Basic Massaged Kale Salad

Whole Foods Market has the best simple massaged kale slaw that is a staple on their prepared foods salad bar.  I have purchased it a few times, and every time I glance at the ingredients list, I know I could make it myself!  All I needed was some time and motivation. . . which finally both happened for me this week!

According to the little placard placed above Whole Foods’ massaged kale slaw at the salad bar, the only ingredients listed are kale, sea salt, pepper, avocado, lemon juice, red onion, and tomato.  How hard could it be to replicate?

So I began with one-quarter of a red onion.
IMG_4091  quarter red onion whole
I diced it extremely fine, as I did not want any large chunks of red onion in my salad.  The finer the dice, the more professional the salad would seem!
IMG_4092 quarter red onion chopped
I also finely diced a single plum tomato– make sure you drain out the tomato guts!
IMG_4093  quarter red onion and plum tomato chopped
I grabbed my bag of kale.  These Trader Joe’s pre-washed and pre-chopped bags of kale are a lifesaver– half of the reason I tend not to make my own kale salads is because I hate rinsing and chopping!  I am cetified lazy!
IMG_4094 Trader Joe's Kale Bag
I also juiced half of a lemon.
IMG_4095  Half Lemon on Juicer
And grabbed half of an avocado, which is the base of the “dressing.”
IMG_4096  Half Avocado
Into a large bowl, I added the whole bag of kale, the juice of half of a lemon, half of a diced avocado, sea salt and pepper.  Then, things got hands-on, literally.  I used both hands to actually massage the avocado and lemon juice into the greens.  I worked the avocado/lemon juice combo into the greens for about five minutes, until the kale wilted down a bit and the leaves were visibly softened.  As this point, I could have eaten it as is– every leaf is perfectly coated with a lovely avocado dressing!
IMG_4097  Massage Kale Before Massage
However, I still had to add in the tomato and onion.  After I piled those in, I gave it a couple of more tosses with my hands (and immediately went to wash my hands) before I snapped this final pic!
IMG_4098  Whole Foods Copycat Massaged Kale Salad

Most of the onion and tomato were buried by the kale, but believe me it’s there!  When I had the salad for lunch, I gave myself a figurative pat on the back for perfectly replicating one of my favorite recipes from Whole Foods.  It was amazing!

This massaged kale salad is a wonderful way to introduce people to the wonders of kale and also to the idea of how tasty raw foods can be!  If you google around, you will find hundreds of variations of this basic type of massaged kale recipe, so please, go have a look!  Next time, I think I will add some dried cherries– that seems like a perfect sweet contrast to the pungent onion and creamy avocado!

Have you ever had massaged kale?  What’s your go-to massaged kale recipe?

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