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When I first tried kale, I hated it. My husband had grown some in his garden, and was so proud to serve me a big plate of kale salad. I struggled my way through chewing the tough, bitter leaves, and did my best to finish it. After that, I wasn't too keen on trying it again. But then I learned all of the amazing nutritional benefits of kale. One serving of kale (1 cup) has your full RDA for vitamin C, about twice the RDA for vitamin A and almost 7 times the RDA for vitamin K. Kale also has a quarter of your RDA for manganese, along with a respectable amount of copper, potassium and calcium. As a member of the brassica, or cruciferous, vegetable family (which includes broccoli, cauliflower, collards and cabbage) kale is also loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and sulforophane. Knowing how phenomenally healthy it was motivated me to learn to love kale. I discovered massaging, which is a simple way to soften the texture and flavor, and found that when I paired kale with a really flavorful and creamy dressing it got me to the point where I love eating it. Now I actually wish my husband didn't like kale so much because I want to eat it all myself! This recipe features a super-creamy avocado dressing, flavored with sweet-smoky mesquite. Toss this awesome dressing with massaged kale, sweet and crunchy red pepper, juicy cucumber and edamame beans for a delicious and nourishing salad. Check out the video below for a quick kale massage how-to and step-by-step instructions for making this delicious salad. Ingredients and written instructions are provided below the video.

Mesquite-Avocado Kale Salad [Vegan]

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Ingredients You Need for Mesquite-Avocado Kale Salad [Vegan]

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)
  • 1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (depending on how tangy you like it)
  • ¾ tsp mesquite powder (can sub chili or curry powder)
  • ¾ tsp onion powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 pieces of kale, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup edamame beans, shelled and thawed
  • 1 green onion, chopped

How to Prepare Mesquite-Avocado Kale Salad [Vegan]

  1. Put the avocado, vinegar and seasonings with about 1/2 cup of water in a blender.
  2. Puree, adding more water to get the consistency you want for your dressing.
  1. Cut the stems off the kale if you don't like them, and chop the kale into bite-size pieces.
  2. Sprinkle them with a bit of salt and massage them with your fingers until they wilt and get some moisture on the outside.
  3. Put the rest of the veggies in a bowl, and toss with the dressing.
  4. The salad is great served on its own, with a bowl of soup or in a wrap.
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