I know crack salad isn’t really an appropriate name, especially for a salad, but this salad really isn’t very appropriate. It is not appropriate for a kale salad to be so addicting!


Every once in while I get on a big kick with something. Usually it’s a fad and I get over it and move on, but once I started eating kale I haven’t stopped eating it and adding it to my food. It is definitely not a bad thing to be addicted to. When I first had Graeyson, I was nursing all the time and I never had enough time to eat, let alone cook! I used to roast kale and eat it for dinner. I know it’s super pathetic, but really I couldn’t have cooked anything better!


When I first started using kale in salads I was using the curly kale. This type of kale is much tougher and has a very strong, bitter taste to it. Now, I only use that type of kale when making kale chips. For salads I stick with lacinato kale. This is a much softer, milder kale.

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The dressing on this kale is what gives it the “crack.” It has a light and refreshing taste. There is some “zing” from the lemon and a nice punch of heat from the red pepper flakes.


I am telling you, you will be eating this salad for the rest of your LIFE and hey that isn’t a bad thing!

Crack Kale Salad
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale (not curly kale)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seeds or pine nuts, toasted–> toast in a pan with a little olive oil until lightly browned
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon + small pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. De-stem each stalk of kale (all the way to the top, you only want the leaf)
  2. Take a couple of the de-stemmed stalks of kale at a time and roll them up like a cigar (start at the thinner end and work your way to the other end {don’t roll from the fat ends})
  3. You are going to chop the kale cigars chiffonade style (ribbons)
  4. Once all of the kale is cut and placed in a large bowl, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a very small pinch of salt into the bowl
  5. Using your hands massage the salt and oil into the kale for a couple minutes
  6. Set the kale in the fridge covered for at least 30 minutes
  7. Massaging and adding salt and oil to the kale will allow it to soften
  8. While the kale is setting, take out a small bowl for the dressing
  9. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, red pepper chili flakes, 1/4 of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper
  10. When you are ready to serve the salad top it with the dressing, almond meal, parmesan and toasted sunflower seeds

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