Spicy Thai Kale Salad

I hope that everyone had a great holiday! We didn’t get into too much, but the weather was beautiful so we headed on over to Central Park and pretended that we were laying on the beach in the sunshine. It was not the beach, but the little extra vitamin D and the bunny ears did us wonders. 😉

Easter 2014

Minus the weird snow hiccup we had last week, spring has officially sprung in NYC and I cannot stop taking photos of all of the blooming trees! I mean just look at these beauties! My phone is loaded with oodles of these trees, but I just can’t help myself.


Another highlight of my week was getting our apartment windows cleaned. I don’t think they were cleaned before we moved in, and the new-found sunshine made me realize that they were starting to look like those frosted windows that you have in your bathroom for privacy. So last week I inquired with the front desk to see when the windows were cleaned in our building…they snickered and let me know that it was our responsibility to clean our windows…Lovely! I emailed our landlord about the windows and never got a response…Awesome! At that moment I knew that I was on my own for this one.

Derika came home that evening and I asked her if she would mind holding my legs down while I scooted onto the outside ledge of our second story windows. I figured that with her securing my legs, I would be able to get the windows cleaned in no time. She looked at me like I had hit my head on something, and said that I was being ridiculous. She told me to ask the Google, because she was sure that I could find someone in NYC to clean our frosted windows. My Cirque Du Soleil window cleaning dreams were crushed even before I got to pick out my special window-cleaning outfit…

The next day I was doing the laundry with my cute little Asian ladies, who are still so excited about their new-found lint trap removing skills. While I was waiting for my last two minutes on my dryer to run out, I saw a sign on the classified board for Gilbert The Window Cleaner…Perfect! I sent Gilbert an email, and we settled on a date, time and a price in under 30 minutes…Winning! Gilbert arrived on Monday morning and was sprinting around my apartment cleaning my frosted windows within 5 minutes of his arrival. Over the course of the next 3 hours, Gilbert and I chatted about every show that was ever on television, his favorite places to eat chicken, and how he now weighs 190, but he use to have a body of a gymnast and weighed 110. While we conversed, he used every tool we owned and all my WD-40 to gently coax the stuck windows out of their winter hibernation.

The windows in the living room were a breeze and were sparkling in a jiffy. The fun started when he got to the bedroom. All I could hear was a lot of grunting and swearing, and I was afraid to see what was going on so I just let him be. I was trying to block out the sounds coming from our bedroom, when I heard “Danielle, help me please!!” I had no choice but to go see what was up. To my shock Gilbert was demonstrating his gymnast skills (I have to admit, that I did see a glimmer of his previous gymnast body), as he hovered on the outside ledge of our bedroom window. The grunting was him trying to unhinge the windows, but they weren’t having it. So his solution was to climb outside, while I stood inside and handed him his cleaning supplies.  I was freaking out, but he was as cool as a cucumber! As he balanced on the ledge he proceeded to ask me how I chose the art for our apartment, and was wondering if I had ever seen the television show “GIRLS.”  He was shocked when I told him that I hadn’t seen it, and he told me that he didn’t care what people thought of him for liking it. He said that if a 50-year-old man loved the show, then you know it is good. He suggested that I cancel my plans that evening, and watch my first episode that night, because it was the best show he had ever seen!

What the heck was going on, and how do I always end up in these weird situations when Derika is nowhere to be found? I was trying to focus on what he was saying through the glass, when out of nowhere he was asking me for my toilet plunger!? I wasn’t sure if I had heard him right, but I went and got my plunger anyway. He proceeded to take it apart while balancing on the ledge of our building. He said that he needed the stick of the plunger to reach the top of the windows. I was speechless, as he proceed to put the finishing touches on our windows with the help of our toilet plunger. Before I knew what was going on, he was asking me to help him back into the building, and I all of a sudden I had a toilet plunger in my hand. To my relief Gilbert The Window Cleaner, did not fall to is death, and he was back sprinting around my apartment chattering about the show “GIRLS,” while collecting his cleaning supplies. Five minutes after he came off of the outside ledge, I was paying him and he was on his way!

There is no judgement on my end about Gilbert’s love for the show “GIRLS,” because that man can sure clean a window. Our apartment feels like a new place; I can barely see the glass on our windows they are so clean. If you live in NYC and have a fondness for clean windows and the TV show “GIRLS,” then Gilbert is your man. Message me if you want his contact info. 😉

I am quickly learning that spring is my favorite time of year in NYC. It holds so much happiness, I mean come on…how can you look at all of the amazing blooming trees through your newly cleaned windows and not be happy? I haven’t lived in a place that has actual seasons in a while, and I have to admit that I kind of like it. On the other hand, I know that I don’t do well in the humid heat, so I am trying to savor every minute of this amazing weather. I am going to try my best to not turn into a beast when the city turns into a sweaty smelly mess this summer, but I am not making any promises. Maybe I should just head to San Diego for the summer to prevent my sweaty beast personality from emerging. 😉

With the arrival of spring, I have been craving fresh salads with a little sass. I think that I will forever be stuck in my kale kick, so I apologize for another kale salad recipe. You could substitute the kale for your lettuce of choice and I am sure it would still taste amazing. The sass in this recipe comes for the Sriracha, that I added to my peanut dressing. This dressing is great tossed into a salad.  I also got creative day two, and heated the dressing up a smidge and drizzled it over my tofu quinoa salad…it was so good! The possibilities with this salad dressing are endless, and I can’t wait to hear the creative ways that you use it.

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 C Curly Kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 C Carrot Strings, using a julienne peeler
  • 1 C Cucumber, chopped
  • 1 C Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 C Cilantro, diced
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 C Cooked Quinoa
  • Tofu or Protein of Choice

Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 TBS Creamy Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • 1½ Tsp. Sriracha
  • 3 TBS Almond Milk
  • ½ Tsp. Sesame Oil
  • ½ Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ Tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ TBS Maple Syrup
  • ½ Tsp. Freshly Grated Ginger
  • Pinch of Salt


1. Toss the kale, carrots, cucumber, red pepper, cilantro, and green onions, together in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add more milk if necessary to get the desired consistency.


3. Pour dressing on top of the salad and toss until fully coated.

To serve, put a layer of quinoa on your plate, top the quinoa with salad and put your protein of choice on top of the salad and serve with love.




6 thoughts on “Spicy Thai Kale Salad

  1. Sarah

    You should start a blog about interesting interactions with people who advertise on tear-off flyers at laundromats…why has no one thought of this before? (Oh, and thanks for the recipe…yum!) 🙂

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