Massaged Kale Salad…Happy Endings for Everyone!!

KaleSalad1Let me apologize for the long gaps between posts.  Sometimes…life gets in the way.  New job, old obligations, family, school and everything else under the sun can all be blamed for my absence…but I’m here now!!!

So let us get to the good stuff.  I have been partaking in the green smoothie movement, drinking delicious kale, spinach or collard smoothies most mornings, and feeling great.  However, I have been hesitant to eat kale in any other form, not even cooked.  In my quest for better health, and a swimsuit bod for my wedding anniversary trip to Mexico…I have been searching the blogosphere for healthy recipes.  This is how I came across the idea of a massaged kale salad, searching the internet.  I was looking for a recipe for chocolate almond butter, and there was a link on the page for massaged kale salad.  Of course I was intrigued, just because the kale was being massaged. I challenge any of you to say otherwise!

So, I googled “massaged kale” to see what was going on and found a great article describing what it actually is.  To “massage” the kale means exactly what it says, massaging the leaves to break them down and make them more palatable.  What I did was sprinkle the leaves with sea salt and olive oil.  Then I massaged them the heck out of them.  They started out looking like this:

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When I was done, it looked like this:

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When you start massaging the leaves they begin to release an almost lemony scent!  If I could wear it as a fragrance, I would, Eau de Kale.

Anyway, one massage later, a few veggies and a bit of cheese later, I had a salad, and it was good!  Hubby loved it, and that’s always the seal of approval.  I am sure that there are so many variations to a kale salad and I have probably only touched the tip of the iceberg.  As I continue to contemplate making the transition to vegetarianism, I am tasked with finding foods that are not just filling, but tasty and healthy also.  This salad will not replace a delicious, dry-aged steak, but it will satisfy in an entirely different way.

So, enough of my ramblings…here is my recipe for massaged kale salad.  I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of kale leaves.  (I bought a bag of kale leaves already cut up.  Find it in the produce section)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 up chopped walnuts
  • 1 small bell pepper (I used three baby sweet peppers), diced.
  • 1 medium avocado, diced.
  • 1 shallot, diced.
  • 1 cup of garbanzo beans (if using canned beans, be sure to rinse them first)
  • 1 large or 3 small seedless cucumbers, diced.
  • 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar ( I used a fig balsamic and it was delicious!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded medium asiago cheese

Instructions

Add kale to a large bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and olive oil.  Using your hands, massage leaves until they are coated with oil.  Continue to massage until leaves begin to look almost wilted.  Add remaining ingredients to kale mixture and combine.

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Here is the thing, this salad holds up well over night because the leaves don’t wilt like lettuce leaves.  So if you want to make it for lunch, skip the massage step, mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.  The leaves will break down on their own, just as if they were gently massaged.

Enjoy!!

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