Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raw Kale Avocado Salad

The Farmer's Market was bursting with luscious dark leafy greens on Saturday. I couldn't help but buy at least one bunch of every variety of kale! I made this raw kale salad tonight and my children devoured it. They are accustomed to eating many different types of greens, but for a child who isn't, below are a few tips.

Tips for adding more variety, vegetables, and greens to your child's diet:
  • Make sure your children are hungry and have not been snacking all afternoon or evening; hungry children are more likely to try and eat new foods.
  • Serve the new vegetable or salad first. This is especially true for a young child between 2 and 4 years of age.
  • Sit down as a family and talk about everything but the meal. Focusing on the food can lead to food battles. 
  • Suggest a "try-it-bite" for a child who seems really uncomfortable about trying something new. They may spit it out and that is okay. Sometimes it can take 10 "try-it-bites" over a series of weeks for a child to accept a new food. 
  • Start early! As soon as you have introduced citrus to your toddler's diet offer them a plate of this salad. A one year old won't digest much of it but will gain so much in the way of programming his or her taste buds to accept these types of foods. We put salad greens on our twin's plates by the time they were twelve months old and now they beg for salads at three years old! 
  • Young children learn how to eat and what to eat by watching the adults and caregivers around them. This starts from infancy on. 
My new cookbook as a large chapter devoted to raising healthy eaters, beginning from conception on. These are just a few of the tips on mealtimes with children. I know many of you keep asking when the new book will be available for pre-order. I expected that it would have been ready by now but it is not. I don't have the long focused hours now like I had with my first cookbook. Being pregnant and having four children makes it a little more challenging. It will be done when it is done, that is all I can say. It is close, the recipes are done, but I am still finishing up the content in the beginning. I am confident that you will love it though!

Raw Kale Avocado Salad

Serve this salad alone as a super food meal or serve it over cooked quinoa with a bean soup. If you plan to keep the salad for a few days in your refrigerator then wait to add the avocado to each individual serving. Feel free to add other seasonal vegetables to the salad. Grated carrots, grated beets, diced heirloom tomatoes, or chopped parsley would all be delicious. 

1 bunch curly kale, chopped (about 8 to 10 cups)
2 avocados, diced
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 6 to 8 hours

3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Chop the kale into small pieces and add it to a large bowl. In a smaller, separate bowl whisk together the dressing. Add the dressing to the salad and gently massage it into the kale with your hands. This will soften it almost immediately. Then add the diced avocado. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds and add them to the salad as well. Gently toss together. Serve. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

This salad is also suitable for Phase 3 of the Elimination Diet

More Salad and Vegetable Recipes:

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Hi Ali

    Thanks for another great kale recipe! I am always looking for new ones. I will be patient for your new book since the first one is still keeping me busy! (Last night I tried the cornmeal oat topping tempeh recipe.. and the black bean soup and the arugula avocado salad with great success!

    When are you due?!!

    Happy spring!
    Laura B

  2. Awesome tips, Ali! And honestly, I think they could work well on adults, too. :-) As you know I'm still learning to like new foods and coming to the table hungry is important. I also keep trying foods different ways if I don't like them the first time around. I'm out of kale, but have avocados and am headed to the store today. Will give this recipe a go for sure! Thanks, dear!

    I'm sure that when the cookbook comes out it will be the "perfect" time. Quality cookbooks/resource books like the ones you guys put out cannot be rushed. Seriously. :-)


  3. We all loved your Kale Slaw, I just know this recipe is going to be delcious too! Thank you!

  4. Perfect timing Ali! Today is the day I've been looking forward to all winter...first CSA box of the season! :) I'm sure there will be mostly kale in it, maybe some asparagus and lots of other leafy greens too I'm sure.

    I've never soaked mu sunflower seeds before, but I'll get them going so they'll be ready for dinner tonight. Just curious as to why you soak them? Just to soften the texture?

    Thanks for another great recipe and all your hard work on the upcoming cookbook...love, love, love your first book!

  5. We made this tonight and my 2 and 6 year-old loved it! It was a perfect accompaniment to the french lentil soup recipe from your cookbook, finished off with the gingerbread recipe from your cookbook! We were channeling your good cooking over here on the east coast!

  6. Hi Ali,
    I wanted to tell you that I love your blog and I also just bought your cookbook.
    I have a question for you: Around the end of December I developed a red, bumpy rash all over both of my arms that spans from my shoulders to my elbows. I also got some pretty serious eczema patches on my neck arms, legs, etc. After being off gluten for a year I had decided to start eating it again last June. The symptoms didn't arise until December, though. In March I went off gluten again and I've remained that way--I've decided I definitely have a gluten intolerance. I'm frustrated though because while the eczema greatly subsided there have been a few patches spotting up again recently. And my arm rash is not going away. It has gotten a lot better. I'm just wondering if there might be some other problem I haven't thought of. I'm also wondering how long it takes for skin rashes that were caused by gluten to go away--maybe I just need to be more patient about my arms.
    I would really appreciate any advice you can give me and also thank you for your time!

  7. This really sounds like a great salad!

  8. That sounds like a great salad, and I know I would eat it in a heartbeat. Out of curiosity, how old are your children? Mine are 2 and 4, and my 4 year old eats just about all fruits and veggies, except "leaves." We are working on that now.

  9. This salad was really good. My mom really liked it. The dressing had good flavor and you couldn't taste any bitterness from the kale, which IMO doesn't taste good plain.
    We made half recipe (One kale leaf each.)to serve 3 people as part of our dinner.

  10. You tips are also great for cranky boyfriends who would rather go see Water for Elephants than eat something green:)

  11. Yummy looking recipe! And great tips for raising kids who are healthy eaters--the way it should be!

  12. Sounds great!!
    I'm really looking forward to your new book!! Your first one is one of my favorite cook books ever!

  13. Made this for lunch today, and it was perfect! (I did have to substitute almonds for sunflower seeds, but the dressing with the kale and avocado really cinch it.) Thanks for the great suggestion, esp. since kale is in season and in abundance here. :)

  14. Ali, this kale salad is absolutely delicious! Thanks to your recipe, my kale intake is going to skyrocket!

    Thank you so much for all you & Tom do to bring good health, good food & happy lives to people! I recommend your book & blog to someone new every day!

    Take good care, Ali. Hope you're feeling well...new baby time must be drawing near!


  15. Love this! I'm a sucker for anything kale and anything avocado. This is a winner for me.

  16. This is a great way to enjoy kale & I love avocados too!
    It is vegetarian week at Get Grillin' we would love if you submitted up to any 3 recipes (they don't have to be grilled) to our link up. This one would be perfect!
    This week we have a ManPans giveaway. http://su.pr/3GCtXU

  17. Great salad! A staple supper for me. (I LOVE your blog, too!)

    I've been eating it for over 2 weeks now and plan to tweak (sans lemon) it to have during phase 1 of the elimination diet. Both my husband and I are on day 2 of the green smoothies fast, so we cannot wait to enjoy some solid, warm foods tomorrow!

    I have been battling IBS-C for nearly 2 decades. All tests conducted through the years have consistently shown normal (nothing wrong) and negative for allergies. In all that time, I was never advised about how to conduct a tried and true elimination diet. Your cookbook was on my Amazon wish list and my sister-in-law gave it to me for my birthday. What a Godsend! Thanks Ali and Tom!!

    My husband, on the other hand, has vitiligo, which is an autoimmune condition that has no known cause or cure. Expensive dermatology visits only have yielded prescriptions for even more expensive creams that have maybe a 20% chance of working at all (and in fact, have caused adverse side effects when he used them as directed). In addition, my husband also experiences weight loss, dark circles under his eyes, fatigue, and skin rashes. He feels horrible today after 1.5 days of the green smoothies. I keep encouraging him that he should feel much better than before by the time we figure out what foods to favor and which ones to banish for optimal health.

    Thanks again!

  18. I was a kale hater, but this is definitely something I can eat and will make again. It's not my favorite thing ever (which is the kale's fault, not yours!), but it's so healthy, and I like this enough that I'll eat it again. Thank you!


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)