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5 Ingredient Massaged Kale Salad

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I’ve been hooked on this salad all summer. I hardly ever make recipes for myself more than once, but this one is just so easy, delicious and healthy that I keep pulling it together for dinner. It comes together in about 10 minutes and can be a light meal on its own or a side dish to anything else. Pizza and kale salad, anyone?

I wanted to show you the basics for how to make this salad, and then at the bottom I go into a bunch of different variations that you can do to spice this up, bulk it up, or turn it into a bigger meal if you’d like.

Here are the 5 ingredients you’ll need:

  1. 1 bunch kale
  2. 1 avocado
  3. 1 cucumber
  4. 1 lemon
  5. 2 -3 T Olive Oil

(I also highly recommend S&P, but those don’t count as an ingredient, right?)

The first step is to get your Kale ready. After rinsing it, you’ll want to rip all of the leaves off the stem. Don’t worry about ripping the pieces super small, you can keep them large because they’ll shrink down later.

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Next, chop your cucumber into bite-sized chunks. Add the cucumber to the large bowl with the Kale.


Then, you can cube your avocado. Here’s how to do that. With a knife, split your avocado down the middle. Remove the pit by sticking a knife into it and then pulling the knife out (technique here).


After the pit is out, you want to cube the avocado. With a butter knife, slice lengthwise and then across until your avocado looks like this:


Then, use a spoon, to remove all of your cubes. Drop them into your main salad bowl.

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The dressing is going to simply be lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let’s start with the lemon.

Half the lemon and squeeze both halves onto the kale salad. This gives it a fresh and summery taste.

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Now, add your olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Salt is very important here — make sure you use enough to truly bring out the flavors!

Now, let’s massage this salad (<— very important step!). Wash your hands and roll up your sleeves, then get your hands dirty. Spent about two minutes literally massaging the kale leaves and mushing the avocado all over the salad, so that it forms kind of like a creamy dressing. Doing this breaks down the bitterness and the harshness of the kale leaves and makes it extra delicious.


Test to make sure you don’t need to add any additional olive oil, salt, or pepper, and then serve it up!


Fantastic additions:

– really, really good grated cheese. We added an aged Manchego a few weeks ago and it was incredible!

– nuts: toasted walnuts, almonds, cashews, any nuts you have laying around

– protein: make this a bigger, more complete meal by adding grilled shrimp, chicken or steak


**It’s okay if you eat this entire thing by yourself. It has been known to happen.

Like Kale Salad? Here’s another recipe I did a while ago. 

Enjoy this!

In the comments below, I’d love to know… how do you feel about kale? Do you love it? Know nothing about it? Are you sick of it? Have any kale recipes you love? Let’s talk kale today…

P.S. We start Month Two of the Love Shack tomorrow!! Get signed up here to be a part of what will be an amazing month.




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  1. Barb Ness says

    My favorite thing to make with kale is kale chips. It’s a bit laborious but I’ve learned to enjoy the time I spend working with my hands on something that is good for me & others (they are scarfed up by everyone). I learned about massaging kale from my raw foods chef friend. I had never heard of it before. It’s great that you just shared that because I agree the bitterness isn’t for everyone. Massaging really helps. And the other simple but heavenly ingredients (I am an avocado bloodhound). I recall kale is very high in a particular vitamin (D?). My husband loves to put it in soups. I sometimes juice with it as well but the taste is so strong, I probably should use less or use more of other items. Thanks for the great recipe. I will try it this week!

    • Jamie says

      You are such a kale rockstar Barb! Thanks for all the ideas and insight! I haven’t ever tried making Kale Chips but I may add that to the list. xoxo.

  2. Francesca says

    These pictures look awesome Jamie! I love your new camera! Oh, and I’m definitely going to be making this salad this week. Did you ever add nutritional yeast? I bet that would be good too! <3

    • Jamie says

      Thanks girlie!! I don’t ever add Nutritional Yeast, but I’m sure it would be good! 🙂 xoxo.

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This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

I mainly write about Inner CriticSelf-CareFollowing Your IntuitionLife + Evolving, and the occasional Recipe. Enjoy!