This paleo and Whole30 friendly kale salad is a perfect lunch meal that is super quick and easy to put together. Simple pre-cooked chicken together with fibre-rich carrots and apples make this meal both satiating and delicious.
Kale is not to everyone’s liking but its nutritional profile is just too good to ignore: it’s a rich source if vitamin K, antioxidants, iron, and fibre, to mention a few. So I hope that you will try this kale salad because I honestly think that it might change your mind about this amazing leafy green. Plus, it has a lot of other nutritious and tasty ingredients that make it a wonderful, complete paleo meal.
The most important thing about using kale in a salad is that you have to give it a good massage. You see, kale is very fibrous and hardy, and unlike thinner spinach or lettuce, it can feel a little touch and chewy in the mouth. Massaging it with a little salt and/or lemon juice breaks down those tough fibres, making the leaves softer and more palatable. Simply cut up the leaves (minus the hard stems), sprinkle with a little salt or drizzle with lemon juice, and use your hands to squeeze and massage the kale for 20-30 seconds.
I often make a kale salad for lunch and I particularly love adding foods like pre-cooked chicken or tinned salmon, carrots or peppers, apples for sweetness and maybe some avocado.
You can follow my meal prep tip and cook up a batch of chicken breasts in the oven or a frying pan on the weekend and store in the fridge for about 3 days. You can also easily get pre-cooked chicken at a store. Then simply slice it up and add to a salad during the week. You can also use pre-cooked chicken in my kohlrabi, pear and chicken salad or shred the meat to use in paleo wraps.
For the dressing you have a few options: mayonnaise with mustard and lemon juice (what I used in this recipe), my egg-free, dairy-free creamy avocado dressing, or a lovely Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar, herbs and olive oil.
Please note that this recipe is for one filling portion but you can simply increase the amount of ingredients to make a larger batch of the salad. It keeps well overnight, or you can mix it and store without the mayonnaise and mustard until just before serving.
If you have some leftover kale, you can use it to make this lovely kale pesto recipe.
- 2–3 leaves of kale, stem removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 3 cups of chopped kale)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 100 –150 g / 4-5 oz of sliced cooked chicken
- 1/2 medium carrot, grated
- 1/2 medium red or green apple, sliced and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion/scallions
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard like Dijon or yellow
- Pinch of cracked pepper
- Sprinkle the kale with salt and drizzle with lemon juice. Using your hands, massage and rub the leaves for 20-30 seconds, until slightly softened.
- Add the kale and the rest of the ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mix together really well, allowing the mayo and mustard to incorporate evenly. Serve then and there, or store for a day or overnight as it will keep okay till the next day.
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