Kale salads, I love ‘em. The funny thing is, I used to hate kale! Now I proudly proclaim it to be my favorite veggie. Yesterday was my first full day vegan for the 7-day vegan challenge. During this challenge my goal is to show others that eating vegan can be easy and delicious- this includes the many yummy ways you can prepare the super nutrient-filled, versatile dark leafy green kale.
A fellow blogger, reader and now real-life friend, Dani asked me to do a how-to on my beloved massaged kale salads. I thought it was a great idea, being that kale salads are one of my vegan staples, but somehow I have never written about them.
Maybe because they’re so darn easy I didn’t think anyone would be interested. But I think I was wrong there- because they’re easy I think more people should be interested! Filled with raw green goodness and packed with flavor, kale salads are versatile and filling. They are a staple in my diet and hopefully they will become a staple in yours.
Like I said before, I used to hate kale. I thought it was bitter and too chewy for my taste. I liked it hidden in soups and stews, but raw? No way! Then I discovered massaged kale salads. I know “massaged” sounds a bit funky for a green vegetable, doesn’t it? But trust me on this one. You “massage” the greens with your favorite fat or oil and lots of other yummy seasonings until the greens “wilt” and have a “cooked” texture- but they’re still full of all their healthy raw enzymes and nutrients! It’s the best of both worlds.
The process goes a little something like this…
Step 1: Start with some kale. Tear into bite sized pieces, wash and dry well.
(This has already been torn, washed and salad spun)
Step 2: Gather your ingredients.
Must haves: Kale, avocado (or favorite oil), fresh lemon juice (cuts the bitterness!), tamari (or shoyu/sea salt), seasonings of choice- I like garlic powder and cayenne.
Optional ingredients: Olive oil, sea salt, raw/toasted seeds or nuts.
Step 3: Throw your washed kale in a large bowl. Chop avocado and add to kale. Add tamari/salt and seasonings to taste. Juice lemon, pour desired amount over top.
Step 4: Massage that baby! Using two hands (I was photographing, so I only used one to demonstrate- much easier with two!), “massage” the avocado (or oil) and seasonings into the kale.
Squeeze as you go along, make sure to mash the avocado well and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Continue massaging until kale begins to “wilt” and get soft.
You WILL get messy. It’s part of the fun!
Massage until kale is to your desired consistency. I don’t massage mine too much, because I am used to the texture of raw kale by now. But for beginners, the more you massage, the more it feels “cooked”.
Step 5: Add toppings as desired. I added some spicy roasted chickpeas to mine!
Tada! A delicious hearty lunch. I like to have mine with some carrots and home made hummus on the side. Tasty and vegan!
Basic massaged Kale Salad
~3 cups curly kale, washed and dried
1/4-1/2 an avocado, or 1-2 tbsp oil
1-2 tb fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tb tamari or shoyu, or large pinch sea salt
Sprinkle of seasonings, to taste.
Optional toppings: raw/toasted nuts and seeds, beans or roasted chickpeas
Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Massage with hands until well incorporated and kale begins to “wilt”. Enjoy immediately!
Do you like kale? How about kale salads? What is your favorite way to eat your greens?
[Read more about my challenge here and the challenge overall on Morgan's blog]