Easy Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet Potato [Video]

Any fan of kale will enjoy this healthy and delicious massaged kale salad that is ready in under 30 minutes. Steamed and massaged kale paired with sweet potatoes and tempeh makes a filling and nourishing plant-based meal.

What I love about this recipe:

  • Easy under 30-minute recipe.
  • Steaming boosts kale’s antioxidant capacity.
  • Offers tons of nutrition.

My vegan massaged kale salad recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, oil-free, added sugar free, suitable on plant-based low glycemic diet and vegan Candida diet.

Any fan of kale will enjoy this healthy and delicious massaged kale salad that is ready in under 30 minutes. Steamed and massaged kale paired with sweet potatoes and tempeh makes a filling and nourishing plant-based meal. Using steamed kale for greater antioxidant capacity.

How to Make Massaged Kale Salad

The Ingredients

Let’s start with what this recipe doesn’t include. We will not use any saturated fat or oils, not even olive oil. Also, no sugars will be added to this kale salad.

Kale

The first and obvious component is kale. Now, you can use any type of kale you can get your hands on:

  • Curly kale that is dark green and sometimes purple with tightly wound curls. This is the kale you’ll most often see in the grocery store. However, curly kale can be a bit bitter for some people, featuring pungent notes of pepper. This is the type I used for my massaged kale salad.
  • Lacinato or Dinosaur or Tuscan kale with large blue-green leaves about two to three inches wide has long been a staple of Italian cuisine.
  • Red Russian kale is larger and far less curly than regular curly kale. It comes with vibrant reddish-purple stems and flat green leaves. What makes this type uniquely versatile is its ability to be used as a baby leaf, as well as after it’s been left to fully mature.
  • Redbor kale is an attractive kale variety with red, ruffled leaves. It can be used both on the plate and in the garden as an ornament.

It’s noteworthy that we are not going to remove the stems as they offer the same nutrition kale leaves.

Any fan of kale will enjoy this healthy and delicious massaged kale salad that is ready in under 30 minutes. Steamed and massaged kale paired with sweet potatoes and tempeh makes a filling and nourishing plant-based meal. Using steamed kale for greater antioxidant capacity.
Raw chopped kale

Tahini

Like I mentioned above, this recipe does not call for any oils. It’s because I prefer whole food plant-based ingredients. So, to add some heartiness to this massaged kale salad, I turned to tahini aka sesame seed paste. Obviously, you can use any nut or seed butter you like e.g., peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter.

Tamari and Miso Paste

As a rule, people need a salty taste in their salads. I decided to use tamari and miso paste, but any soy sauce or even Himalayan salt would fit perfectly into this recipe. However, many people are monitoring their sodium intake for health reasons. Should this be the case for you, opt for miso paste because, as it turns out, the benefits of fermented soybeans outweigh any negative effects from sodium.

Tamari is one of five popular types of Japanese soy sauces known as shoyu. Shoyu is made by fermenting soybeans — and sometimes wheat — using a special fungus (koji) and brine (moromi). [source] Compared with most soy sauces, tamari is darker, contains little to no wheat, and has a stronger umami flavour. [source]

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients.

Herbs and Spices

Let’s move on to herbs and spices! I chose to include garlic powder and horseradish powder. By the way, because of the combination of tamari and horseradish powder, my 11-year-old calls this a sushi salad and munches away contently. Should it be difficult for you to get horseradish powder, use wasabi powder instead. Alternatively, omit the horseradish altogether.

Nutritional Yeast

Finally, nutritional yeast comes into play for some cheese flavour. If, for any reason, you can’t have nutritional yeast, simply leave it out. You might use an extra tablespoon of nut or seed butter though because nutritional yeast absorbs quite a bit of liquid.

Should you strive to get the cheesy flavour without nutritional yeast, substitute dark miso paste with light-coloured miso aka shiro miso.

Balsamic Vinegar

As an acidic agent I’m using balsamic vinegar. However, you can substitute balsamic vinegar with regular vinegar or apple cider vinegar. In case you hate vinegars altogether, go for lemon juice.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is made only with one ingredient — “grape must” (in Italian, “mosto“). Grape must is freshly crushed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit.

To make balsamic vinegar, grape must is boiled to a concentrate, fermented and acidified, and aged for 12 to 25 years or longer in wood barrels.

Modern commercial balsamic vinegars (what you will likely find at your local grocery store) combine concentrated grape must with wine vinegar to speed up the acidification process. This vinegar is typically aged from 2 months to 3 years in large oak barrels. Modern commercial balsamic vinegars (what you will likely find at your local grocery store) combine concentrated grape must with wine vinegar to speed up the acidification process. This vinegar is typically aged from 2 months to 3 years in large oak barrels. Go deeper and read this guide to balsamic vinegar.

Wine vinegar is white or red wine that has been allowed to sour. The word is from the French vin (wine) and aigre (sour). Read more on the history and manufacturing processes of vinegar.

Other Salad Components

In addition to the kale, we will be adding steamed sweet potato, raw red cabbage, and smoky tempeh.

However, you can choose any other legumes instead of tempeh. For example, chickpeas, black beans, lentils, kidney beans, mung beans etc.

And, instead of sweet potato, you may opt for regular potatoes or cooked grains for that matter e.g., rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, or teff. Alternatively, add pasta made of whole grains or legumes.

How to Choose the Best Kale

Here are a few simple rules for choosing the best kale for our massaged kale salad:

  • Colour and freshness.
    Look for kale with firm, deeply coloured leaves, and moist hardy stems. The leaves should look fresh, be unwilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes.
  • Storage.
    Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavour.
  • Size of the leaves.
    Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a milder flavour than those with larger leaves.

For your information, kale is available throughout the year. However, it is more widely available, and at its peak, from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring.

How to Store Fresh Kale

  • First, place kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible.
  • Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days.
  • The longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavour becomes.
  • Finally, do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.
See how much it brightened up after steaming?!

The Directions for Massaged Kale Salad

Most massaged kale salads require massaging and then eating raw kale. Firstly, I have never understood how people can like raw kale. Secondly, blanching and steaming boost the antioxidant content in kale. [source]

So, if steaming makes my kale softer, juicier, brighter, and boosts the antioxidants as well, there’s no question about how I’m going to eat it!

That being said, my massaged kale salad recipe starts with chopping and steaming the kale.

How to Massage Kale

Here are easy steps to massage kale:

  1. Wash and dry kale

    Take the kale leaves and wash them under running water. Then, shake them dry or let drain in a colander.

  2. Chop kale

    Next, chop kale. Start from the stems and slice them finely. When the stems are done, you can continue with coarser cuts for bite size pieces.

  3. Steam kale

    Then, using a steaming basket, steam the chopped kale for about 3 minutes. It’s done when the kale has become of a nice bright green colour.

  4. Massage kale

    Finally, transfer the steamed kale into a large bowl and coat it with my miso tahini dressing. Start massaging the kale with clean hands or hand until it’s well mixed and diminished in size.

For the dressing, simply blend all the ingredients in a regular or an immersion blender. Alternatively, mix everything together in a small bowl or a glass.

This is how much the kale diminishes in size after massaging!

Compiling the Salad Bowl

Next, cut your sweet potato into cubes and steam for 7-10 minutes until soft. Let cool. Now divide the massaged kale, sweet potato, shredded red cabbage, and tempeh cubes between two bowls, and serve immediately.

I find that no extra dressing is necessary as the massaged kale is juicy enough. However, you can squeeze some lemon juice on top of your bowl.

I don’t recommend storing this massaged kale salad for longer periods of time as it tastes the best right after preparation. Should you have some leftovers, store the massaged kale in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a day.

Any fan of kale will enjoy this healthy and delicious massaged kale salad that is ready in under 30 minutes. Steamed and massaged kale paired with sweet potatoes and tempeh makes a filling and nourishing plant-based meal. Using steamed kale for greater antioxidant capacity.

For more recipes using kale, check out:

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Print

Easy Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet Potato [Video]


  • Author: Nele Liivlaid
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Any fan of kale will enjoy this healthy and delicious massaged kale salad that is ready in under 30 minutes. Steamed and massaged kale paired with sweet potatoes and tempeh makes a filling and nourishing plant-based meal.


Ingredients

200g (7oz) raw kale, stems included

For the dressing:

For the salad:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 205g, 7.2oz raw weight)
  • 1 cup (70g, 2.5oz) of shredded red cabbage
  • 80g (2.8oz) smoky tempeh

Instructions

Make the dressing:

To prepare the dressing, blend all the dressing ingredients using a regular or an immersion blender. Alternatively, in a small bowl or a glass, mix everything together with a spoon.

Massaging the kale:

  1. Take the kale leaves and wash them under running water. Then, shake them dry or let drain in a colander.
  2. Next, chop kale. Start from the stems and slice them finely. When the stems are done, you can continue with coarser cuts for bite size pieces.
  3. Then, using a steaming basket, steam the chopped kale for about 3 minutes. It’s done when the kale has become of a nice bright green colour.
  4. Transfer the steamed kale into a large bowl and coat it with my miso tahini dressing. Start massaging the kale with clean hands or hand until it’s well mixed and diminished in size.

Compiling the salad:

  1. Next, cut your sweet potato into cubes and steam for 7-10 minutes until soft. Let cool.
  2. Now divide the massaged kale, sweet potato, shredded red cabbage, and tempeh cubes between two bowls, and serve immediately.

Notes

Feel free to use lemon juice instead of balsamic vinegar.

Substitute tahini with sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.

If you can’t have nutritional yeast, use shiro miso instead of dark miso paste to achieve the cheesy flavour. Also, use less water as nutritional yeast absorbs liquids.

Nutritional info per serving: 310.3 kcal, 28.5g carbohydrates (36.7% of kcal), 9g fats (26.1% of kcal), 1.35g saturated fats, 18.4g protein (23.7% of kcal), 13.3g fibre, and 1118.55mg sodium.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Method: Stovetop

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 of the recipe
  • Calories: 310.3 kcal
  • Sodium: 1118.55mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.35g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.5
  • Fiber: 13.3g
  • Protein: 18.4g

Keywords: kale, salad

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Any fan of kale will enjoy this healthy and delicious massaged kale salad that is ready in under 30 minutes. Steamed and massaged kale paired with sweet potatoes and tempeh makes a filling and nourishing plant-based meal. Using steamed kale for greater antioxidant capacity.
Source: nutriplanet

Easy Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet Potato [Video]