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Massaged Kale and Goat Cheese Salad

Massaged Kale & Goat Cheese Salad

For many kale is known as a vegetable eaten mostly because we are told it is good for us. I will admit that I too used to feel this way. At least I did until I was introduced to massaged kale salad. Up to that point if I found that Kale had somehow made its way into my refrigerator, I usually made it into Kale chips. Which are yummy but can’t really be called a full meal, despite the fact that I may have done just that once or twice.

Why massage the Kale? Because the salt and vinegar soften the tough Kale leaves making them the perfect texture for a salad. Add the sweet dressing to take away the bitter flavour of the kale and this super food vegetable becomes as tasty as it is good for you.

There are many health benefits to eating kale, and before I share a few, I want to point out that this salad is so delicious that once you try it you will probably no longer care about the health benefits.

And for those who hate recipes with wordy preamble, feel free to scroll down to the recipe now.

Kale is from the same family as cabbage and brussel sprouts. Studied benefits include management of blood pressure, boosting digestive and bone health, and even protecting against cancer, heart disease and diabetes. These powerful health benefits are the result of Kale being an abundant source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C, K, potassium, iron, and many other nutrients.

Massaged kale makes a great barbeque side salad because of it’s ability to “store sunshine” in the form of chlorophyll. This molecule helps to remove the cancer-causing carcinogens that result when animal products are grilled at high temperature, before they are absorbed by the body. [1] If you are not a meat eater you can easily make this into a full meal size salad to enjoy as you celebrate Summer with any non-vegetarian friends. I would suggest you make a large full bowl of salad for yourself, and another for everyone else, because my experience is that the meat eaters suddenly become Kale fans when this salad is brought out!

Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have any specific health issues, or if you are concerned about adding Kale to your diet. Those with kidney stones, take certain blood thinners, or for other health related reasons may need to limit Kale in their diet.[2]

Massaged Kale Salad Recipe


¼ cup Olive Oil

1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbs Maple Syrup (or to taste)

1-2 tsps Lemon (or lime) juice

1-2 tsps Dijon Mustard

Fresh ground Salt & Pepper to taste

Kale (10-12 large leaves chopped into salad size pieces)

Goat Cheese (to taste, leave out if vegan)

¼ Thinly Sliced Spanish Onion

Optional Topping Suggestions:

Candied pecans or walnuts



Wash and dry the kale pieces well (pat dry or use a spinner). Whisk the top 6 ingredients in the bottom of a large salad bowl till well mixed. Add Kale and massage the dressing into the leaves. Toss in the goat cheese, apple slices and Spanish onion (along with any of the optional toppings). Serve!

According to ayurveda, India’s ancient system of medicine, the health benefits of a meal are a combination of many different things, one of which is the state of mind of the chef. From this perspective, how could a salad lovingly massaged into life be anything but body and soul nourishing?


[1] Medical News Today, What are the Health Benefits of Kale, Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition — By Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. on January 17, 2020

[2] Mayo Clinic Health, Speaking of Health, March 17, 2023






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