A while ago I saw Rip Esselstyn suggest making salad by mixing avocado, lemon juice, and kale in The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue on Netflix and ever since, it’s been my favorite way to make salad because it’s simple, healthy, and delicious.
Raw kale on its own isn’t my favorite because it can be tough and hard to chew, but if you massage it first with lemon juice and avocado, it becomes soft and much easier to eat. If you don’t really like kale but haven’t tried massaging it first–give it another go–it’s much better this way!
This salad is a remake of one of my favorite entrees at Ruggles Green, a restaurant in the Woodlands that I often eat at when I’m in town visiting family. Adding extras like chopped veggies, dried fruit, and seeds takes kale avocado salad to a whole new level of delicious! And it’s colorful, packed with nutrients, and tastes amazing! I love the combination of the creamy avocado dressing with some spice from the red onion, sweetness from the strawberries and dried mango, and crunchiness from the toasted pumpkin seeds. I also added barberries–I add them to everything lately because they are packed with antioxidants and may help improve acne.
I usually don’t measure anything when I make this salad, and feel free to tweak it to your liking–add more or less avocado depending on how creamy you want the dressing, add other fruit (like raisins instead of mango or grapes instead of strawberries) or chopped veggies (you can sub red cabbage for red onions if you don’t want any spice) or add your favorite seeds or nuts. The possibilities are endless!
If you make this salad, let me know what you think and/or post a photo on Instagram and tag me (@pennysportal)!
- 5 cups de-stemmed, chopped kale (~100g/3 medium leaves)
- Juice from ½ lemon (~2-3 Tablespoons/30-44 ml)
- ½ medium avocado (~90g)
- ½ roma tomato (~50g)
- 2-3 strawberries, chopped
- ¼ cup sliced red onions (~25g)
- ¼ cup chopped dried mango (~30g)
- ¼ cup shredded or chopped carrots (~20g)
- ⅛ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1 Tablespoon barberries (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). If the kale isn't pre-chopped, chop kale and remove stems.
- Add chopped kale, avocado, and lemon juice to a bowl. Mash the avocado with your hands and massage the kale with avocado and lemon juice until kale is soft and thoroughly coated.
- Put pumpkin seeds on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Slice red onions, chop tomato, strawberries, and mango, and chop or shred carrots.
- Add the tomato, onions, mango, carrots, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, and barberries to the kale avocado mixture. Mix everything together and serve.