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  • Karen Haralson

Sweet and Tangy Kale Salad

Festive Kale Salad with Sweet Apple-Cinnamon Maple Vinaigrette & Pecan Parmesan

Chopped apple, dried cranberries, pomegranate arils, “pecan parmesan” and maple vinaigrette transform otherwise-bitter raw kale into a sweet, tangy salad. The vinaigrette has maple syrup and cinnamon for sweetness, and lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for a sour kick. The Festive Kale Salad is especially perfect for winter and is a great way to sneak in some raw greens into your day.

Prep Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Cook Time: 7 to 9 minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes


For the pecan parmesan:

½ cup pecan, toasted

1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast

1 ½ to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from ½ lemons)

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

½ teaspoon fresh peeled ginger

To assemble:

1 bunch kale, destemmed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces

1 apple, cored and finely chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries

½ cup pomegranate arils (from about ½ pomegranate)


1. Make the Pecan Parmesan: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

2. In a mini food processor, combine the toasted pecans, nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process until crumbly and combined. (You can also chop the pecans by hand and mix everything in a small bowl.) Set aside.

3. Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, oil, applesauce and ginger until combined.

4. To assemble the salad, place the kale in a large salad bowl and pour on the dressing. With your hands, massage the dressing into the kale leaves until fully coated. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. The kale will soften slightly during this time.

5. Top the kale with the apple, cranberries, and pomegranate arils. Sprinkle the Pecan Parmesan over the salad just before serving.


You can save the kale stems for juicing or smoothies, if you wish.

Adapted from: Oh She Glows


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