Clean Kale Salad

Jeff and I were minimal before minimal was cool. We tiny housed before tiny housing was a thing. And not because we wanted to. But because that’s what we could afford. Our house in California (even the use of that word to describe where we lived is a stretch) was a tiny 1200 square feet. Beautiful. Close to the beach. But tiny.  When it was just the two of us, it was totally functional. We even had a separate bedroom where we would retreat when we needed our space. But as we grew in number and tiny feet and hands started joining the family, our tiny house quickly began to feel cramped and tight. 

Connors first bedroom was our master closet.  True Story.

But we were happy in that tiny little home. We had enough. We were minimal because we didn’t have anywhere to put things. Long before minimal was the thing to do. We filled ourselves with life, rather than things. We spent our time outdoors (because let’s face it, there just wasn’t enough room to spend it inside), living in nature and enjoying community. There wasn’t a ton of envy for what others had. We truly felt we had it all.

And then we moved to Texas. And it’s true what they say about it here, you know.

Everything really is bigger here.  

And somehow with this move, our eyes and appetites became larger. We looked around and saw huge houses and beautiful lives and thought….

A media room? AWESOME!

A separate playroom upstairs? Genius!

6 Bedrooms? The more the merrier!

And we got SPACE. We quadrupled the size of our house. We bought what felt like our forever home. And happily moved in, ready to create our forever life. And for the most part, the extra space has been awesome. We added yet another set of tiny hands and feet after arriving and we grew in both number and love. We planted roots and started to decorate. 

Well, we tried to decorate. I am good at many things, but interior decorating is not one of them. 

I wish I could say that with the size of the house, so grew the size of our hearts. Like the Grinch sort of, but in reverse. But I’m not sure if that’s the case. What I have found is that with the size of the house and Texas sized lives, I found envy growing. In crept the desire for STUFF. And more STUFF to fill up all of this space. Of which we actually use… guessed it…..approximately 1200 square feet.

So in the 8 years we’ve been here, we’ve filled up our rooms. Feeling no space constraints, we added and added. STUFF. NEED flew out the window and WANT crept in. 

And today this all finds me frantically sorting through all of the junk we have accumulated over the years for our neighborhood yard sale next weekend. I have a push and a drive for CLEAN and SIMPLE that I cannot shake. I get the minimalist. I really do. We aren’t happier here. Not that we’re worse off, but we definitely junked up our lives a bit. It’s at times suffocating to me and has me craving simplicity. Maybe it’s the fresh start I’m seeking this year that has me pushing forward like this, but regardless, it’s a longing I cannot ignore. I want to empty my rooms and fill up my life. I long for less STUFF and more LOVE.  And I’m making progress each day. It’s so freeing to realize that you can live a beautiful life, a loving life without WANTING. I’m pretty sure that God said he’d provide. He always does. And when I trust Him and draw closer to Him, I find myself wanting less. I find myself easily getting rid of the stuff. Because it doesn’t make me who I am. He makes me who I am. And filling up my life with just a bunch of stuff because everyone else has it, it actually subtracts from who I am, and I’m not really sure how. 

So, if you need a blender or an aero-garden or a used soccer goal and an old tv, stop by my yard sale next week. My junk may be your treasure. And you’ll be helping my soul. Who can argue with that?

And if you, too are longing for LESS, longing for clean–why not start with your insides? We all know Kale is the master cleanser. Those giant green leaves just scream DETOX, don’t they? Maybe make yourself my Detox Smoothie  to start and then follow up with the Kale Salad for dinner or lunch. It’s so good and green and garlicky. It screams clean. It scream yum. Even if you hate kale, give it a try. When you marinate it in the dressing, it loses the bitterness. It becomes something special. And don’t skimp on the garlic, it makes it fabulous. Unless you’re making it for a date and you actually like the person. Then please, for your own good, SKIMP. 

Clean Kale Salad


  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 bunch Dinosaur Kale (not the curly kind)
  • 1 piece of bread
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and olive oil in the bottom of your salad bowl. Whisk well and add salt to taste.

  2. Remove the ribs of the kale and chop into bite sized pieces. Add to the bowl and toss well, rubbing the dressing into the leaves with your hands. 

  3. Let the kale sit for 30 minutes to an hour. 

  4. Medium toast the bread. Using your blender or a food processor, mince up to make coarse bread crumbs. 

  5. When ready to serve, give the kale one more good toss and then top with the bread crumbs and the grated parmesan. Combine well and serve. 

Recipe Notes

--Great for lunch or dinner paired with a simple grilled chicken or salmon.

--Use 2 bunches if serving a group. I find that 2 people can easily finish it when using just 1 bunch.

--adjust the garlic and red pepper according to your taste. I like garlic to come out of my pores, so be mindful and taste the dressing as you go to be sure you get it to your liking.

--the longer this salad sits, the better it is. Leftovers are amazing! 

Minimalist and Tidying Resources:



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clean kale salad

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