Kale Salad and the Kids of East Los Angeles!

 LA CAUSA is a local non-profit organization in ELA that works to re-empower youth that have been pushed out of the traditional educational system and provides them with knowledge, training, and hands on preparation in becoming agents of change in their community!  LA CAUSA has now opened a sub-division called “PALOMA” – (People’s Affordable Local Organic Market Alterations)….

It’s a great program that is reaching out to local corner markets to increase the percentage of healthy food/produce  available in stock and by doing so decreasing the amount of junk food in store.  They are transforming the East Los Angeles Food Desert into a Food Oasis one store at a time.

The first store to under-go the make-over is Edith’s Market located at 498 South Ford Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022, which is positioned directly across the street from Humphreys Elementary School.  

Since this store is central for many kids in the community, LA CAUSA/PALOMA thought it would be clever to teach the children at the elementary school how to incorporate some of the new produce available to them into their diets.  This is where I come in…. it was my pleasure to take part in this program and give the children a salad making demonstration along with samples.  KALE SALAD that is.  I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction I received from the majority (95%) of the schoolchildren.  They asked for second and third servings of kale salad!  SCHOOL AGED KIDS EATING KALE!  Some of their parents were on hand to witness the demo and were shocked by their kids reactions, which prompted them to find out more about the leafy green.  Here are a few pictures from the event along with the kale salad recipe!  Try it on your kid today, there’s a huge chance he or she will love it. 

Ingredients for kale salad:

1 – medium sized bundle of Kale (chopped)

1 – red onion (thinly sliced)

1 – cup sliced almonds

1 – cup dried cranberries

Ingredients for salad dressing:

2 – medium sized lemons (Juiced)

1 1/2 – tablespoons honey

1 – teaspoon minced garlic

2 – tablespoons olive oil

1 – tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 – teaspoon soy sauce

In a large mixing bowl add chopped kale.  Set to the side. In a medium sized bowl add all ingredients for salad dressing and mix well. Then pour salad dressing on top of kale and allow it to sit in dressing for an hour to two hours. Then add in onion, almonds, and cranberries. Mix well and serve! Enjoy!



Here are some wretched facts about the ELA community and why these programs are important: 

  • – In East Los Angeles you are more likely to find  a fast food chain than a market with fresh produce.
  • – There’s 3.6 markets per 100,000 residents in East Los Angeles compared to 12.5 markets in West Los Angeles.
  • – The diabetes rate in our community is skyrocketing and with a teenage obesity rate in East Los Angeles being 19.6% it’s only going to become an epidemic.
Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. This is my way of taking pride in my community and it’s fantastic progress! The recipe and opinions are my own. 🙂                  
All photos taken by: Mando Lopez




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