There is nothing better than picking up fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market and creating a delicious meal. My husband and I love waking up early on Saturday morning to pick up our produce for the week. I have been buying kale by the armfuls at our local market and they’ve had some perfectly ripe strawberries too. With a few more ingredients I was able to whip up this beautiful kale salad with strawberry balsamic dressing in no time.
Kale seems to be one of those foods that people like to have strong opinions on. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me they don’t like kale or just don’t understand it. The secret is all in the preparation. Eating plain raw kale isn’t really that great. But toss some oil on it and give it a little massage and it transforms into something completely different and much tastier.
When the talk of “healthy” foods comes up in the office everyone always turns to me and says, “Hayley probably eats kale!” And I have been called on more than one occasion to explain how to make kale. I know it’s not the hip super food anymore, but I still stand behind how delicious and wonderful it can be. We’ve even been known to make kale chips for an evening snack food instead of getting chips from the gas station.
If you’re not completely sold on the kale you can just cover this salad in strawberries and the amazing balsamic dressing you can make with them. I could seriously just drink this stuff straight from the jar. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t any added sugar in this dressing. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t made it myself! In fact, my husband and I don’t even use store bought dressing anymore. We can whip some up from whatever is in the fridge and pantry in minutes and have exactly what we need.
It may sound like we are health food obsessed people, but believe me, we are far from it some days! We just enjoy eating food that tastes good and makes us feel good. I know I can definitely tell a difference if we had McDonald’s for dinner versus something I cooked at home by the way we feel the next day. We aren’t always successful in eating healthy, but it gets a lot easier in the summer when so much delicious, fresh produce is available!
Tips for Making Kale Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing:
- Only oil and massage the kale you plan on eating at that time. While kale lasts several days in the fridge in an airtight container it gets kinda slimy if it’s already been prepped a while in advance.
- This recipe makes pretty thick and creamy dressing. If you would like it to be runnier you can thin it out with a little more olive oil. I would just add it to the dressing 1/2 tablespoon a time until you get the desired consistency.
Creamy strawberry balsamic dressing goes perfectly with this crunchy kale salad loaded with lots of textures and tastes. Hard to believe it's sugar free!
- 1 Bunch Kale
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 2 Cups Strawberries Diced
- 1/2 Medium Red Onion Diced
- 1 Avocado Diced
- 1/2 Cup Pecans Crushed
- Fresh Basil for Garnish if desired
- 1 Cup Strawberries Diced
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil Or 1 tsp dried
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
Cut or tear your kale off of the stems and chop into bit sized pieces. The stem can be discarded or saved with other vegetable scraps for homemade stock.
In a large bowl add the kale, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Using your hands gently massage the kale for about a minute. This will help to soften the leaves. Set aside.
Prepare the strawberries, red onion, and avocado. Add the red onion, avocado, and 2 cups of the diced strawberries to the kale.
In a blender or food processor add all of the ingredients for the dressing. Blend until smooth and no chunks remain, about 1 minute. Add more oil if a thinner consistency is desired at this point.
Toss the salad, dress, and serve immediately.
Pecans can be substituted with any other nuts or left off entirely if desired!