Kale Salad: Food or Punishment?

by Julia Zdrojewski

Growing up, I wasn’t exactly what you would call a lover of vegetables, but now that I’m older (and perhaps wiser), I have learned that veggies aren’t a punishment. In fact, kale salads are an easy and delicious way to starting hitting your veggie quota. Here are five tips to help transform your kale salad from something you despise to something you (occasionally) desire. KALE YEAH!

1. Use lacinato kale instead of curly kale

There are two different types of kale out there, so it’s important to know which one you’re dealing with. First there is curly kale.

Personally, I think curly kale tastes a bit like a tree and isn’t the easiest to chew, which means the more edible kale for a salad is…Lacinato kale!


Sorry, not sorry, curly kale. Lacinato is cool for a lot of reasons; one being that is comes with an awesome variety of alternative names. Lacinato kale aka Tuscan kale aka DINO KALE has a sweeter taste to it and is less fibrous than curly kale, which makes it the clear winner here.

Lacinato Kale Salad Recipe- Marin Mama Cooks

2. “Massage” the Kale

 Yes, this is an actual thing. No, your kale doesn’t have knots that need to be worked out, but giving your kale a nice rubdown is the easiest way to turn the leaves from rough and tough to soft and sweet by breaking down the cellulose structure.

Sidenote: Talking to your kale may also prove helpful when trying to tear down its rough outer structure. Ask it how its day was. Be tender. Get to know your kale, because, you know that saying — a little effort goes a long way!


Massaged Kale Recipe- Food Network

3. Put the kale in oil and salt for 30 minutes


You may have thought I was joking about kale having outer structures that need to be broken through, but it’s true! Kale has a specific, waxy coating that tends to protect it from poor weather conditions, but that means that it’s also protected from soaking in other ingredients. By mixing it with just a little oil and salt, and letting that sit for 30 minutes before continuing on your salad quest, you are actually softening the salad, giving it a better texture and ensuring that it will taste that much better once things like dressings are added.

Tuscan Kale Salad- Dr. Weil’s Healthy Kitchen

Which brings us to tip #4… 

4. Dressing!

I really load the dressing on, which probably defeats the purpose of actually eating a kale salad, but whatever. Dressing is the greatest, and when it comes to kale salad the dressings that work the best tend to be heavier due to the strength of the leaves.

Kale & Parmesan Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing- Cooksmarts.com

 5. Mix it with a dessert! 

Okay, so maybe this is cheating and not a salad. Womp. What can I say? Sometimes you just need to trick yourself into eating the green stuff. 

Either way, kale is really good for you. I promise. It’s high in fiber, iron, vitamin K, A, C and calcium! If you really can’t take the thought of eating a kale salad, try sneaking it into a dessert. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference. *

 *Emphasis on probably.

Kale Brownies- Chocolate Covered Katie

So there you have it- 5 tips to turn your kale salad from drab to fab!

Get your kale on and enjoy!

Images from top to bottom via Marin Mama Cooks, Camel Community Supported Agriculture, Sigona Farmers Market, Freshfoodinaflash.com, theskinnyconfidential.com, littlekitchenbigflavors.com, littlekitchenbigflavors.com, 35daysofkale.com

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