A crisp, refreshing salad with fresh ingredients and some sweetness to make getting in your greens more enjoyable. This Strawberry Coconut Kale salad is a great way to eat something lighter and more wholesome without sacrificing flavor. This salad has plenty of dense, nutritious kale, succulent strawberries, crunchy slivered almonds and sweet flakes of shredded coconut, all drizzled with a yummy blush vinaigrette dressing.
Lately I’ve been loving quick, simple recipes. I’m talking recipes that are quick on time and you can also count the list of ingredients on your hand. This salad is no exception; kale, strawberries, shredded coconut flakes, slivered almonds, and blush vinaigrette dressing. That’s 5 easy ingredients to give you a delicious entree (if your trying to be good) salad or impressive side dish that can go with plenty of summer time meals. I also thought it would be a good idea to show you guys that I actually do consume nutritional food in my daily life 😉
I remember when I tried kale for the first time. I wasn’t crazy about it. It was bushy, dense, had to much texture for my liking and didn’t taste that great. I felt like it didn’t hold on to any kind of dressing. So I thought there’s another super food I will never be able to incorporate into my diet no matter how I dress it up. I was disappointed because I wanted to like kale. I had read about how nutritious it was for you, all the different ways to prepare it but apparently I was missing something. See because kale is so dense, sometimes it needs a little extra love and care to give you the texture and flavor you want it to have, sometimes you gotta put a little more work into things to get the results you want.
When it comes to using kale in salads, I found out that you get the best results by doing 2 things; massaging and marinating. Come again? You want me to massage and marinade my greens?
After you’ve rinsed and cut up your kale, put it in a big bowl. Drizzle the leaves with either some sea salt and extra virgin olive oil or whatever dressing your planning to use. You don’t have to go crazy and saturate it, just enough to give the leaves a light coating. Now let’s get down to business. Use your hands (no substitutions here) to massage the kale. I know it sounds silly, and may feel a little weird, but by doing this your helping break down some of the dense fibers that makes kale so tough and extra chewy. Massaging won’t take away any bite from the leaves but make it more palatable when it comes to time serve it.
Now I know when it comes to salads you usually don’t marinade them or drench them in dressing out of fear of soggy salad. No one wants that. However, kale is so thick & dense that if you let it marinade in the fridge for some time it becomes more flavorful and again, doesn’t lose texture, it helps make it better. I like to drizzle my kale with whatever dressing I’m using and then let it chill in the fridge for at least a half hour before serving. I’ve read that you can even marinade it over night and it will still taste delicious without getting soggy. Then when your ready to serve it, take out your salad and toss in your extras, in this case sweetened coconut flakes, fresh strawberries, and slivered almonds.
Another great thing about salads is how flexible and customizable they are. Feel free to add in blueberries and pineapples to this salad for a more fruity kick. Scallions or red onions could also go well. I really like blush vinaigrette dressing with the fresh strawberries but any type of dressing you prefer will work great too. Make this salad your salad.
So what did we learn today? Kale can be our best food friend when prepped correctly. When it comes to using kale in salads, remember to massage and marinade. Once you see how great kale can be, you’ll want to be incorporating it into all kinds of healthier salad recipes.
- 6-8 cups kale (rinsed, chopped with stem removed)
- 3 cups fresh strawberries (cut into smaller pieces)
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Blush vinaigrette dressing (or dressing of choice)
- Rinse, chop and remove the stems from kale. Take a few paper towels and pat the kale dry. Place kale in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with your favorite salad dressing. Massage the kale with your hands for a few minutes to help break up the dense fibers. Allow kale to marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. When ready to serve remove salad from fridge and garnish and toss in strawberries, coconut flakes and slivered almonds. Salad is ready to serve.
- *the 1 hour indicated in the prep time includes letting the kale marinade for at least an hour in the fridge before serving. A minimum of 30 minutes is needed but kale can marinade for longer if desired.