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
- 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)
- 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.
I am going to have to make this, it looks great!! Another way I have found to love kale is just by rubbing olive oil and lemon juice into it. Then throughout the week I just add whatever dressing and vegetables I want. My favorite combo right now is dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and avocado.
This looks truly like a wonderfull salad!
I have to admit that I never ate kale. But we’re planning to grow some in our garden, the coming season. And this is a perfect way to try!
This salad is glowing! Can’t wait to try it. :)
That salad looks so good!
i also love your wooden bowls and forks! Are they just for decoration or do you use them?
Thanks! They are used :)
I never tried eating with a wooden fork! for future reference, were did you get them (and the bowls)?? Thank You!
Check this site out: http://www.to-goware.com/
I purchased a bamboo utensil set for my lunches! I love it.
I have always wanted to like kale, but I couldn’t cover its taste in a smoothie no matter how much stuff I added. Then I tried to make kale chips and despite everyone else saying how wonderful they were, they were just awful! And I had gotten rid of the stems. Maybe I have to try dinosaur kale? Because otherwise I don’t know if I could handle it again!
Just when I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the kale growing in the garden you post yet another fabulous recipe – thanks!
YUM this looks phenomenal. So light and fresh but packed with goodies!
You always have the best recipes, I swear!!
Thank you Jessica!
the title, the dressing, the fact that I LOVE KALE, the cute bowl you serve it in… you got me! I love this. I eat Kale almost everyday. :)
I look forward to this addition. It never gets old for me with a new recipe….from you!
Happy Weekend. :)
I love kale and kale salads!!! I love to eat kale because I feel like I am totally doing my body good. Kale, does a body good… instead of milk. That sounds a whole lot better!
I loveeee kale! But I’ve been totally slacking in the kale consumption department!!! This recipe motivates me to bring it back into my life stat! Added to today’s grocery list: KALE :-)
I love kale, and this recipe looks absolutely divine! Can’t wait to try!
Will this salad hold well throught the weekend? Will it get soggy at all?
It keeps for 1-2 days :) Curly kale is quite resistant to getting soggy I find.
The kale salad looks so colorful! I actually love raw kale, bitterness and all! This salad would be perfect for lunches!
Speaking of bulk barn…. They now have DARK CHOCOLATE COVERED CACAO NIBS!! YUMMM
wow really? they are really upping their game!
This is basically my ideal salad – the perfect summer dish, thanks for this!
The last shot of the flower, the lighting, just so pretty.
And all the salad pics, nice. The wooden bowls showcase it so pretty.
You know I am a total dork when I look at your photos not just for your recipe (which is great) but also b/c I just love gazing at your beautiful images!
And raw kale…I find that anything with enough sauce or dressing is always a good way to break people in with raw kale, raw veggies, etc…Dressing has to be really flavorful and really hearty to stand up, even sometimes mask a bit, the “taste” of raw, i.e. bitter, that some people dont like in some raw veggies. For me, I like that. But not everyone does. That’s where dressings are my BFF :)
Kale is one of my ultimate top 3 !!! (along with avocados and sweet potatos, in no particular order) so I make a lot of kale salads. and yes, if you massage the kale, it’s amazing!! i love using avocados to massage it. but if i don’t have it, i’ll use lemon juice and/or olive oil. i use Bragg’s liquid aminos to season it and it’s just aammazing. it’s even better the next day! so yep i’m with you on the kale sitch!
hello! thank you sooooo much for blogging your daily food and just everything. i’ve been reading your blog for about 3 years now. and lovin it. it has helped me so much. i found you on a search for a recipe for a green smoothie oh so long ago, something that was very foreign to me then= not at all now! i even love to eat kale raw now too, before it had to be sauteed or steamed. but now it’s great. eating healthy, making yourself healthier is all that matters! so thankful to get such a happy vibe from your site, and always can go there to read your stuff and get back on track. thank you!!!!!
check out my website if you’d like too! i paint earthy trees, abstract and colorful paintings.
Thanks Krysten! :)
I checked out your art and it’s fabulous! Your blog wouldnt let me comment for some reason but I love the tree paintings especially. Gorgeous!
I’d make the for my boyfriend…. I’d massage the kale leaves, and he’d massage my back!
YUM! I had a kale salad today with avocado, walnuts and fresh raspberries! I may have to try adding hemp seeds to bump up the protein! I’ve been making an extra salad all week for my boyfriend and I’m pretty sure I’ve converted him into a kale salad lover!
Goji berries are also called wolfberries. I buy mine in Asian specialty markets. They are sooo cheap that way! I can get a big bag for $2.
never would have thought of putting gojis in kale salad! this looks amazing, i love raw kale salads and usually just make the same type of dressing (tahini, nooch and hummus) but the extra added in really make it look even better. i’ll definitely be making this !
love kale tahini salads! this looks perfect
Maybe I’m weird, but I love the taste of raw kale – even the stems! But I do like the taste of it marinated even better. I’ve been making salads like this a lot lately. I’ve never tried your tahini dressing though – it looks delicious!
I loooooooooooooove raw kale!!!! It’s the best!
Just stocked up on kale at our Farmer’s Market! Just the thought of this salad makes me glow. :) Will be trying it soon!
The kale salad sounds delicious…always looking for another way to prepare kale! I love goji berries too! They make for great salad toppers, perfect mix-in for bars, and just alone!
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Angela, I just found your blog last week, and there are sooo many recipes I can’t wait to make! This salad was absolutely delicious! And the “marinating” technique totally works! :)
So glad you enjoyed it!
Just a piece of useless infomation: kale is better for the eyes than carrot is!
What a beautiful salad! :)
You make kale sound and look so delicious! I’ve ony tried it sauteed and baked into chips, but this salad sounds great!
And to think, I use to flick that funny looking leaf off the side of my plate!!
This looks insanely good! I’ve been loving some massaged kale salads lately but mine have NOTHING on this one. I desperately need to pick up some tahini so I can make this asap!
Beautiful pictures! I’ve never tried kale, but this makes me want to! :)
Oh so good! I like Kale, but I never knew I could take it up a notch. Loving this salad. I’ll be glowing in Texas.
Wow. Looks great. I think I am going to try it more chopped with cold quinoa!! YUM.
This salad looks great! Thanks for sharing. I do have a question: How do you wash your kale? I buy organic kale and I always see little inch worms and tiny bugs on them. I inspect each leaf and rinse in super cold water, but sometimes that doesn’t help. Any tips?
Hah! I’ll have to try covering goji berries in sugar. The other day, my boyfriend ate an entire movie theater bag of sour patch kids. I’d like to see him do that with goji berries.
So do you like kale chips or kale salad better??
I’m bringing this to a bbq tonight to serve to:
-food sensitivity peeps (gluten, dairy)
I don’t think I’ve ever had raw kale but your recipe looks great! Especially the tahini dressing. I can’t wait to try this!
Wow this salad looks awesome! I’m always looking for ways to sneak more nutrient rich foods like kale into my diet and it’s even better if they’re yummy like this :)
Thanks for the recipe Angela! Now I really look forward to lunch tomorrow. :)
I sure could use some of this right now! My glow is lack-luster. :(
I just made this GLORIOUS salad and it is so FRESH and DELICIOUS!! Just WOW! And marinating the kale? How smart are you!
Thank you!! My new fave salad!
Glad you like it so much!
I just made for dinner and it was absolutely delicious!!! My whole family really enjoyed it. I have about a serving leftover and think I might toss some chickpeas into it and have it for lunch tomorrow. Mmmm, can’t wait. I love kale but usually eat it cooked. I have noticed some batches of kale seem more bitter than others. I did use curly kale and got a really mild bunch so it tasted great raw.
Also love your lemon tahini dressing but did change it up a little bit. The last time I made the dressing I also added a splash of balsamic vinegar to my salad because there wasn’t enough dressing left and loved the combo. So instead of the water the recipe calls for I sub in balsamic vinegar for a “Lemon, Balsamic, Tahini” dressing. It brings the dressing to a whole new level of deliciousness. If you like balsamic vinegar you should definitely try it sometime :) Thanks for an awesome Kale recipe! ~Leslie
WOW – after a day of eating cookies and ice cream, I NEED this salad in my life ASAP. (In my defense, I did run a marathon this morning…).
This sounds so wonderful but I’m super envious at the same time! It’s really, really hard to find kale in Australia (I’ve found it once at the farmer’s market, at $6 for a tiny bunch), and hemp seeds are illegal here! I can still dream of this though :)
Thank you for this recipe! This dish was a hit at my family’s Fathers’ Day celebration today, even among the raw-kale-is-evil skeptics. I’m so happy to now have a way to share kale with those who tend to be intimidated by those luscious, curly leaves!
An aside: I have read your blog for some time now, and I wholeheartedly enjoy your entries. As a woman in recovery from an eating disorder that lasted many years, it is refreshing to read about your journey toward health and self-love.
Thank you! :)
this is amazing!! we loved it and hubs devoured it too, i followed your tips and finally could enjoy kale raw. this is definatly our favorite salad
Thank you for this lovely recipe (the photos are gorgeous). I just bought kale and will make a salad this week.