Dressings and Marinades lunch

The “I Don’t Like Kale” Kale Salad

Want to convert a kale naysayer? The secret is in the massage (and this salad!)

What’s with the name? Well, my dad literally said “Wow, I actually like kale!” after taking a bite. I’m telling you: kale is the Brussels sprout of the millennial generation. A divisive vegetable whose only crime is being incredibly easy to prepare poorly. The secret to kale permanently having the beloved superfood status it deserves is in the massage (and this salad!)

Also, for those of you thinking, of course your dad said he liked your salad because he is your dad: let me level with you. This man unabashedly returns Christmas and birthday gifts I get him if he doesn’t like them. So we can take him at his word he’s a kale convert through this salad.


(Makes 2 good sized salads)

  • 12 oz kale, chopped
  • 4 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 cup dried fruit (I chose blueberries)
  • Handful almonds, roughly chopped
  • Optional – sprinkle of parmesan


  1. Put kale in bowl with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic or garlic powder. Wash your hands, then massage your kale for 2 minutes.
  2. How? Think of kneading dough, or, simply squeezing the kale in your fists. Two minutes feels long to do something strange like touch kale, but, hey, it’s the secret sauce of this recipe (and making kale edible in general). You’ll notice your kale turn a deeper green and get softer.
  3. Once it’s massaged to your liking, add the dried fruit, almonds, and cheese (if you’re into dairy). Enjoy!


The first two steps are how you should be making kale every single time. The toppings can change, but the massaging of kale needs to be a constant if you’re going to feed yourself or others kale salad. Otherwise, it’s gross— rough, bitter, and fully deserving of its bad wrap.

Trader Joe’s makes pre-cut kale that’s perfect for salads!

What am I listening to as I make this?la la la that’s how it goes” by HONNE

What can I learn while I make this? I hear so much about the health benefits of kale that I’m almost immunized to their shock value, but this fun fact stopped me in my tracks. Kale is loaded with nutrients, including having more vitamin C than an orange. Wow! Learn more.

What if I want an easy lunch but not this one?

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes, poems, and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Sneak a peek below:

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