustainable production of meat, poultry, and dairy products. For this reason, and the fact that Sonoma is a beautiful place to live, Nicola was happy to call it home.
During her time in Sonoma, she worked for the Sonoma Catering Company, started a small catering company herself to serve visitors to the area and for the last fifteen years worked for four different Sonoma/Napa families as their personal chef. Nicola was never formally trained as a “chef” but because of her passion for food and the desire to feed people well, over the last forty years, has become, what she considers, a good cook.
Her interest in food started at a very young age. She was fortunate to live walking distance from her maternal grandparent’s home. They were both immigrants from Croatia and their families had farmed the land there for many generations. Surrounding their modest home were both vegetable and flower gardens along with a small backyard orchard where they grew peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and figs. From a very young age Nicola remembers helping her grandparents plant and harvest vegetables, cut flowers, and assist her grandmother with the canning of both vegetables and fruits for winter months.
At age fourteen Nicola happened upon a copy of the book, “You are what You Eat.” Reading that book was the beginning of a life long interest in healthy eating. She has studied and experimented with a variety of different diets from raw foods and macrobiotics to the Paleo and Keto diets and many in between. For the last year, Nicola has been a patient at the Riordan Clinic herself because of chronic fallout from parasitic gut infections and now SIBO. She has had to transform her relationship to food and has made radical changes in her own diet in order to heal. It has been a slow and challenging process. As a result, she has developed greater understanding and empathy for those undergoing healing from chronic illness and she has a much greater appreciation for “food as medicine.” It is from this understanding, her continued passion for preparing good, healthy food, and her desire to help people eat well that she is now offering her services here in Wichita as a personal chef for those that need to or want to eat better to improve their health.
Her Personal Chef services, available for the Wichita, KS, include an introductory free consultation, meal planning, shopping, preparation, cooking, and clean-up. Nicola can be reached by phone at (707)327-7806 or email at email@example.com.