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Chopped Kale Salad {Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free}

chopped kale salad 2
In many ways, my parents fit the 1970s, San Francisco bay area stereotype of hippy living. My dad drove a a VW camper (pop-up top), my mother made most of her own dresses, they bought groceries from the Co-op, and grew copious quantities of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in our backyard garden.

But more than anything else, they ate salads. Green salads, grain salads, fruit salads, mixed vegetable salads, salads, more than any other food category, defined the way we ate as a family.

It’s taken me years to manipulate persuade my husband that a salad at every evening meal–or, as the evening meal–is a perfectly rational choice. I have yet to proclaim victory, but, with time, I’m hoping my son will remember his childhood as a hippy salad household, too.

This essential kale salad is one of the keys to my quest. Kale is readily available, and good, all year round, so with the basic recipe in hand, I can vary the toppings to suit the season (e.g., dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and crumble blue cheese in the winter, fresh tomatoes, cucumber and pine nuts in the summer, etc.).

Two steps in the process are mandatory for maximum deliciousness: (1) Chop the kale fine, or shred it very thinly (the former works better for curly kale, the latter with dinosaur/lacinato kale); and (2) Refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour before serving. The kale will absorb the dressing and become tender, yet still toothsome.

Leftovers (if you have any) are fantastic for lunch the next day (take that, lettuce), eaten straight up, or as a complement inside your favorite turkey, tofu or roast beef sandwich. To salad!


chopped kale salad 1

Yield: 4 servings

Chopped Kale Salad (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Chopped Kale Salad (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 8 cups finely chopped kale (about 2 bunches, tough stems removed)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweetener of choice (e.g., maple syrup, cane sugar, honey, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings/add-ins: chopped toasted nuts or seeds, chopped tomatoes (fresh or sun-dried), chopped dried fruit (e.g., dried cranberries or apricots), diced avocado, chopped seeded cucumber


  1. Place the kale in a large bowl.
  2. In a small jar, place the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard, sweetener, salt, and pepper. Screw on top (tightly) and shake vigorously for 30 seconds; pour over kale, tossing to combine.
  3. Cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Toss salad again and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.If desired, add any of the suggested topping/add-ins.


*The salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

*2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar can be used in place of the lemon juice.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving Calories 162Total Fat 10.6gSaturated Fat 1.6gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 192mgCarbohydrates 14.9gFiber 2.1gSugar 0.7gProtein 4.1g

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Cheryl Francisco

Sunday 5th of June 2016

This is not a paleo friendly recipe because of the corn.


Monday 6th of June 2016

Hi Cheryl,

There is no corn in the recipe; those are pine nuts (I suggest adding nuts or seeds as an option).


Sunday 19th of April 2015

Dear Camilla, I am a very big fan of your 250 Best Meals in a Mug and Power Hungry cookbooks! I would like to suggest an idea for another cookbook based on the same microwave meals in a mug principles: Microwave meals in a mug for the Fast Metabolism Diet. It is a diet developed by Haylie Pomroy. It is a big best seller on Amazon and she also had the privilege of being asked by PBS to develop a program for their promotion week. The challenge is the cooking part. She really wants people to reconnect with food, preparing it for themselves. That is great but it can take a lot of time. She suggests using crockpots but even that can be a challenge when one has a really busy schedule. Plus those are several portions at a time. That is why it would be great if you could do a microwave meals in a mug cookbook for the Fast Metabolism Diet! It would take quite a bit of work for you to study the principles of the diet and figure out recipes accordingly but I suspect it would be very popular. I know I would love it! Keep up the good work. Sincerely, Anne


Tuesday 28th of April 2015

Anne--great idea!!! I just ordered one of her books thanks to you. Thank you so much for getting my other books--this definitely intrigues me, so I will keep you posted! :) :) :)

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