Healthy + easy equals this Massaged Kale Salad with the prettiest Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette you’ve ever seen. A massaged kale salad recipe that requires only 6 ingredients for the salad, is vegan AND gluten-free, and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.
Hello, hungry friends! I’ve made the most delightful salad for your tasting pleasure. I was inspired by the the rays of the sun that shine on our sweetest desert fruits like these juicy red strawberries.
Strawberries are my all time favorite berry and pack a healthy nutritional punch. Not only are they loaded with dietary fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and antioxidants, they’re also one of the few fruits that contain dietary nitrate that can be converted in the body to nitrous oxide, a compound that dilates the blood vessels and keeps them healthy. Find out more about the health benefits of strawberries.
Why This Recipe Works
What I love about this recipe is what I think you’ll love too. Not only is it a sensational palate-pleaser, but it’s:
- health and nutrient friendly – micro-nutrient dense; kale is one of the most powerful anticancer foods in existence
- quick and easy – simple steps; takes less than 15 minutes to prepare
- dietary restriction-friendly – vegan, gluten-free and no added sugar with low-fat and low calorie option
- ingredient-friendly – requires only 6 ingredients for the salad
- budget-friendly – ingredients cost less than $10
Ingredients Needed for Salad
Ingredient notes and substitutions:
- quinoa – I prefer organic; cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions; if you don’t have quinoa, it can be replaced by rice, Bulgar or farro. If you like farro, you may like my Blood Orange & Spinach Farro Recipe.
- kale – be sure to rinse before using and eliminate brown or yellowish leaves
- mint – should be bright green with no brown or yellow leaves; sprigs should be left in cold water until just before serving
- strawberries – make sure they are red and ripe with no bruising
- lime juice – fresh squeezed works best
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1. Cook quinoa according to manufacturer’s instruction.
Step 2. Slice strawberries
Step 3. Massage kale – first, rinse and place on cutting board. Remove leaves from stem. Chop leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. Place in bowl and add olive oil and sea salt. Using both hands, mix the oil, salt and kale together as if you were giving it a traditional massage. Do this until it feels nice and soft, about 2-3 minutes.
Step 4. Make dressing – add olive oil, champagne vinegar, agave, Dijon mustard, strawberries, sea salt and pepper to a blender and blend on high for 3 minutes. Pour into jar and you’ll have the prettiest pink dressing you’ve ever seen.
Step 5. Assemble the salad by layering all ingredients on a chilled plate, starting with kale, then quinoa, then strawberries, and finally mint. Spritz salad with a squeeze of lime, and drizzle it with Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette!
- To extract more juice from your limes, place in palm of your hand and, using your other hand, roll with light pressure across your palm for 2 minutes.
- Fresh fruit and greens are essential for this recipe.
- Quinoa should be organic; if you don’t have quinoa, you may substitute with Bulgar, farro, or rice (if you like farro, check out my farro recipe).
- Massage kale until it feels soft and edible.
- For best results, serve immediately.
- Store leftovers separately, each in their own airtight container.
- When ingredients are stored separately, they should stay fresh for up to 3 days.
- PLEASE NOTE: the calorie and fat content in this recipe is high because of the dressing. Substituting vegetable broth for olive oil will lower these values.
Step 6. Pour dressing over salad and enjoy immensely
Frequently Asked Questions
Nature made kale a very course and fibrous cruciferous vegetable. This can make chewing the leaves cumbersome. Massaging it for 2-3 minutes softens the leaves so they are easier to chew.
It’s best to serve this salad immediately after preparation. If you do need to store it for later, I recommend storing each ingredient in a separate air-tight container. It should then last up to 3 days.
If you put the dressing in a jar and seal the lid tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and maybe longer. The acetic acid present in the champagne vinegar acts as a natural preservative.
You can use other berries; however, the dressing was made especially for a salad with strawberries. If you use another berry, you may want to try a basic champagne vinaigrette.
If you love this massaged kale salad recipe, check out some of my favorites below:
- Vegan Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Chilled Asparagus Salad with Orange Miso Dressing
- Healthy Fruit Salad w/ Lime Maple Dressing
- Minted Summer Fruit Salad w/ Balsamic Maple Dressing
Have you tried this Massaged Kale Salad recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. Other readers would benefit greatly to hear what you thought about the recipe and what, if anything, you did differently!
Simple Massaged Kale Salad
- small to medium pot for cooking quinoa
For the Salad
- 3 cups massaged kale leaves
- 1 cup organic quinoa
- 10 fresh strawberries sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh mint
- 1 tbsp fresh lime
- 1/2 tsp sea salt optional
For the Kale Massage
- 2 tsp olive oil I used cold pressed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the Dressing
- 3 tbsp olive oil cold pressed
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp agave
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 strawberries
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
For the Salad
- Cook the quinoa according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside to cool.
- Slice strawberries. .
- Rinse kale and place on cutting board. Remove leaves from stem. Chop into small pieces. Place in bowl and add olive oil and sea salt. Using both hands, mix the oil, salt and kale together as if you were giving it a traditional massage. Do this until it feels nice and soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove mint from stem.
- Assemble salad by placing kale leaves on plate, then adding quinoa, strawberries and mint leaves. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime. Then add a few drizzles of dressing. Serve immediately.
For the Dressing
- Add olive oil, champagne vinegar, agave, lemon juice, strawberries, sea salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on high speed for 3 minutes. Store in glass jar with tight lid.
- the calorie and fat content in this recipe is high because of the dressing. you may substitute vegetable broth for olive oil to lower these values
- to extract more juice from your limes, place in palm of your hand and, using your other hand, roll with light pressure across your palm for 2 minutes
- fresh fruit and greens are essential for this recipe
- quinoa should be organic; if you don’t have quinoa, you may substitute with Bulgar, farro, or rice (if you like farro, check out my farro recipe)
- massage kale until it feels soft and edible
- for best results, serve immediately
- store leftovers separately, each in their own airtight container
- when ingredients are stored separately, they should stay fresh for up to 3 days