My Go-To Kale Salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 12, 2012

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Lately, I’ve had a few requests to blog about some of my favourite quick and easy lunches. This made me laugh at first because many of my lunches involve standing over a stove sampling the recipes I’m testing that day and then inhaling the cold food that’s left on the plate after a long photo shoot. That’s just how many days go around here, but I’ve been making more of an effort to take time out for lunch and make sure I’m eating a balanced, less rushed meal.

This kale salad is something I’ve been enjoying for lunch over the past few weeks. When I get on a certain lunch kick, I’m basically happy eating it every day until I get tired of it and move on. I figured it was time to share my little lunchtime obsession with you today. The beauty of a kale salad is that the leaves don’t wilt (like romaine, for example), making it something you can prepare ahead of time and pack for lunch. Plus, the longer it sits, the softer the leaves get. Win-win. I love to serve it with fruit and/or crackers and hummus.

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Here is my no-brainer “recipe” for making a massaged kale salad.

1 tbsp oil (I love flax, hemp, or avocado oil for dressings) + 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp pure maple syrup. Massage into the kale leaves. Let this “marinate” while you prep the vegetables.

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While the kale is “marinating”, I get busy chopping up a storm! Whatever veggies I have in the crisper go into my salads. Right now, I’m loving celery, pomegranate, radish, red onion, and avocado. I also love to sprinkle on hemp seeds for extra protein.


Throw it all together and you have one of my favourite kale salads, ready in minutes!

Sharing is optional (and highly discouraged…bahah)


My Go-To Kale Salad

Email, text, or print this recipe

Yield: 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings


  • 4 cups (packed) torn kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 tbsp hemp, flax, or avocado oil (or use extra virgin olive oil in a pinch)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • Herbamare (or sea salt) and cayenne pepper, to taste



  • 1 radish, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 large avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp hemp seeds


1. Tear leaves off kale stems and discard stems. You can save the stems for juicing or blending if you wish. Break leaves into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly.

2. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle on the dressing ingredients (oil, lemon, maple syrup). With your hands, “massage” the dressing into the kale until all leaves are coated. Sprinkle on Herbamare (or sea salt) and a touch of cayenne pepper if desired.

3. While the salad marinates, chop the vegetables. Mix into kale and serve, topped with hemp seeds if you desire.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

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Rachel November 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Some of my favourite ingredients in all in one bowl. I love how there’s still local kale around too! I’ve been eating it like a rabbit but like this flavour combo. Will try!


Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian November 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I am not a fan of raw kale, or salads with lettuce for that reason…maybe I should give this a try.


Joanna @ Running Places November 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I especially love the quick “dressing” recipe. I always find myself blanking on that lately. I will remember this!


kaity @ kaityscooking November 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

i love kale but never had it raw so i followed your recipe to a T just left out radishes bc i dont really like them but it was AMAZING! im addicted thank you!


Brooke Melikidse November 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

Again your photos are amazing!! What would you suggest as the top 3 things anyone could do to improve their photography? Books to read? Help:)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

Thank you Brooke!

I’m assuming you mean food photography so here are some of my tips….1) turn off all indoor lighting (make photos yellow) and shoot by a window with diffused light, 2) colourful foods look the best so keep that in mind when making recipes, try to add a couple props to the photo to add interest, such as a serving utensil, mug of tea, fresh herbs…whatever you think enhances the food itself. have fun!


Brooke Melikidse November 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

No indoor lighting! Wow I had no idea. Thanks for all the great tips!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I know right? I never knew about it until I did some reading on it a while back. Turning off the indoor lights really takes the yellow out of photos. Natural lighting all the way!


Carole November 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Made your kale salad tonight for dinner with some grilled steelhead trout. It was fabulous. Thank you!! Can’t wait to try more recipes!


Full Flavored Life November 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I made this tonight! It was very fresh and delicious!


Cookie and Kate November 15, 2012 at 12:36 am

One can never have too many kale salad recipes and this looks like an absolute winner. Beautiful, Angela!


Miron Alexandru November 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

That avocado comes with a lot of good fats :)


Christiane November 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Absolutely incredible salad! I just made it and it’s super healthy, tasty and fresh!
Thank you for sharing :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


Radhika Sarohia November 26, 2012 at 3:00 am

This kale salad looks delicious
I think avocado tastes amazing and spectacular on salads

I’m lazy and make my kale salads exactly like I make my spinach salads, with tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions and then tons of vegan parmesan and vegan dressing from Whole Foods (vegan ranch or this other creamy vegan white one they have.)


cheale November 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Love the salad’tude! Gorgeous array of colors … makes me crave it! Thank you for sharing!


Melissa May 29, 2013 at 7:19 am

I have a question. I have been trying to incorporate more greens into my diet. I know kale is by far one of the best vegetables to eat because its so nutritious and healthy. I tried a kale salad and found it incredibly bitter. I couldn’t finish the salad. Do you have any pointers on how to make kale edible for someone who can’t tolerate kale? I’ll definitely try your recipes though. I’m looking forward to it. I’m a huge an of your blog and your recipes. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

hey Melissa, I used to think that about kale too and then it grew on me with time. That said, I recommend this kale salad for beginners:


Shannon June 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Hi Angela,
I just linked to this recipe in my latest post on inspiring ways to incorporate greens. Thanks for making delectable meals that make it easy to stay on track!


Katherine July 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

This recipe is so yummy! I made some modifications though: Added a clove of minced garlic, fresh chopped parsley, thinly sliced carrots, lemon zest and white wine vinegar.


Bridgeen January 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Sometimes for breakfast I steam kale ( not for long just abound two minutes) then I make a breakfast bowl with craisins, diced apples and hemp seeds ( or crushed almonds instead of hemp for a crunch) . It’s delicious


michelle March 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm

I made this tonight with extra vegetables for a potluck dinner. So delicious!


Lynn December 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Thank you for the massaged kale recipe! I made mine with mushrooms, oranges and pecans.


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