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It’s been a while since I’ve had a salad recipe up on the blog here at Wholesome Yum. How did that even happen? We eat salads multiple times a week at our house. I guess I had treats on my mind throughout the holidays! The new year already brought plenty of healthy recipes, but not yet a salad. This baby kale avocado salad recipe with lemon garlic vinaigrette and parmesan is one of my recent favorites.
I know, I know – the name is a bit of a mouthful. I contemplated simply calling it a baby kale avocado salad, omitting the dressing and parmesan mentions. But, these aspects of this gluten-free, low carb winter salad really make it shine, so I felt they deserved a little recognition.
Massaged Kale Salad
This massaged kale avocado salad can actually be made with any kind of kale you like. Baby kale and curly kale are the most popular options. I made it with baby kale, which is much more tender and less bitter than mature kale, but has similar nutrition content.
If you’re on the fence about raw kale or are afraid of its bitterness, this is a great recipe to try. Not only is baby kale easier to handle, I also have a massaging technique to address any remaining bitterness concern.
Basically, you toss the kale with a dressing that incorporates an acid (lemon juice in this case), oil, and salt. Then, massage, massage, massage! It sounds a little odd, but all you really have to do is pick up a bunch, squeeze it, and repeat until the kale starts to soften. This helps break down the cell walls and reduces the bitterness that some people associate with kale.
Curly kale is the most common kind when people think of kale. If you use this variety, you may need to massage it a little longer. The massaging step is especially important with the more bitter mature kale (like curly kale), but I found that it helped improve the taste of baby kale, too. Don’t overdo it on the baby kale, though.
Aside from mellowing out the kale, the lemon garlic vinaigrette in this baby kale avocado salad provides contrast. The acidic dressing, crunchy pine nuts, creamy avocado, and smoky parmesan combine for a variety of flavors.
I actually find that this baby kale salad does quite well at gatherings, even where you may have people that are uncertain about kale. It’s like the kale salad for people that aren’t sure if they like kale salads! With only 5 minutes of prep time, you can’t go wrong.
Giveaway: $200 Worth of Gluten-Free Goodies
For when you’re done making your massaged kale salad, I’ve got another way to help you celebrate a fresh start this January. I’m partnering with some of my favorite bloggers in a brand new GIVEAWAY to support your gluten-free journey!
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Baby Kale Avocado Salad Recipe w/ Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette & Parmesan:
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Want more low carb, gluten-free ideas for green veggies? Try these: