This easy massaged kale salad is topped with roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate, goat cheese, and toasted pecans. Perfect for meal prep, as a full meal or as a side salad. It’s delicious, nutrient-dense, and filling!
During the fall and winter months, I love making salads with warming and filling ingredients like roasted sweet potatoes or squash, cooked grains, and other fall vegetables. It’s always a nice change from the refreshing and fruity salads I enjoy during the summer. This massaged kale salad with roasted cinnamon sweet potatoes, juicy pomegranates, and savoury goat cheese truly hits the spot and is one of my favourites. It’s jam-packed with nutrition and flavour.
Even more, this massaged kale salad is filling enough to be eaten as a meal and is great for meal prep. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!
What Is Massaged Kale?
You may have heard about “massaging kale” before and wondered what it was all about. I’ve talked about this before on my Instagram, and I’ve received some funny feedback! Some people had no idea what I was talking about, some were curious but weren’t sure where to begin, and someone even said their mom had massaged a kale salad bare, without any dressing (I had a good giggle at that one haha).
Basically, massaged kale means that the kale has literally been massaged with your hands to work in the dressing. Massaging dressing into kale helps to physically break down the tough fibres in the leafy green, making it much softer, tastier, and easier to digest. It also makes kale salad taste SOO much better compared to kale that hasn’t been massaged. Honestly, once you have a massaged kale salad you will never go back to a regular one!
BONUS – unlike other greens, massaged kale salads don’t go limp or soggy, which makes them perfect to prep in big batches, bring to work, and eat throughout the week.
How Do You Massage Kale?
To massage kale, you simply drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, and salt (or another dressing) over your kale, and then really get in there with your hands and squeeze and massage it all together (similar to how you would knead dough). Once done, cover the bowl of massaged kale and let sit in the fridge for about 30-60 mins to break the fibres down even further.
You can massage kale with other dressings too, but a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt is always my go-to. Curious to see how it’s done? I shared an IGTV video walking you through the steps!
How To Make This Kale Salad
You want to start this recipe by de-stemming the kale leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry well, then chop kale into thin, small pieces.
Place the chopped kale into a large mixing bowl. In a small jar, mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper and shake dressing ingredients together. Pour over kale and massage with hands (as described above).
Cover and let the kale sit in the fridge or at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 400F and prepare your sweet potatoes. Wash and dry them well, then chop the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Leave the skin on for extra fibre and added texture – it also takes less time to prepare!
Then, toss the sweet potato chunks in olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Spread on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven for 30 minutes, until tender and brown.
While the sweet potatoes roast, remove the pomegranate arils from the fruit and set aside. Spread pecans onto a smaller baking sheet, and place in the oven for the last 7 minutes to let them toast. Remove both the sweet potatoes and toasted pecans from the oven and let them cool slightly.
Add the roasted sweet potato chunks, toasted pecans, pomegranates, and crumbled goat cheese to the massaged kale. Toss everything together and top with avocado chunks before serving.
This salad can be served as a side or as a full meal. If having as a full meal, feel free to add an additional source of protein like a hard-boiled egg!
This massaged kale salad can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for about 3 days in the fridge. If making in advance, simply add the avocado before serving. Kale holds up well and doesn’t go soggy like other leafy greens.
Kale Nutrition Facts
Now that you know the BEST way to enjoy a kale salad, you have no excuses to not reap the benefits of this nutrient-dense green! Just one cup of kale provides over 100% of your daily vitamin A (206%), vitamin K (684%), and vitamin C (134%) needs. Kale is also a good source of other micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and vitamin B6.
That same cup provides 2 grams of dietary fibre, helping to keep your gut and heart happy. In addition to micronutrients, kale is also loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent cellular damage and provide a multitude of health benefits. Kale is truly a superfood!
Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts
This root veggie is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant and converts to vitamin A in your body. In addition to their vitamin A content, sweet potatoes are also a great source of other micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, E, and C. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of dietary fibre, with one sweet potato meeting 15% of your daily fibre needs (4 grams).
More Winter Salad Recipes
- Winter Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables
- Warm Prune Salad With Arugula, Sweet Potato & Walnuts
- Massaged Kale Salad With Maple Tahini Dressing
- Pesto Quinoa Bowl With Broccoli & Sweet Potato
If you give this Massaged Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pomegranates & Goat Cheese a try, let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more simple, healthy recipe ideas.
Massaged Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pomegranate & Goat Cheese
- 1 large or 2 smaller bunches lacinato or dinosaur kale, shredded
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to toss sweet potatoes)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup pecans, toasted
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 a large lemon, juiced (or 1 small)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Remove the kale leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry well. Chop kale into thin, small pieces. Place the chopped kale into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small jar, mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake dressing ingredients together. Pour over kale and massage with hands, squeezing/kneading the dressing into the kale for about 1 minute. Cover and let the kale sit in the fridge or at room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 400F and prepare your sweet potatoes. Wash and dry them well, then chop the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces, leaving the skin on.
- Toss the sweet potato chunks in olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Spread on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven for 30 minutes, until tender and brown.
- While the sweet potatoes roast, remove the pomegranate arils from the fruit and set aside.
- Spread pecans onto a smaller baking sheet, and place in the oven for the last 7 minutes to let them toast. Keep an eye on them and remove from oven once they become aromatic – or else they will burn!
- Remove both the sweet potatoes and toasted pecans from the oven and let them cool slightly.
- Add the roasted sweet potato chunks, toasted pecans, pomegranates, and crumbled goat cheese to the massaged kale. Mix well, adding additional salt + pepper to taste (if needed). Serve with sliced avocado!
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