Massaged Kale Salad

Okay so I know I’m not exactly new on this kale trend. In fact I’m far far behind. My problem with kale has always been how bitter and tough it is- I swear anyone who likes it is lying through their teeth…

Anyhow, massaged kale totally changed my mind about the dark green “health food”. My sister suggested this as a side salad for dinner one night and I reluctantly agreed. But to my surprise I really liked the salad! Tossing the kale with a little oil totally changes the texture and fast – I love it. If you’ve been hesitant to jump on the kale train try this and let me know what you think!


Massaged Kale Salad with red pepper and carrot


2 large bunches of kale

1 red pepper 

4 large carrots

1 tsp sesame oil 

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp ginger

garlic to taste



Break kale into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add in sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Using your hands “massage” the kale for about 5 minutes. Top with sliced red bell pepper and chopped carrots – toss so the whole salad is mixed and enjoy!


Mandarin Quinoa with Steamed Kale and Blackened Chili Tofu

Today’s recipe is a guest post! It’s written by my sister, Ali, a 25 year old vegan living in Minneapolis. Hope you enjoy it! I know I can’t wait to try her recipe. Thanks Ali!
It’s citrus season, and that means everything I eat incorporates something from on of my favorite fruit groups. Inspired by a large bag of mandarin oranges, I decided to base last nights dinner around the allusive citrus. Most people have only tried the sugary canned variety, but a freshly peeled mandarin is delightful and tastes nothing like the overly sweet salad toppers.
So, here is my version of a savory citrus dinner. Please try out the sauces and adjust to your personal palate, all measurements are approximates based on my own flavor preferences.
Mandarin Quinoa with Steamed Kale and Blackened Chili Tofu
1 cup quinoa
2 cup water
4 peeled mandarins
2 tsps ginger
4 cloves garlic
sea salt to taste
1 small diced onion
1 bunch de-veined kale
sea salt to taste
1 block cubed firm tofu
sesame oil
3 tsps red chili flakes
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
dash of ginger
Optional Garnishes:
lime or lemon wedge
sesame seeds
Add the quinoa, water, mandarin, and spices to a pot, and boil. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the mandarins have burst.
While the quinoa is cooking, fry the tofu cubes in sesame oil (to blacken, use a small amount of oil in a cast iron pan). Mix together the chili, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce in a small bowl and add to tofu. Let the sauce reduce until the tofu is coated in a spicy glaze.
In another pan (or the same one) fry the onions until lightly golden. Add the kale, salt, and a bit of water and allow to steam, until kale is wilted.
Plate and serve.

Note: Any orange can be used, I happened to have mandarins on hand.

Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Bulgur with Maple Tofu

Thanksgiving is so soon!! If you need another idea for a quick but delicious side dish or just want a healthy meal planned for any night this week, try this dish. There are so many fall flavors and the overall result is perfectly filling for a lighter dinner. Like all recipes, it’s easy to change up. Don’t like kale? Add Spinach instead. Don’t have bulgur? Make it with brown rice or quinoa.


Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Bulgur with Maple Tofu

Serves 2, vegetarian + vegan, 30 minutes or less


1/2 cup bulgur (or grain of choice)
2 Tbsp raw pistachios
1/2 red onion
1 1/2 cups kale
4 tbsp orange juice
5 Tbsp pumpkin puree
salt + pepper (to taste)
1 tsp garliv
pinch of turmeric (optional)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup tofu cubes, firm



Prepare bulgur according to directions on package. I used my rice cooker, but on the stove will work as well. If you have any leftover grains, use those!

Chop the onion and saute in a pan with a little olive oil. After about two minutes add 2 tbsp pistachios and toast for one more minute. Add 2 tbsp pumpkin, a little more oil, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp orange juice, garlic, and tumeric. Stir around. Add in kale and cook until kale is wilted/incorporated. Remove from heat while bulgur finished cooking.

Meanwhile, cube tofu and add to a pan on high heat (either non-stick or with a little bit of oil). Drizzle with maple syrup and let cook until tofu begins browning (or a little longer if you like it crunchy!)

Once bulgur is done cooking, add it into the pumpkin mixture with the remaining pumpkin puree and orange juice. If the mixture is too dry add a little vegetable stock or some water.  Mix well.

Add the tofu mixture into the bulgur. Combine well and serve.

Adapted from:

Shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays (!