Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Asian Inspired Raw Kale Salad with Lime Juice

Raw kale is something that I really want to enjoy eating because it is so good for you, from a nutritional perspective. But the bitterness makes consuming it raw taste more like medicine than food to me. We enjoy it dehydrated, as in kale chips but not really any other raw way. I bought this kale on Saturday telling my husband it was going to be a raw salad. The look I got was priceless followed by a “really, will I like it?” To which I quickly replied, “of course you will, I promise.” I immediately wondered if I had just lied to my husband since I am not crazy about the taste of raw kale either.

Most of the recipes for massaged kale salads that I have seen use ridiculous amounts oil and typically salt and I didn’t want to use either of those. My plan was to use only an acid of some type to soften the greens. I was chatting with my friend Heather today and asked what she thought of raw kale and her response was also a little lukewarm. No surprise really I think everyone has that reaction to raw kale. But she suggested adding apples and that started my mind spinning with ideas which turned into this:

Asian Inspired Raw Kale Salad with Lime Juice
Makes 2 servings


1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into bite sized pieces (about 10 cups loosely packed)
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese rice wine vinegar)
¼ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped


Combine the kale, lime zest and lime juice and rub the juice into the kale to help it soften the kale. Place the kale, with the excess lime juice in a zip top bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Periodically smash (sorry it isn’t more technical) the kale through the bag and turn it over and place it back in the refrigerator. You are doing this to work as much acid (lime juice) into the kale as possible.

When you are ready to serve slice the apple as thinly as possible. Whisk the miso and mirin together and toss the apple in the dressing to coat. If there is any lime juice left in the kale container add that to the dressing.

To serve top the salad with the apples and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. If you have any extra miso dressing drizzle it over the salad.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 335.79
Calories From Fat (29%) - 96.01

Total Fat - 11.85g
Saturated Fat - 1.08g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 467.25mg
Potassium - 1818.57mg
Total Carbohydrates - 58.92g
Fiber - 12.72g
Sugar - 9.46g
Protein - 14.95g


So the moment of truth ….. was it edible? Surprisingly it was. I say surprisingly because I had some doubt as to whether this would work or not. The lime juice softened the kale so that it was more like a sturdy lettuce than it was kale. I even think the lime acid tamed the bitterness of the green. Of course we liked the miso and mirin dressing with apple because that is one of our favorite combinations. Will I make this again? Absolutely I will and often. I think the salad is going to improve as it sits overnight in the refrigerator. But I don’t know this since we ate it all tonight for dinner. Next time I am going to make this the day before and see how that impacts the taste and texture. I was very surprised by how much more tender the kale was after about 5 hours in the lime juice. Huge difference!

This salad is so packed with nutrition there is no way I can’t make it at least once or twice a week now. Each serving of this salad contains approximately 51,600IU of vitamin A (that is not a typo), 430mg of vitamin C, 510mg of calcium, 7mg of iron, 125mcg of folate, 2,740mcg of vitamin K, 260mg of phosphorus, and 150mg magnesium. Can you believe the nutrition in this? I am blown away by these numbers. Seriously guys, some version of this salad needs to be on my dinner table at least once a week from now on.

Unrelated note:

We had a great day today. The weather was gorgeous, upper 80’s and sunny. We could not have asked for nicer weather. We had a nice relaxing lazy day although that means we didn’t get as much accomplished as we would like, but that is okay. Tomorrow is another day.

Speaking of tomorrow I will be teaching a friend to make nut cheese and nut milk tomorrow (and maybe other things) so I will be on and off the computer during the day. You can expect an update on how the “cooking lessons” go. Either way I know we will have fun. It is nice to have a friend that is interested in nutrition since they are so few and far between. Sigh…..

On the Egyptian dinner front that has been moved to Sunday. Let us just say Walid didn’t check with his boss (the wife) or he would have known they had a birthday party to attend. I will give you a full report after dinner and will get recipes (or methods) for everything we have on Sunday.

For now I need to get going so I can clean up the kitchen and relax before bed. I hope you all had great day and I will talk to you tomorrow.


  1. That looks great. I am going to try this one as I, too love kale from a nutritional standpoint, and need more tasty kale recipes with which to experiment!

  2. Aimee,

    Both the hubby and I thougth this was far better than we expected and we will be eating variations of this often now. Neither of us really like raw kale typically. It is hard to beat the nutrition of kale isn't it?

    That was one nice looking smoothie tonight. I love smoothies but usually add ground flaxseed to mine. I am going to try a little avocado next time. Thanks for the suggestion!


  3. Try using kale as part of a chopped salad--that should help it appear more frequently on the menu. Looks nice here!

  4. Cindy,

    Wow, why didn't I think of that? That makes a lot of sense. I guess I was being a little too all or nothing (like normal). Great suggestion, thanks for posting it.


  5. I think the sweet apple, the crisp cabbage-y kale, and the richness of the hazelnuts sound really good togther.

  6. Rose,

    LOL, you describe the salad better than I did. I should check with you before I hit post. ;-)

    It was good, we liked it far more than we expected too. Even Dan said he wouldn't mind eating it often.

    talk to you later,

  7. i loved the part about dan asking if he would like it...of COURSE you will....ha

    its hard not knowing antbody close by that is as interested as you in health, i dont know anybody thats really into it around here. ill be trying to go to a few seminars this month though, maybe i will meet some people there. its like looking for a husband all over again...not that..i had to look or anything...they came to yea right

  8. mmmm this looks delicious- I actually love raw kale (yes I'm a strange one!), and with the creamy dressing, crunchy apples and hazelnuts it sounds like the perfect taste combination as well as being a nutritional powerhouse! Thanks

  9. Hey lovely lady!!! SO glad to hear that this worked out so well (and that I somehow helped with this creation). Sounds really good. I definitely need to add kale to the grocery list this week. What apples did you use by the way. I typically only ever have Granny Smiths and they may be too tart. Thoughts?

    Love the comment about your friend not checking with "the boss". My husband says that all the time: Gotta check with the boss. He sort of knows better...(per our conversation yesterday)

  10. Michelle,

    When Dan asked I wasn't he would like it, or that I would like it for that matter. It did turn out really good though, so we were both happy.

    Have fun at your seminars. I hope you find a healthy friend near you. But you always have your "bloggy friends" as Rose puts it.


    Wow, good for you! I really wish I liked the taste of it raw but I don't normally. However, this method worked for me. Even Dan said he would gladly eat raw kale salad once of week if I used citrus to soften the texture and flavor. Yay! I love it when he willingly eats healthy food. ;-)


    I used Gala apple, I will make that note on the recipe. We use Red Delicious in our juice (because they have the highest level of antioxidants) but Dan prefers the texture of Gala or Fuji to eat. Thanks again for the apple suggestion. We liked the sweetness and crunch with the citrus flavored kale. If you try it please let me know what you guys think. We were very pleasantly surprised.

    When Walid's wife called I had to laugh. She said she had not specifically told him about the party, but the invitation had been on the frig for a month so she was surprised he didn't know. Sort of like our conversation, right? They are all the same, no matter what country they come from, or what age. ;-) Good thing we love them.


  11. RV,

    Thanks, that is very kind of you to say. :-)


  12. Great looking salad! I've never cared for the taste of raw kale either, so I use it in my green smoothies all the time with an apple or a banana. I'll have to try this:)

  13. Janet,

    You like raw kale more than I do. I don't even like it in my smoothies. Bad I know. It is so healthy, I really want to like more. So far this and kale chips are my only raw kale options. ;-)


  14. Well, you already know, I love kale. We've chatted about this, so I think this sounds delicious. I have no doubt that this is edible, and even more so. I think I've actually seen some recipes out there for raw kale, and I know I've nibbled some of my own and liked it. But, I have been eating greens almost every day through winter, and I think my tastebuds have really adjusted to the so-called bitterness. I love them all now! Great recipe.

  15. Blessed mama,

    So the secret is to keep eating it and it will grow on me? ;-) The funny thing is that I love most bitter greens but kale is not my favorites. However, it is much better like this, to me. ;-)

    talk to you soon,

  16. I find shredding kale (or at least chopping it into very thin pieces) makes it a lot more pleasant to eat, if you're turned off by the amount of sheer effort it takes to chew it. And I second Cindy's suggestion -- try tossing it with other veggies and dressing, like a coleslaw!

  17. Yes, that's the secret! If only my kids succumbed to food repetition! I think kale is my favorite green, but we eat them all now on a regular basis. I never would have guessed that last year.

  18. Hell yeah,

    I am going to try shredding the kale the next time. But sadly the real problem with raw kale for me is the bitterness. I am not a very good healthy vegan am I? ;-) I am determined to conquer my issues with kale, eventually.

    Blessed mama,

    We are going to keep eating it and hope it grows on us. I love the nutrition of kale so I am determined to enjoy it. Marinades and dressings are going to be key for me for a while. ;-)



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