January 1st brought in a traumatic event. Yes, I'm being dramatic about this traumatic event. It sounds stupid and it's definitely embarrassing. It's January 18th now and this is still a massive element to my well being. Does anyone recall that Seinfeld episode where the Valet guy left incredibly pungent B.O in the car? Well I can slightly relate to incurable car odors. However instead of a stranger's body odor infiltrating your vehicle without your control, I brought this upon myself. Jan 1 my Aunt delivered me a bottle of sherry vinegar. It was classy, it wasn't Stop and Shop brand (step up for me) and I was so excited because, as I have stated before, I have some weird affinity towards vinegar. Vinegar gets me, I get it. It's safe to say we are great friends. My favorite part of a salad is slurping down the extra vinaigrette at the bottom of the bowl. I take my healthy apple cider vinegar shots daily with ease.
It's January 1st and you bet I'm starting the New Year right transporting this sherry vinegar bottle to my homestead. Was it the bright lights of the street lamps, the slight wintry mix falling on the street, or perhaps the fact that I tuned into the Lite 100.5 station of smooth rock that fogged my mind? Well, inevitably, that prized. forsaken, bottle of sherry wine vinegar got left in the back seat of my car...on a 15 degree night...where the bottle exploded in my car. January 2nd, I use my car's automatic starter because it is negative a billion outside. Once ready I open the door to my vehicle and almost collapsed. Sometimes I think pungent is an overused word. Maybe your dog poop is pungent, or your rotten egg perhaps. But when your eyes cannot literally open because the molecules in the air are stinging it...well maybe you have a problem. I pride myself on not having a flair for the dramatic but OH MY GOD. My car is ruined, it has almost been two weeks, and after intense scrubbing and leaving a tray of baking soda in the car, I'm still defeated. I do not dare automatically start my car for the fear of the vinegar marinating in the heat. I drive with my windows open, my AC flushing out the smells. It doesn't work. Someone please help me. I don't need an oil change, I need a vinegar change.
So my sensitivities have taken a toll on my cooking. The mere smell of a balsamic causes my stomach to churn. With the New Year in full swing and the notion of "clean eating" popping up all over my social media, I decided to make my favorite green salad. But with one slight change. Ladies and gentleman, for now, I cannot mentally or physically handle even the most precious of red wine vinegar. I have crossed borders, made significant changes, gone against all of my previous desires....and have made a lemon dressing. Ahh lemon, who can be offended by that deliciously clean scent? So far so good. If any lemons decides to explode in my car, I'll think otherwise.
1 full lemon juiced or 1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 tbs Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tbs minced shallot
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 12oz can roasted chickpeas
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale with the ribs removed because those things are pesky
12 ounce brussels sprouts
1 head fresh broccoli
1 cup freshly grated parmesan (omit if vegan)
1/3 cup pine nuts
Lemon Dijon Dressing
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drain chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder and chili powder. Roast for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool before transferring to pan.
Pulse brussels sprouts and kale in a food processor until finely chopped. I usually do this in batches. Combine brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, parmesan cheese and the lemon dijon dressing in a large bowl until the greens are fully coated with the dressing. Some people say you have to massage kale and I kind of get into it, so knock yourself out. Top with roasted chickpeas.