Sweet and Spicy Kale Salad

photoRemember in college when you didn’t actually need sleep or nutrition, or at least, you willed your body into acting like it didn’t? You would pull all-nighters (ok, not me because I just give up around midnight), eat nothing but cereal for weeks on end, inject lots of caffeine, and still be fine when it was all said and done.

What. Has. Happened. To. Us?

October has just about done James and I in. Job stress, school stress, awesome wedding fun, trips out of town, visitors, and the daily things that have to be done have amounted to an amazing cocktail of good and bad that left us stumbling towards November in a  dazed state of exhaustion and indigestion. Despite what my Instagram feed makes it look like, we actually eat generally healthy meals, or at least we did until this month when busyness had us throwing back burgers at an even more alarming rate than usual and letting fresh produce wilt forlornly in the fridge. We counted the peppers on pizza as vegetables and a couple times, I think there was even a time where we ate the three awesome meals of breakfast, brunch, and brinner all on the same day.

And now… now I just want to crawl into a giant cave of kale and let it sink into my soul via osmosis until I can think clearly again.

Which is convenient, as kale has a ridiculously long growing season and keeps on showing up in my weekly box so that I am forced to get creative. Kale chips, we do not do. Yuck. I tried once, really I did, but they were a sad, sad imitation of their salt and vinegar coated likable cousin the potato chip and I just can’t do it. James is an avowed kale hater, but he will pack away this baked lemon chicken and kale dish (can I get an AMEN for one dish dinners, all ye kindred spirits without dish washers???) and he even moderately enjoyed this kale-potato-sausage soup, though he did suggest improving it by substituting bow-tie pasta in for the kale.  Last week, to stave off the scurvy (is that still a thing?) that I was sure was setting in, I pulled odds and ends out of the fridge and came up with this kale salad that is so good you will almost forget it is healthy. James, of course, won’t touch it since it has raw kale, and goat cheese (he only does cow lactate… if you ask him why you will get a really long and disgusting story about goat farms), but I really don’t mind because then there is more for me!image-1

Sweet and Spicy Kale Salad (Modified from starting out making this salad, and then morphing the dressing into something closer to this one that we love on green beans.)

  • a bunch of kale (the more the merrier!) stems removed, washed, squeezed dry, and torn in small pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • an apple, Honeycrisp or the like
  • Goat cheese
  • Roasted Almonds, chopped (get fancy and do them yourself, or just be like me and use the lazy pre-roasted and slivered ones)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tsp mustard powder
  • 1 TBs apple cider vinegar
  • 1. 5 tsp honey or maple syrup
  1. Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 until tender, 20-30 minutes, turning half way through. Let cool slightly.
  2. Mix 3 Tbs olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, syrup, mustard powder, and dash of salt and pepper and pour over kale. Massage the dressing into leaves until the leaves are tender and diminished in volume substantially.
  3. Slice apple into very thin wedges and toss apple slices, and some almonds (I go real heavy on them, but it is up to you) in with the kale. Add sweet potato chunks and toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve warm.

image Ok all, any other awesome kale ideas? Please share!

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21 Responses to Sweet and Spicy Kale Salad

  1. I have been making a dressing with tahini, olive oil, paprika, and lemon juice and just tossing it with sliced curly kale. I’ve never eaten a bunch of kale faster. It’s so delicious! (sort of a take off the whole foods deli kale/tahini salad. which i needed to stop buying because it always costs $11 somehow)

    • Hannah says:

      So right after reading this I got a tahini kale salad at the semi-shady food co-op on campus and it was pretty terrible. However I will withhold true judgement until making yours… or getting it at Whole Foods. I trust your foodie judgement.

  2. Heidi says:

    I’ve recently really enjoyed blended soup; since Alex’s opinion of kale is similar to James’ (though not quite as extreme), he hasn’t known it was in there. 🙂 We’ve done kale in a vegetable soup, butternut squash soup, chicken soup…I just blend it all.

  3. E. Henry says:

    I loooove kale! Although, I haven’t been brave enough to try it raw. The texture strikes me as chewy. How do you find it in terms of texture? And I am going to try all your recipes in November that you mentioned for kale. Same thing, Scott won’t touch the stuff. But more for me! (And yet my two year old I nanny for requests “kay-chips” frequently. )

  4. Maryam Jamil says:

    i am always in love with food
    thanks for sharing recipe

  5. Katie says:

    I hear you loud and clear! After my husband and I accidentally ate pizza TWICE in one day, we were in need of kale… and more kale. Thanks for the yummy salad recipe – dinner last night, and leftovers for lunch. Thanks for all you do and share!

  6. Mia Klaus says:

    I adore your blog!

    Scurvy is actually still “a thing,” though it isn’t as common now. It results from a Vitamin C deficiency, and is now seen mostly in older adults suffering from malnutrition.

    (Info back up here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm)

    • Hannah says:


      Sorry if I sounded overly flippant… I just meant that people don’t seem to get it as much as when they were crossing the high seas and settling uncharted territory. Or when they are Hannah and James eating frozen pizzas and brunch for three weeks…

  7. Trish says:

    Yum! My husband tried a delish kale and pear salad at Founding Fathers that was amazing and he’s not much of a kale fan 🙂 We had a wonderful trip with all your awesome recommendations btw! I can’t remember if I thanked you, if not ~ thank you!

  8. Amanda says:

    Random and off topic comment…

    I have never heard the term brinner for the time of eating after lunch but before dinner! I love it! My family uses the terms lunch and supper to make lupper.

  9. Pingback: Kale Chicken | The Art in Life

  10. Pingback: Autumn Kale Salad with Honey Vinaigrette | The Art in Life

  11. Pingback: Food for fall, food for all. | The Art in Life

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