Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tropical Kale Salad with Creamy Pineapple Coconut Dressing

Did you know that massaging raw kale gives it a slightly wilted texture, so that it's softer?  Neither did I!  I bumped into a whole new world of kale salads and learned that the die hards rub some dressing into the kale and let it marinate before eating.  Crazy town!

But let's get back to this salad.  I've started calling it "scurvy salad" because of its healthy dose of Vitamin C while we're still seeing chilly winter weather outside.  It's basically an island vacation on a plate.  Coconut, lime, pineapple, mangoes, banana.... I'm telling you - it's the cheapest tropical vacation you'll ever take.

And we're bringing back those Chia Seeds again.  This time, not only do they add some fiber and omegas to your dressing, they also serve as a thickener.  This recipe takes advantage of how Chia Seeds absorb liquid and create a gel, and use that to thicken the dressing naturally.  I love it!

And a secret?  That dressing is pretty delicious when drizzled over coconut milk ice cream.  I may or may not be stuffing my face with it as I write...

I Feel A Tan Coming On,

p.s.  Happy Leap Year!

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Tropical Kale Salad with Creamy Pineapple Coconut Dressing
adapted from Oh She Glows

For the dressing:
1 c. chopped pineapple *
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp. honey (if using unsweetened coconut milk)

For the salad:
3 c. packed kale, stems removed and roughly torn
2 c. butter or romaine lettuce
1/2 c. chopped pineapple *
1 c. chopped mango *
1/2 large banana, sliced
1 Tbsp. shredded dried coconut
1/4 c. roughly chopped macadamia nuts or pecans

In a blender, blend all dressing ingredients until smooth.

Then, prepare the kale by adding about 1/2 of the dressing to the kale and massage it in with your fingers. While the kale marinates, chop the fruit.  Toss everything together and top with coconut and nuts and additional dressing as desired.

* Note: I used frozen and thawed chopped pineapple and mango to save on costs, and this recipe turned out great.

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Dressing Ingredient Lineup:

Salad Ingredient Lineup:


  1. I just made this. It was good! The bananas gave it a nice bit of sweetness. I didn't have any coconut milk so I substituted almond milk. No pecans either. But it was still good and that pinch of salt definitely brings out the flavors. Thanks for the recipe :)

    1. Glad you liked it :) Thanks so much for sharing your review with everyone!

  2. This was AMAZING! My 8 year old son gobbled it up!!! My husband and I loved it too!! My husband even asked "is this really kale? This is too good to be kale!" Thanks for a super tasty salad that tasted like a treat!!

    1. Yayyy!! So glad your family loved it! And I'm glad your comment popped up because I'd forgotten about this little salad recipe, and I just bought a bag of kale last night. So it's gonna be in our dinner rotation this week :)

  3. I used this recipe as a springboard for a salad I made with lettuce, beet leaves, banana, orange, and pecans with a pineapple and coconut oil dressing. It was awesome. Thanks for the idea.


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