This crunchy kale salad with cranberries is great as a side dish or light lunch. With options for gluten free and paleo tweaks, this kale salad with cranberries will fit most any diet plan. It’s a great lunch or side dish salad.
A couple of years ago a lovely woman named Pua introduced me to a kale salad with cranberries that I fell in love with – and I don’t love kale.
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As I watched her make the salad, she shared the recipe with me in a “little of this, little of that” kind of way.
I made a big batch of it today, duplicating her instructions, and noted the measurements so that I could share.
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Massaged kale salad with cranberries
Why massage the kale? It may be counterintuitive, but massaging the sturdy kale leaves makes them more palatable.
Massaged kale salad has still got a nice crunch to it — it’s just a little bit more…relaxed.
If you cook by feel, I totally recommend that you just eyeball the amount of ingredients. This is not a finicky recipe at all.
The finished salad has a lovely earthy flavor and I find that I crave it.
If I have it made in the fridge I keep going back for “just a bit more.” But there’s nothing wrong with snacking on kale all day, right? Especially if it’s straight from the garden!
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Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries
Cranberries help offset the bitterness of kale in this salad.
- 12 curly kale leaves
- 3 T. olive oil
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (Substitute coconut aminos if you're gluten free)
- 1/2 very ripe avocado
- 1/2-3/4 cup of add-ins: sunflower seeds, pepitos, dried cranberries, nuts - whatever you like
- 1-2 T. feta cheese (optional)
Remove the stem from the kale leaves. Thoroughly wash and dry the leaves, then tear them into bite sized pieces.
Place leaves in a big bowl along with the olive oil. Lomi - or massage - the kale leaves.
Add the lemon juice and Bragg's; lomi some more. Add the avocado; lomi more. The avocado will add a bit of creaminess to the salad. Toss in the remaining ingredients.
The add-ins are totally flexible. Try various nuts, different dried fruit, a bit of nutritional yeast, fresh slices of apple; really, the only limit here is your imagination.
More ways to use kale
- Try these roasted vegetables with kale.
- Saute the leaves with a bit of olive oil and garlic until they’re tender, then add eggs for a breakfast scramble. I use two leaves for three eggs. No use overdoing it and making everyone hate kale.
- Stir into marinara sauce. Kale disappears beautifully in marinara sauce – I use 6-8 leaves for a big stock pot. The people who don’t love kale don’t even know it’s there.
- Ditto for soups. I’ve stirred it into minestrone style vegetable soups and cream based chowders with equal success.
- Add two or three leaves to a green salad.
- Toss several leaves into the pot when you’re making chicken or beef stock.
- Add a leaf or two to fruit smoothies.
- Make these savory muffins with kale and chive.