Weekend Glow Kale Salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 17, 2011


Confession: I used to hate eating raw kale.

In fact, raw kale was the bane of my existence!

The only way I could bring myself to eat raw kale was if I put it in a Green Monster, and even then it was always quite bitter. Or I would bake kale chips and cook them so long that you couldn’t even tell it was kale.

But then I learned a couple secrets to preparing raw kale and I never looked back. And it’s a good thing because I have 20 kale plants growing in the garden right now!

My 3 tips for preparing raw kale:

1. Remove the stems when you plan on eating it raw (and some people remove the stems for cooking too-it’s personal preference). The stems are the bitter part of the plant. I used to always use the stems and wonder why my kale salads tasted ridiculously bitter. Now I just use the leaves and it always turns out wonderful to the palate.

2. Massage the dressing into the leaves and let it ‘marinate’ for at least 10-15 minutes. A kale salad tastes best when the dressing has had a chance to soak into the leaves. This also helps soften the leaves which is especially important if you are using the curly variety. You don’t want it scratching your throat!

3. If you really don’t like curly kale, try Dinosaur (Lacinato) kale as it is less bitter.

When I started using these simple tricks, my kale salads went from bitter and hard to swallow to mind-blowing delicious!


Kale is said to be a ‘beauty’ vegetable because it improves skin tone, complexion, and gives you a great glow.

It’s also just as beautiful for your insides too!

Kale is rich in:

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Fibre
  • Copper
  • Tryptophan
  • Calcium
  • B6
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • and more!


My goal for last night’s salad was to create a ‘weekend glow’ kale salad. I always love to feel my best on the weekend, but sometimes too much alcohol and desserts don’t always leave me feeling great come Sunday evening. This kale salad brings a nice balance to the weekend and gives an extra kick to your step!


To make this salad, I gathered some superfoods:

  • Cucumber (great for skin!)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Raisins & goji berries (antioxidants)
  • Walnuts (Rich in omega 3 fatty acids)
  • Hemp Seeds (high in protein)
  • Carrot (great for eyes and skin)
  • Avocado
  • Red Pepper



Next, I made the dressing using my favourite tahini-lemon dressing from my Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl. This dressing is addicting! It has such a nice kick to it.


Then, I used about half of a large head of kale, tore the leaves off, rinsed, and dried it in my salad spinner.


Finally, I mixed everything together in a large bowl and let the dressing ‘marinate’ for about 15 minutes in the fridge. It tastes great as soon as you mix it, but it will taste even better after sitting!! Just before serving, I sprinkled on the rest of the hemp seeds and walnuts. The seeds and nuts are really key to this salad because they add protein and healthy fats, along with a great crunchy texture.


I was a bit shocked because this was the best salad I think I’ve ever made, kale or otherwise. Even more shockingly, Eric inhaled this salad! When you can get a man to enjoy a kale salad, you know that you have hit the jackpot.



Weekend Glow Kale Salad

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 large head of kale (about 4-6 cups)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped carrot (2 small carrots)
  • 1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped halves)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 & 1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes (or other variety)
  • 1/2 cup mixed raisins and Goji berries
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Dressing: 1 batch of Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing (<—click for recipe)
  • Your desired fresh or dried herbs



1. Chop vegetables and mix in a large mixing bowl. Reserve hemp seed and walnuts for sprinkling on top.

2. Make your Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing in a food processor and process until smooth.

3. Tear the leaves off of the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry kale leaves.

4. Mix the vegetables, kale leaves, and full batch of dressing (3/4-1 cup) in large bowl until thoroughly combined.

5. Place in fridge to ‘marinate’ for 10-15 minutes. Serves 4. Keeps in fridge in a sealed container for 1 day.



I picked up some Goji Berries at Bulk Barn for some extra superfood power. Goji berries are very high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. I forgot how much I LOVE Goji berries! They are like an earthier and less sweet raisin. At first I wasn’t a big fan of them, but once I got used to the taste I fell in love with them.

Eric said if you covered them in sugar they would taste just like sour patch kids!


I encourage you to try out this salad if you are a kale skeptic. It completely changed how I think about eating raw kale.


Here’s to a glowing weekend. Sun

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

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Joanne June 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

You’ve taken my usual ho-hum lunch time salads and revved them up to new heights. I’ve always loved my salads but after this, after making the lightened up tahini dressing, I think I may be IN love with salads!!! I’ve seen tahini all over the place in recipes but never bought it, so I finally caved today because I wanted to make your dressing. I am SO glad that I did, my life is changed, my salads will never be dressed in just boring old balsamic ever again! I’m kicking myself for not jumping on the tahini train sooner.
I added red cabbage to mine, and forgot the walnuts, but it was just divine. I might have another salad for dinner, the detox salad and protein goddess bowl are calling my name. LOVE your blog! I even got a friend of mine hooked, she’s been making a ton of your recipes and loving them. :)


Diane June 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

I tried this salad this weekend and it was AMAZING! I am detoxing after an indulgent weekend and this is the perfect recipe to cure what ails me. THANK YOU for always providing unique and tasty vegan recipes, I can’t save enough how much I appreciate it.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Thank you Diane, that makes me smile!


Katie June 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm

This salad is now the best salad I’ve ever made as well! And my man also loved it. Thanks for the recipe!


Carmen June 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I absolutely love, love KALE…..I found in my local produce the Baby Kale in the plastic dome container and it is wonderful……it’s my new favorite power food!


Heather July 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I recently starting looking at your blog after a friend suggested it. I found out not to many days after that we are expecting our third child. We have been eating whole foods for the last 7 months(I have lost about 40lbs) and have benefited greatly from it but I was getting really tired of our repetitive menu. Your blog has rejuvenated my healthy eating spirit-I love to cook for my family but I need to sometimes pull motivation from hard places.

With our third and final child on the the way I really want a energetic, healthy pregnancy and to give my baby healthy food while satisfying my taste buds at the same time….I think your blog is going to help out greatly in this area.

This salad was the first I have made from your recipes and I LOVE it. I am very excited to try some other recipes especially the baking…I love to bake and finding healthy alternatives is the so wonderful.

Thank you so much-you are very inspiring!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Hey Heather,

Sorry for the delayed reply! Thank you so much for your kind words…that means so much to me! I hope you enjoy many recipes to come.


Ali Berger July 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

This looks delicious! I can’t get enough kale these days. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog, so many delicious recipes!


Jessica July 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

absolutely the best salad i’ve ever had in my life!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 19, 2012 at 10:39 am

That’s awesome, thanks for letting me know!


juliana July 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Delicious! Thank you for your article and recipes, I have a new favorite salad now. I didn’t have all the goodies, so made some substitutions and just cleaned my bowl, looking forward to having more for dinner.
Substitutions I made:
parsley = cucumber
radishes = red pepper
coconut flakes = raisins & berries
green onion & cabbage = red onion
I’ll be making this a ton. : )


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

Great subs! Thanks for letting me know :)


EndDaFed August 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Angela this salad rocks!!!!! I had made kale salads before but it was kinda bitter & Dino Kale is the way to go for sure. I made a few changes used Parmesan instead of yeast & put a lil cilantro in the dressing as well with a few sprinkles of red chilli. Next time I putting some sliced dates in there as well since the sweet raisins tasted soo good!



JoAnne Metzler August 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I suggest you throw in a handful of blueberries in the salad. Not only in salads, I’ve been adding them to almost dinner I eat even Chinesse, and pasta. It is delicious and like you with raw kale, I don’t like the taste of I don’t of plain blueberries! Only in almost anything then I can’t enough! Thanks for the ideas for kale, which I never had before and the tip of removing the stems. JoAnne


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012 at 6:43 am

great idea!


Cynthia September 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Angela: Thanks for the best raw kale recipe ever! Is anyone else completely in love with the salad & devastated that it only lasts a day? haha If so, this is how I trick it into lasting longer. I put the raisins (still don’t have the gogi berries yet. ;) ) in with the walnut & hemp seed topping. (I personally don’t mind the raisins not plumping up, so that works fine for me!) I use Florida avocados because they seem supernatural in that they don’t brown & hold a beautiful shape without getting mushy. (planning to research the nutrition, though, in case they’re too good to be true!) I reserve the marinade then prep it 15 minutes before I eat. Presto! The beautiful salad I love keeps lots of days longer, and this makes me happy! =)


Paula October 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

I just make this salad for the first time and I have to say it great. Added a few things like Radishes,Broccoli Cole Slaw mix for Veggie and Creamy Ranch with Bacon dressing. no Raisins or goji berries, Walnuts ,Hemp Seeds . I never believed Kale Greens could be good an less they were cooked. Will be sharing this with every body. Thanks you very much.


Jane November 9, 2012 at 3:04 am

I came across your site a few weeks ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. This salad…oh my goodness. I never thought I’d be able to stomach raw kale…but my husband and I are obsessed! We have been eating this 3+ times a week (we can’t get enough) and I think it singlehandedly has helped me to get back on track with more healthful choices, by reminding me how great whole foods make me feel. In the past few weeks I’ve cut out most of the junk I’d been in the habit of eating, and I feel SO much happier. As someone who has been really struggling lately to feel good in my body, I can’t thank you enough!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2012 at 8:04 am

Hi Jane, I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for reading.


Leigh November 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Holy cow this salad is amazing – eating it right now and completely addicted to your website.


kirsten December 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Great recipe!! Thank you! Next time I’m going to use alittle less lemon in the dressing, though I used 1 1/2 it was still alittle too much. Also used cranberries instead of raisins.


Eleonoor December 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Angela, I just want to send you my thanks, all the way from the Netherlands!

Though I couldn’t survive on a vegan diet (love me my cheeses and meats!) I really like a lot of the recipes you’ve shared.
“Avocado/lemon pasta sause” and “Get your Glow back stirr fry” are my tried and tested favorites. I also love the “Back on track Green Monster” (No Banana’s yeah!)

Usually in the Netherlands we eat Kale through mashed potatoes and with lots of gravy, bacon-bits, and a sausage. This new, healthy recipe has stolen my heart (and tastebuds…)

I’m now a 25 year old student, learning how to cook what I love. The Dutch kitchen is full of meats and potatoes and butter and bread and sugar and carbs and I am trying things a bit more healthy… your recipes are an inspiration!

Thank you, very much, for my ever improving health (and slimming waistline…)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hey Eleonoor, Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate it :)


Sara January 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

This is literally my new favourite salad – I am eating it for lunch as we speak :) I started reading your blog some time ago Angela and have now started delving into your archives for more recipe fun! Spicy tomato and kale soup for dinner tonight I think with the leftover kale :) I know you get this all the time but I am literally feeling the healthiest I ever have thanks to reading your blog. More salads in my diet, lots of lemon water, more running…thanks thanks thanks x


Kaitlin May 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Hey Angela, I love your website! I was wondering if you knew how long you can let kale marinate before it gets soggy. I’ve never made a kale salad before but I know kale has so many benefits for the body. I wasn’t sure if I could leave the marinated kale overnight for the next day or if I should just let it marinate 10 minutes before eating it! Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hi Kaitlin, I’m pretty sure it’s fine overnight if I remember correctly! Maybe there is some info online that you can confirm though. Good luck!


elizabeth June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

Just wanted to say that I just made this salad, and it is outstanding!!! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Please post more substantial and filling salad recipes, if you have them! I might make this again for dinner. :-)


Melissa June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

This salad was amazing. I’ve made it three times so far and I love it. You were right. This kale salad is great for kale beginners. :) :) I’ve passed on the recipe to my friends.


Jennifer Betti July 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I can’t wait to try this salad. Loving the blog!


Pixie August 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Doing some random jumping around in your recipes today and landed on this one. I love, love, love kale – but had to learn to like it. I first put it in smoothies and then soup. Finally, I used it instead of lettuce on a “burger.” Next up – salad! One of the things I learned is that red curly kale is the best for flavor. It even smells like flowers if it’s fresh and not super cold from the fridge. I’ll use the lacinto kale if I have to, but I ignore plain green curly kale due to how bitter it was to me – and that was in a smoothie! lol

Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!


Maria November 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I have been experimenting cooking with kale quite a bit lately, and I must say I used to dislike it but now I am absolutely loving it! Thank you for your tips. I am enjoying getting to know your wonderful blog!



Bursa İnşaat Projeleri November 14, 2014 at 7:42 am

That salad looks AMAZING!! :P Definitely printing this recipe off! Yum! Have a great weekend!


jaime November 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I’m thinking of using this dressing for thanksgiving… do you think the kale salad and lemon tahini dressing would work well with other more fall like ingredients? i was thinking of sunflower seeds and golden raisins? any other veggie ideas?


Michele In-Montreal June 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm

oh! thank you for the confession! this feels so good to read! so nice to hear I am in such good company.

I am a closet Kale hater. (feels like a confession of shame *blush*)

I have tried for years, but my inner 5yr old wins out every time.

I buy it with good intentions. I nag myself as soon as I lay a hand on it in the grocery store, and keep it up constantly. Then I let it decompose in my fridge before finally passing it along to the racoon that forages in my compost heap. The guilt! The guilt! I know it is so good for me, but it is just so bitter.

I have bought some this week, and looked up on your site for some courage, and you came through!

thank you for being brave and speaking out loud our collective shame ;)

I will try the leaf vs stem idea tonight… thank you for giving me hope :)

*if this salad doesn’t work I am going to try the smoothy option*


Angela Liddon June 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

My fingers are crossed that the recipe is a hit, Michele! :)


Dana in Vancouver April 2, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Angela, this is truly the best salad I’ve ever eaten. If this salad were a person, I’d propose. I’m only half-kidding. I loved it so much I felt a kind of mental shift in my eating patterns: if eating vegan is this good then I would happily move toward a healthier and more socially responsible plant-based diet. I suggested this to my husband yesterday, and initially he was resistant, then said he would support me if I started to introduce these changes at our family dinner table. Thanks for opening my mind to the possibilities through one simple but simply wonderful recipe.


Angela Liddon April 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for your wonderful comment, Dana! I’m so touched you found this recipe so delicious and inspiring. :)


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