Kale salad starter | food prep makes healthy eating easier

Last Sunday we were invited to two Easter celebrations; brunch at my sister’s and dinner at the home of one my husband’s colleagues. Both hostesses asked if I would bring a green salad. No problem; salads are my thing :).

kale salad

Since I knew I’d be short of time on Sunday morning (only 15 minutes between teaching group step and having to leave the house for brunch), I decided to prep both dishes the night before and, to make it even easier on myself, make the same recipe to take both places (eat once, dine twice (or even thrice) is my kitchen mantra).

Given that I didn’t want to show up with a soggy salad, my green of choice was kale.

kale salad

Kale is unique among salad greens in it’s ability to happily sit in a bath of lemon juice and olive oil for days at a time without wilting and loosing it’s structural integrity. Can’t say that about spinach or romaine…

As I washed and chopped and massaged a rather large mound of kale leaves, I was reminded of the sourdough bread ‘starter’ my mom used to keep in the fridge (did your mom have one too?). Rather than starting each batch of bread from scratch, she’d remove a portion of the batter to bake with, returning the unused batter (after ‘freshening it up’ with extra flour and milk) to the fridge for another day.

Why not a kale salad starter? Prep your kale on Sunday and enjoy a variety of fresh kale salads all week long! Not sure what to add to your starter? Check out my kale salad Pinterest board. Just a few of the recipes that have made my mouth water recently!

kale salad

Steps for making your own kale salad starter

  1. Wash and ‘de-spine’ 3 or 4 bunches of kale. Don’t be afraid to combine varieties! Curly green and large leaf purple are my favourites!
  2. Remove excess water and chop leaves into bite size pieces.
  3. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic together in a large glass or stainless steel bowl (my preferred ratio of olive oil to lemon juice is 3:1; feel free to alter these amounts and add as much, or as little garlic as you can stand)
  4. Add kale leaves to bowl.
  5. Using hands, ‘massage’ marinade into leaves, squeezing and crushing kale for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to soften and darken slightly, in colour. (This is my favourite part; it reminds me of making mud cakes in my sandbox as a child…)
  6. Cover greens with a tea towel and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Use kale salad starter in your favourite kale salad recipe!

My over-zealous Sunday kale prep kept us in kale salad for five days! Good to the last bite!

Have you ever made a kale salad?

What are your favourite kale salad toppings?

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  1. I’ve never tried a kale salad, but I will now. I love it that you have a kale salad board. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    Gaye recently posted…Willpower, Where Art Thou?My Profile

    • Come back and tell me which one you tried, Gaye! I can’t decide which to make next!

  2. I love the kale salad board! Going to Pinterest as soon as I’m done here. I’m a long-time kale lover, but only within the last year or so have I come to love raw kale salads. For some reason, I thought they’d taste like shoe-leather. The recipe that broke me in was this one, from Weight Watchers, of all places – I omit the shallot and use grated Romano cheese. This is a HUGE hit w/my family & friends and the recipe is always requested when I serve it to guests! http://www.semisweetonline.com/2012/06/25/linky-love/
    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet recently posted…Lebanese Seven Spices SeasoningMy Profile

    • Ooh, that looks wonderful! I love shallots and they’ll be in season soon! Thanks for sharing Sarah! (PS Puppy looks adorable)

  3. Thank you, thank you!!! I have some kale in my fridge right now that I need to do something with. I followed you kale board so I’m sure that if I don’t just go with your basic salad idea above I will find something. I’m hesitant to try kale chips again after my last attempt (fail)!
    Kim recently posted…Treadmill Love (and a coming surprise!)My Profile

    • Kim, kale chips are so easy yet so temperamental. You have to take them out at the exact right time or they burn to a crisp! Try again and make sure you’re not multi-tasking!

  4. A friend once said, “Lettuce is for eating, Kale is for drinking.”

    I kind of get that. Kale is much better in liquid form, surrounded by lemon, annd cloaked with yogurt. Smoothie.

    I did have a a Kale salad recently, and rather enjoyed it. Perhaps thhis motivattes me to do hat again. Perhaps…

    Thanks 🙂
    Contemplative Fitness recently posted…It’s all about Roy…My Profile

    • Hmm, I do like kale in my smoothies, but love it raw and in a salad. Thanks for the YouTube video link up; very funny!

  5. I love kale salads, and just recently posted a couple of different massaged kale salad ideas. In fact, it’s my husband’s favorite way to eat kale (since he doesn’t especially like kale to begin with). I’m surprised he doesn’t like kale chips more, but oh well.
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…Looking for Ways to Use Hard-Boiled EggsMy Profile

    • Michelle, I must have missed that post! Going to check it out as kale is so versatile it works with just about anything you have on hand!

  6. At the 13:02 mark he refers to kale as “angry lettuce”. Epic!
    Contemplative Fitness recently posted…It’s all about Roy…My Profile

  7. I’ve been loving kale salads lately!! So so good. I used to only order them at restaurants because it kind of intimidated me. But they really are super easy to make.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-Up: Presence and DiscoveryMy Profile

  8. You are a genius!!!! I love that you have a kale pinterest board! I hate to admit that I have never had it. I think I might have to start with kale chips! Season them up to work my way into the taste.:)
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…I am Taking a Short SabbaticalMy Profile

    • Recipe boards are pretty much the only thing I use Pinterest for. Helps me to stay organized! yes, try kale chips first Jody; you can do it!

  9. I love kale but have never used it much in salad. Great idea. Pinned and shared. Thanks Tamara I am gonna try some of these.

    • Hooray! I’m sure you’ll find at least one recipe to love there Elle! Thanks so much for pinning and sharing!