Friday, May 2, 2014

I Promise They'll Love It: Lemony Kale Salad with Avocado

I know, I know. Kale. Everyone loves it, yet no one really does. It's stiff. It's trendy. It's so.... green. But (infomercial starting.... now!) it's also super high in Vitamins A, C, and K! It has lots of iron and some protein! It's anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and is proven to aid prevention of cancer! And for just three easy payments of $0.99 it can be yours!

There are quite a few different kinds of kale but really the only one enjoyable to eat raw and unscathed is baby kale. So! The best trick, besides chopping it up into fine pieces for a salad, is to gently "massage" the kale. Like humans, kale just wants to relax after a long day's work. It's tense and wants to gentle touch of a loved one. It sounds weird, but just go with it. Massage that kale.

Riiiiight between the eyes. [source]

It's easy, no matter your massage skill level. Growing up I was required to rub my mother's shoulders regularly. She has a very high tolerance for pain and so I had to squeeze my little hands and push my pointy elbows into her shoulders as hard as I could. In exchange she told me I had a good grip, gave me unconditional love, and provided for all of my needs. Fair trade. The only down side I have seen from this massage training is that I have no concept of what a normal back rub is. I have tried a number of times to rub my husband's back - my husband who has the measurements of Superman (seriously...) - and I hurt him. I HURT SUPERMAN. It does not feel good to him and I am apparently incapable of turning the volume from 11 down to something more tolerable.

Take it from me, Reader, if my death grip can massage the kale into a tasty submission without hurting it, your wonderfully normal massage hands will be just fine.

And now for the recipe that my friends and family have tested and approved! I bring this dish to any sort of potluck gathering and I promise your framily will all love it too.

Terrible photos, surprisingly delicious salad.

Lemony Kale Salad with Avocado*

*because I can't come up with a better name than that.

(for about two servings or one Chalayn-sized serving)

  • One bunch of kale, stripped off the stem and chopped up small (It ends up being about four cups.)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • One clove finely chopped garlic or two shakes of powdered garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (green, chives, white, red onion are all cool in my book. I'm not fancy.)
  • 1/2 cup of nuts (sunflower seeds, pepitas, pecans, slivered almonds, or candied pecans are fabuloso.) 
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries, or chopped dates are great.)
  • One diced avocado


Put all that chopped up kale into a big ol' bowl. Add the lemon juice and some salt. This is the stuff that will help break down the kale. Now it's time to give that kale a back rub. Just stick your filthy mitts (well, I hope you washed your hands first. Maybe I should have added in that step...?) into that bowl and grab onto that kale and start ringing its neck. Depending on your kale, you may need to do this for a few minutes. I usually just squeeze it all over until it starts to get a little foamy and wilty. Like this:

I didn't chop up this baby kale and I should have. Do as I say, not as I photograph.

Next you add the garlic, onion, nuts, and dried fruit. Stir it all up. With a spoon, not your filthy paws (which they might be if your hands are dry and deserty - like mine - they'll soak up that green color). After that add the diced avocado and stir it gently until it's all incorporated.

Now taste it. If it's delicious and makes your taste buds smile with glee you don't need to do a thing. Not perfect? Add some salt or maybe a little more nuts and fruit, of course. If you just think it tastes like a hippie rolled around in a lemon bush and got some dried cranberries and pepitas stuck in her unwashed dreadlocks, well, try putting on some Birkenstocks and take another bite. You can appreciate it now.

Too easy.

It tastes best when eaten that same day but it won't hurt ya to eat it a day or two later. It just probably won't last that long.

The end.


  1. This post is amazing and not just because your kale salad changed my life or at least my view on kale.

    1. Ha! Thanks! I'm glad I, or at least my recipe, could have a positive impact on your life. ;)

  2. Just made this and it's delicious! Already loved kale and so glad for another recipe :)

    1. That's wonderful! I'm a big fan of kale too and glad you enjoyed the recipe.

      What's your favorite way to eat/kale recipe? :)

  3. I love Kale! I wish I could find the good stuff here and make it! This recipe looks delicious and i love all your pics of it! Also, you're hilarious. Do I say that enough? When I do make this, Ill be sure to massage that kale reall good.

    1. They don't have good kale in China? :( If so, that's too bad. You could try massaging another green but I don't think it will be quite the same.

      Thank you for the nice compliments. Honestly, you can never say that enough. ;)

  4. This looks so good! It's exactly the kind of thing I eat in the summer when I don't want to turn on the stove, oven or even microwave to cook. I think I'll make it this weekend. :)

    1. You should! It's delicious - I think you'll like it. :) Definitely worth not turning on the oven or stove for.

  5. I love the looks of this salad! And I am that hippie who smells like citrus. The only difference is my dreadlocks are ALWAYS clean. Gotta make this salad this weekend!

    1. Ha! Even though your dreads are clean, I think you'll still enjoy this salad. ;)