Nourishing Flourishing

5 Minute Massaged Kale Salad and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

3 Apr

Yesterday it was 80* in Boulder. The floor of our porch singed my feet. We walked in the sun. We napped in the park. Absolute bliss. I scrounged our kitchen for something to celebrate this Spring-esque glory, as it is certainly not yet Spring — snow is heading our way today (thanks Colorado, xoxo). All I knew was I wanted something fresh/raw, easy, and fast. This salad is quickly becoming a daily star in our home — snack, lunch, dinner…breakfast? (Sorry. It’s good leftover.) I always have the ingredients handy, and I absolutely love the flavor, texture, and the effect it has after I eat it… This is how I feel with all the green goodness and enzymatic cideriness inside of me:

Even my BFF Manfriend devours it enthusiastically — and he’s from the Midwest! (JK, Midwesterners…sort of. I know your cheese, beef, and canned soup-lovin’ ways!) Fun fact: BFF Manfriend hated the following before marrying me:

- tomatoes
- salad
- Mexican food
- salsa
- chunky marinara (are you catching the tomato theme here?)
- celery
- sweet potatoes
- olives
- ok, any raw vegetable…
- yeah, and most cooked vegetables, too…
- KALE

Just sayin’. Clearly I’m doing my part for the world… ; ) This salad and dressing may not be terribly exotic (do you already have a similar staple?), but it is so refreshing, and so healthy, I wanted to share it anyway. I am certain I can’t be the only one to put these 5 ingredients together, so I confess this most likely is not my most creative attempt, per se. I feel a little guilty even calling this a recipe, as it’s laughably simple.

Ingredients:
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
2 Tb agave (or honey)
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 large (or 2 small-medium) bunch(es) kale
1 small apple

Recipe:
1) Strip kale stems of leaves, and tear into bite size pieces (1-2″ or so). Set aside. (Use stems for another recipe or compost.)
2) Whisk agave (or honey) and vinegar together until it dissolves.
3) Whisk in oil.
4) Pour dressing over kale, and begin massaging into leaves with fingers.
5) Cut apple into small chunks and add to salad. Serve.

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That’s it! You can always drizzle a little more agave/honey directly onto the salad if you find the dressing too sharp. The longer it sits, the more flavor the kale absorbs (but the more it softens, too). This is an excellent dish to bring to a potluck, or throw together at the last minute to complement a meal.

One of the reasons I find kale to be worthy of my affection is it’s amazing nutritional profile, specifically its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are vital for those of us with autoimmune diseases and disorders. It’s also surprisingly impressive as a source of protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, K, C, and B! (<– Transport back to Sesame Street.) One last persuasion: it’s fairly inexpensive — even as organic — and can be found year-round, even in cold winter months!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you pretending it’s Spring too?


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45 Responses to “5 Minute Massaged Kale Salad and Apple Cider Vinaigrette”

  1. Cameo April 3, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    I adore simple and delicious. Kale is amazing. Apples – a standby. And the dressing sounds divine. I am sure your skin is loving it too!

  2. Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 3, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    I love adding apples to my salads! It’s such a crisp flavor, and it would definitely go well with kale. Awesome salad recipe, and a perfect summer dish! :)

  3. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 3, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    That looks really good!

    Did you have fun “massaging” it?

  4. Sarah April 3, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    Mmmm….I would love to make this salad, but I know I couldn’t digest it. I love kale and eat it every day, but I absolutely can’t eat it raw. I have to cook it for at least 30 sec – 1 min or else it doesn’t digest. Is that weird? Even the massaging doesn’t work for me. I find it so very odd that I live on vegetables, and eat heaps of greens every day, yet I can’t eat kale in this way! Kale’s superpowers are apparently stronger than my stomach.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 3, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      Oh, that’s awful :( Perhaps you could steam it, and then add the dressing and apple? I am sure it would be just as tasty, with a slightly different texture. Shucks!

  5. Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher April 3, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    What kind of a person doesn’t like Mexican food?!!! Say it ain’t so! Please tell me he’s changed his ways!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 3, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      That’s what I said!!! Yes, he has. Like I said, doing my part for the world — haha ;) One bite of my enchiladas and the man wants to LIVE off them! *WIN*

  6. Katie (quick cook rice) April 3, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I have a love affair with kale, and Soon-to-Be-J.D. knows about it, but pretty much has to deal because he hates veggies. UGH! So jealous of your weather.

  7. Pure2raw twins April 3, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Love kale salads!! One of my favorites. And we have gotten our family to enjoy them too ;) And yes I have changed my BF’s eating habits ever since we started dating!! haha definitely doing the world some good there showing that eating healthy can be tasty!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 3, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      I got my brother to practically faint over this, but I have a feeling the rest of the family might abandon ship on this one — ever since the Kale Chip Incident of 2010, they don’t trust my leafy greens… At least I know I’ve done my part for a few people, bahaha ;)

  8. Liz @ iheartvegetables April 3, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    That salad looks delicious! And I can totally confirm that the midwest is meat/cheese CRAZY!!! I’m always trying to convince my dad to eat more salad!!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 3, 2011 at 11:29 am #

      Hahaha! Yep. We joke about it all the time. I think we analyzed the main food groups of the Midwest as:
      - Beef
      - Cheese
      - Fake Cheese (Velveeta and American)
      - Potatoes
      - Ranch dressing
      - Soda

      I know there have to be some veggie-lovers out there though! Right?! ;)

  9. Natalie @ Will Jog for Food April 3, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I’ve always wanted to try the massaged kale! This is on my shopping list for sure :)

  10. lauren @ spiced plate April 3, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    yum! kale is always so blissful. what a great salad and vinaigrette!

  11. Natalia - a side of simple April 3, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    The though of a “massaged” salad always makes me laugh. Your dressing and the addition of apples does sound delicious, though!

  12. Gillian April 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Love the idea of putting apple in with the kale, this looks delish!

  13. kate@ahealthypassion April 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    massaged kale salads are my favorite I seriously just got done eating one!

  14. Jen April 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I went through a phase when I made a massaged kale salad to go with my meal almost every night. I never do that anymore! I haven’t had kale in too long! Thank you for reminding me of how spectacular it is. Oh, and I love the apple addition! One of my favorite vegan cafes used to add grapefruit segments to their kale salad. It tasted great!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 4, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      I hear it’s all the rage to add citrus to kale, and I can see why; it softens it like the ACV does here. I love the crunch of apple… you know me and crunch though ;)

  15. Tessa @ Amazing Asset April 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    This sounds like the perfect spring time “treat!” I don’t usually eat kale but will be trying it in my next salad. Thanks for the idea :D

  16. Michelle {the lively kitchen} April 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    I love kale, even though I’ve had two freak accidents involving kale in the last year. I will not be deterred…. :)

    I tend to use most of my kale in smoothies and kale chips, but am starting to enjoy kale salads too. Thanks for an easy recipe!

  17. Holly @ The Runny Egg April 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m from the midwest and I can say that this statement is true: “I know your cheese, beef, and canned soup-lovin’ ways” :)

  18. Michaela April 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Made it. Ate it. (all of it) and LOVED it!!!! Miss you guys and now whenever I eat apples and kale I can be reminded of you. We are so happy to see you sharing all of these lovely recipes and lifestyle tips. Thanks for a new weekly favorite!

  19. Lisa April 5, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    This salad was faulous! My whole family thought so, too. Which is a miracle, considering I have a 9 y/o and 5 y/o. The only thing I did different was to add dried cherries so that it would more closely match a salad that I love at the Whole Foods salad buffet. It was delicious and so easy. We will make this again. Thank you!

  20. Heba @ My Life in a Pyramid April 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I <3 kale. Just made kale chips the other day and have been totally obsessed. I put it in my salads all the time … love how you paired it with apples!

  21. Ashley Benson September 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    This dressing sounds great! I’m always looking for ways to use Apple Cider Vinegar. I may add this salad to my Health & Fitness Vacation menu in St. Augustine, FL this November!

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