This salad checks all my boxes. It is delicious, nutritious and nourishing. The kale is rich in iron, vitamins and anti-inflammatories, the pumpkin seeds provide a substantial dose of zinc, and the avocado is packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fat. The best part is, it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and requires few ingredients and almost no cleanup. It’s also a great upper arm workout, which you’ll understand once you try your hand at massaging kale.

I have loved kale since I was a little girl. That said, its recent surge in popularity amuses me to no end and makes me really happy. Why happy? Because eating kale several times a week is one of the best things you can do for your health, because…SURPRISE! it is one of the most nutrient dense foods around.

As I mentioned, I’ve always had a thing for kale, but it wasn’t until last year that I was first introduced to the awesomeness of raw kale salad.

My friend’s wonderful father, knowing my love of all things green, made this special treat for me and ever since then, different variations of kale salad have worked their way into my repertoire, at least once and sometimes several times a week.

I love the texture of the tender leaves, and the delicate yet bold flavor of the raw kale. When combined with creamy avocado and crunchy pumpkin seeds it is unrivalled in taste.

Though I don’t know the exact ingredient proportions used in the original salad (and have been too shy to ask), I’ve played around with it enough to satisfy my taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of curly green kale
  • 1 head of curly red kale
  • ½ cup of toasted pepitos (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1-2 ripe avocados (diced into small cubes)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

1.     Wash kale and remove thick vein that runs through the center of each leaf

2.     Slice kale into thin slivers using a chiffonade technique

3.     Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and honey until a thin dressing forms

4.     Drizzle dressing over the raw kale and using your hands massage the kale between your palms and fingers for 3-5 minutes

5.     When kale has turned a very dark green color and is tender to touch, sprinkle toasted pumpkin on top and toss until mixed throughout

6.     Add diced avocado and gently mix in being careful not to smush the soft flesh of the fruit

 

Transfer to your favorite salad bowl or plate and garnish with leftover pumpkin seeds!

Variation:

I have played around with adding 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa to the salad to make it more of a complete meal. If you choose to go this route I recommend making extra dressing (you can eyeball it) to ensure that the quinoa absorbs the delicious flavor.