Massaged Kale Salad
Eat Well Oct. 21. 2014

Massaged Kale Salad, Three Ways

Oct. 21. 2014
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Massaged Kale Salad, Three Ways offers several variations to spice up your normal kale salad.

All of these simple salads are nutrient dense and loaded with fiber from vegetables, fruits, protein, and healthy fats–all key ingredients to make a filling meal to hold you over and keep your energy up for the day ahead.

Massaged Kale Salad

If you’re new to massaging kale as a technique to enjoy raw kale, then hop over to this article first and read up on Massaged Kale Salad! I especially love kale salad because it’s a hearty green that doesn’t wilt like other greens. It’s perfect for batch cooking!

I typically make a large batch of the Massaged Kale Salad, then add in the ingredients listed below as the week goes on. That way I can have three different salads! This will save you so much time and you’ll still get to enjoy a variety of salads throughout the week.

Feel free to boost the ingredient amounts depending on your individual goals and energy needs. You can also swap out the proteins for other sources that you enjoy!

What Is A Foundational Five Nourish Meal?

The Foundational Five Nourish Meal is any meal that contains all 5 elements within the Foundational Five, non-starchy carbohydrates, starchy carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and the Flavor Factor.

By following this simple template it keeps food flexible, fun, and nourishing. Our Foundational Five Nourish Meals can be found as yogurts, oatmeal bowls or breakfast bowls, nourish bowls, salads, soups and stews, and stir-frys.

Any meal can be made into a Foundational Five Nourish Meal by just knowing the system I teach in our Method Membership and in my free guide about creating healthy eating habits with ease, that you can get right here!

1. Root Vegetable Kale Salad

This salad contains delicious golden raisins,  fiber and vitamin A rich kale and root vegetables, topped with omega-3 rich walnuts and protein-rich edamame.

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 cups Massaged Kale Salad recipe below
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 cup roasted root vegetable you enjoy (sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, turnips, celery root, etc.) cut into chunks
  • 1/2-1 cup edamame
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Assembly: Take massaged kale salad and stir in all the remaining ingredients until combined. I recommend dressing this with the Zesty Lemon Shallot Dressing.

2. Vegan Caesar Salad

Traditional Caesar dressings are typically loaded with saturated fat and calories, plus some use iceberg lettuce as the base which is not as nutrient dense as it’s close counterpart romaine and still not as nutrient dense as kale! This Caesar salad is made vegan by using only healthy fats, fiber, and plant protein to get the desired texture and consistency of traditional Caesar dressing.

What you’ll need:

  1. 2-3 cups Massaged Kale Salad recipe below
  2. 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  3. 1/2 avocado
  4. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  5. 1/2 cup chickpeas
  6. garlic, optional

Assembly: Prepare massaged kale salad and set aside in a serving bowl. In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and optional garlic and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Blend together for a thick and creamy dressing. Pour over kale and combine, then top with chickpeas. If you’d like to add another protein source instead of a vegetarian-friendly protein, try grilled chicken. Enjoy!

On-the-go? If you don’t have a blender simply mash all of the “wet” ingredients with the back of your fork working it into the romaine lettuce or massaged kale.

3. Nutrition Stripped Cobb Salad

Cobb salad is one of the most classic salads for good reason – it’s full of goodies! Those goodies may also add up to a substantial amount of calories as well. Here’s my take on a “light” Cobb Salad. Feel free to use other dressings you enjoy, but I promise you you’ll love this tahini inspired dressing!

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 cups Massaged Kale Salad recipe below
  • 2 whole hard-boiled eggs (add more egg whites for a protein boost)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped olives

Dressing idea: Sweet Tahini Drizzle

Assembly: Hard boil eggs in advance, then peel egg from the shell and dice or slice into rounds. Add carrots, red bell peppers, and cucumber on top of the bed of kale. Pour dressing on top and stir everything to combine.

Foundational Five

Learn how you can nourish your body at each meal by creating a Foundational Five Nourish Meal. This is McKel’s simple framework she’s used with thousands of clients in her decade as a Dietitian and now you can use it too!

The Foundational Five supports you in nourishing your physical body so you can learn what to eat, which is the first step in mindful eating. The remainder is knowing how to eat and to experience your food positively.

Eating in this way supports your physical body on a cellular level ensuring you’re consuming the nutrients you need to have a sharp focus, calm digestion, lasting energy, sound sleep, and vibrant long-term health.

Here are the following Foundational Five Elements in this recipe:

1 • Non-starchy Carbohydrate

  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Celery root
  • Red onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Cucumber

2 • Starchy Carbohydrate

  • Golden raisins
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chickpeas

3 • Healthy Fat

  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olives

4 • Protein

  • Edamame
  • Walnuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Chickpeas
  • Hard boiled eggs

5 • Flavor Factor

  • Lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic

The Recipe




2 handfuls (2-3 cups) of organic raw kale

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon sea salt

For each variety of the three salads, please read the recipe article above.



Step 1

De-stem the kale leaves from the stem by simply placing your index finger and middle finger (in the shape of a claw), and “claw” down the center of the leaf to de-stem while simultaneously pulling the leaf away from you with your other hand.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine the de-stemmed kale leaves with the remaining ingredients. Lightly pour an additional 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto your hands to coat. Using a massaging action (similar to kneading bread dough), start to tear the leaves apart and massage.

Step 3

Continue massaging for about 2-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened, the leaves will also turn a more vibrant green. Use this as a salad base or add toppings of your choice for a complete meal in a bowl.

Be Free With Food.

Embrace a Balanced & Peaceful Relationship with Food.

Learn the proven method to feel confident, calm, and in control with food without obsessing or stressing. Start your journey now to experience the freedom and peace that comes with a healthy relationship with food.

🌿 Mindful Nutrition Method™ Course
🌱 Downloadable Worksheets & Templates
✍️ Practice Lab Trainings
🧠 Group Coaching Call Replays
💬 Journal Prompts
🔑 Practical, Effective, & Enjoyable Tools
📱 Self-paced Lessons at Your Fingertips
💫 Built-in Accountability
Start Today →