Often during the cold gloomy months of the year, I find myself loving all the carbs. Whether bagels and cream cheese, tortilla chips, or potatoes, I am an equal opportunity carb enthusiast! However, once I come out of my carb coma I start to miss all of the vegetables I neglected to eat. That is where this easy spicy kale salad comes into the picture. Full of hearty vegetables, crisp kale, sweet fruit and topped with a spicy miso dressing.
I love to meal prep salads and eat on them as the week goes on. The flavors mingle together and the salad becomes tastier and tastier. This easy spicy kale salad is no exception. I like to make it for dinner one night and then eat it for lunch the next couple of days. Sometimes if I have enough leftovers but sometimes we eat it all the night it is made!
Check out this post for step-by-step instructions on how to massage the kale. Rubbing the curly kale leaves with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt breaks down the fibers of the leaves making the leaves nice and tender and easier to digest. You can skip this step if you are in a pinch for time or if you are trying to avoid oils, but I find that I enjoying eating kale more when it is given a little massage beforehand. Messaged kale also holds the flavor of the dressing better than regular out of the fridge kale.
What is in an easy spicy kale salad?
The recipe calls for curly kale but any type of kale would work. If you do not like kale or do not have any on hand, romaine or arugula would make wonderful substitutes.
I love to add fruit to any salad! It is an extra kick of sweet and crunchy. I used fuji apples and pears. However, oranges, strawberries, or grapes would be lovely too.
Any excuse for dried fruit is a good reason to me! Dried cranberries pack a punch of sweetness and a nice texture variance in each bite. You could also use dried blueberries, dried cherries, or raisins.
I like to use whatever is on hand in my fridge or pantry when putting together meals, so the picture shows basmati rice that was used in a stir fry the night before. Reducing food waste is a goal of mine this year. Quinoa, brown rice, or sticky white rice would be good. You could also leave the rice out and add in some sourdough croutons or throw in a couple of handfuls of nuts.
Sunflower seeds are a great way to add in a serving of protein and oils. Although, sunflower seeds are also anti-inflammatory and easy to digest. Almonds, pistachios, cashews would be tasty too.
Go crazy and add what you have on hand and what you like! I used parsley and green onions. In addition, basil, mint, cilantro, or chives would make wonderful additions.
In conclusion, this recipe also has whole fennel seeds in it. I roasted them in a dry pan until they started to crackle for extra depth of flavor. Fennel is a great tool that helps me quench heartburn or general IBS tummy grumbles. It has a slight licorice flavor and is crunchy. However, this can be left out altogether if you aren’t feeling symptoms or do not like fennel. They are great raw as well if you do not want to roast them.
What else can I add?
Finally, if you want an extra kick of protein you could add chickpeas, black beans, lentils, grilled chicken, tuna, or salmon. You could add more fruit, less fruit, more herbs, or some raw vegetables.
If you make this easy spicy kale salad, be sure to leave a comment and give a star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for future HMB recipes and for other readers.Print
A perfect blend of crunch kale, sweet fruit, fresh herbs, grains and topped with a spicy miso dressing. Makes for a filling lunch, hearty side, or exciting leftovers.
For the salad
- 1 bunch of curly kale, messaged and pulled into pieces
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1–2 cups of rice or grain of choice
- 1 pear chopped
- 1 apple chopped
- 1 bunch of parsley chopped
- 1 –2 green onions or scallions chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the dressing
- juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp light miso
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- Mix all the ingredients in the bowl, leaving the olive oil for last. Once the ingredients are mixed add the oil and mix just enough to incorporate the ingredients.
For the Salad:
- Rinse and dry the kale. Chop or pull apart into desired bite-sized pieces. Add to a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage with your hands until the kale has broken down and has begun to shrink slightly.
- If you desired toasted fennel, heat a dry pan on medium heat. Add fennel and stir until they begin to pop (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Add in the fruit, cranberries, herbs, grains, and seeds. Pour prepared dressing over top and toss to incorporate.
This salad will hold in an air-tight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.
Keywords: Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian