Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

Let’s play a little game called “2 Truths & a Lie”… It’s fun & it lets you get to know me better.  I’m gonna give you 3 statements, 2 of which are true and one of which is not, and you have to pick out the lie.  Ready?

  1. In Philippines you can get a 1 hour massage for $5.
  2. I get a $5 massage every week.
  3. You should massage your kale before using it raw in a salad.

So which one is not true?

Actually, and unfortunately, #2 is the un-truth.  I really don’t take advantage of the inexpensive massages at home. No reason… I should… I just don’t.

But let’s talk about #3, shall we?  This really is the truth!!  Has anyone ever massaged their kale before??  If you have, just skip down to the recipe part because I promise you it’s good.  But if you haven’t, read on… because mashing up your raw leafy veggies with your hands is definitely gonna need some justification!!

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

You would not want to do this to any type of lettuce- it’s way too tender.  But kale… kale tends to be tough & bitter, and needs some softening up.  Rubbing some acid (usually lemon or lime juice, and some type of vinegar) into its leaves, along with a bit of olive oil, does the trick and helps break down the tough fibers.  You might feel strange getting your hands into the salad leaves like this, but believe me, it’s what you need to do.

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

The kale will shrink a lot during the massage, so start with more leaves than you think you need.  I used about 5 cups of baby kale and it shrunk to about 3 cups.  This was enough for a large lunch salad for myself, but it could also easily serve more as a side salad.

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

Since kale has a strong flavour, you’ll want to add some contrasting toppings.  Like avocado!  And cashews!  And red bell pepper!  This combination is to die for: smooth, creamy avocado… sweet, crunchy cashews… crisp, sweet red pepper… it’s a match made in heaven.  And the zingy lime juice in the dressing really pops the flavour of the whole salad.  If you want to go further (and also make it an even heartier salad,) feel free to add some feta cheese & dried cranberries.  Not like I’ve tried it or anything.  But it would be fabulous.

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

If  you make this salad, think of me in Philippines, not getting my $5 massages… but massaging my kale instead.  Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1-2 large servings or 3-4 side-dish servings

Kale Salad with Avocado, Cashews, & Sherry Lime Vinaigrette


    For the dressing:
  • juice of ½ lime (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or sherry cooking wine
  • ½ tablespoon agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • salt & pepper to taste
    For the salad:
  • 5 cups kale, washed, dried, & stems removed (or use baby kale)
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons roasted cashew halves
  • 1/8 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
  • Optional ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 ounce feta cheese


    To make the dressing & massage the kale:
  • Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl & set aside.
  • Toss 1-2 tablespoons dressing with the kale leaves and massage it in with your fingers for about 2 minutes or until kale wilts a bit & turns a darker green color.
  • Set aside to soften even more while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
    To assemble the salad:
  • Pile the massaged kale on a serving plate.
  • Arrange the other ingredients over the top of the kale.
  • Drizzle with additional dressing & serve immediately.
  • Makes 1-2 large servings or 3-4 side-dish servings.
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    • says

      Thanks, Aunt Amy!! Yes, do it, you guys will love it! I recommend adding the additional toppings… feta, dried cranberries… you really can’t go wrong. Enjoy! 🙂 xoxo

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