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Massaged Kale Salad

Kale is sturdier and tougher than other greens such as spinach or Swiss chard. To get raw kale tender, this recipe's technique of massaging a salad dressing into the leaves works wonders. Skill Level: Novice

15 min Prep
15 min Total
price per Serving

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 96
Protein 3.8g
Total Carbohydrates 7.5g
Dietary Fiber 2.4g
Net Carbohydrates 5.1g
Sugar 1.5g
Total Fat 6.7g
Saturated Fat 0.8g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 1.6mg
Sodium 56.5mg
SmartPoints® 3.0


  • 8 cups kale
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Prepare the kale: Lay each leaf onto a cutting board. Use a knife to cut each side of the kale leaf’s rib to remove and discard it. (Kale ribs are quite bitter and tough, making it best to remove.) Repeat with remaining leaves. Then, slice the kale into about 1⁄2-inch pieces. If kale is still wet from washing, dry it in a salad spinner.
  2. In a large bowl, add lemon juice, oil, mustard, and pepper. Use a fork to mix dressing together. Add the chopped kale into the bowl. Use your fingers to gently massage the dressing into the kale until the kale has wilted to about three-quarters of its original volume,  just a few minutes.
  3. Top kale salad with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese. Serve.


Cooking Tip: Just a dab of mustard, like in this salad dressing, helps keep the oil and vinegar together in homemade dressings.
Keep it Healthy: Kale is a powerhouse when it comes to the amount of vitamins and minerals in it. Consider keeping a bag of frozen chopped kale on hand in the freezer; throw a few handfuls into soups or stews to increase the nutrition.
Tip: 1 (5-ounce) packaged container of chopped kale can be substituted for 8 cups of kale. It’s a little more expensive than buying in a bunch; however, no washing or chopping is required.

Price Per Serving based on average national price: excludes store savings and local grocery store pricing

Photo Credit: American Heart Association