Massaged Avocado Kale Salad

So today, I was sitting at my kitchen table, sipping tea and doing everything I could to avoid the massive assignment I have time “off” this week to work on. As usual, I was thinking about food and trying to decide what I wanted for lunch, when I remembered this amazingly delicious massaged kale salad I had at a potluck over the summer. Suddenly the most important thing in my life was learning how exactly you make a massaged kale salad. The name itself is intriguing enough, and it’s exactly what it sounds like-you massage the kale. I repeat, you literally massage the kale.

I’m not going to bore you to death with the health benefits of kale because it’s such an “in” veggie right now, so I’m sure you’ve heard from a million and a half people that it’s good for you and you should eat it. Well, the truth is this nutrient-filled powerhouse of a green can be a little tough to chew, and while I’m basically a bunny rabbit and will naw on just about any raw veggie, I know not everyone is as weird as I am.

This recipe is a great way to add in some raw kale to your diet (we talked in this post about what happens to the nutrient content when you cook your veggies) and maybe mix up your daily salad! I love greens and usually have a salad for lunch every day based with green, leafy veggies such as spinach and arugula and this salad is such a nice way to mix it up (ha! I’m so punny….) and keep your taste buds happy.

Not only did I find this salad surprisingly more delicious than I was expecting, but I found it relaxing to make.  As some of you may know, my favorite thing to bake is bread, largely because there is something truly cathartic about working with my hands, digging in and getting a little messy.  It can be a really nice way to help reduce your stress, and have a little fun getting your hands ‘dirty’.  If you have kids this can also be a fun way to get them involved in the process!

Now I know what you’re all thinking…you’d rather be the one getting a massage then giving it to a bowl of greens, trust me I’m right there with you, but sometimes your greens need a little extra lovin’ too and we all need to eat.

A note about the recipe….it’s not so much a recipe as it is some loose guidelines, because I was just too excited to measure everything out and it should be based on what YOU like and also what you have in your fridge. There’s nothing wrong with an ‘everything but the kitchen sink salad’, absolutely nothing.

Massaged Avocado Kale Salad 

Recipe

  • ~8 cups or 1 heaping salad bowl of kale, tough stalks removed (I buy prechopped)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 fresh squeezed lemon for juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon/whole grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat couscous or other grain
  • Fresh veggies to mix in, I only added carrots and red onion for time’s sake

Instructions

1. Rinse kale and chop (if not purchased prechopped). Remove the stalky veins so you don’t have to naw on them. (You could totally save these to add to a stir fry or something!)

2. Mix together the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and mustard in a separate dish and mash/mix it all together. If these flavors don’t appeal to you, the general rule of thumb for making homemade dressing is a 2:1 ratio of olive oil:lemon juice (or vinegar of your choice). You could keep it basic with the oil and lemon juice, or spice it up with some curry, chili powder, or whatever you have lurking in the depths of your cupboards!

It tastes much better than it looks, I promise!

It tastes much better than it looks, I promise!

 

3. Add the dressing to the kale and now comes the fun part. Actually, first wash your hands because things are about to get a little handsy. Next, role up your sleeves and start massaging. Yes, I mean actually stick your hands in the bowl and rub the dressing into the kale. You will lose about half the volume in this process, and I ended up adding a few more handfuls of kale as this happened. I massaged mine for about 6 minutes (I was listening to Jack Johnson and it was about 2 songs, feel free to do the same). The time will depend on the type of kale and size of the pieces of course, but it should be kind of limp and completely coated in dressing. Try some, and if its still tough, keep going.

massaged kale

My massage left the kale nice and limp and relaxed….as any good massage you leave you.

 

4. Chop your other veggies and add them in. I had just made a pot of whole wheat cous-cous with an herb blend so I added that in along with some roasted squash seeds I made a few days prior and some random chickpeas I had in my fridge.

5. That’s it! Scoop into a bowl and gobble it up, pack it up for lunch and hide it from your roommate (or share if you’re really nice)!

 

What’s your favorite way to eat your daily greens??

Peas and Love<3

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