This sweet, spicy, and savory kale chip salad has it all. Get ready to enjoy the crunch, crunch, crunch of the kale chips, layered with the pleasing sweetness of ripe strawberries (with a little added heat), topped with the creaminess of a delicious and healthy avocado crema.
I used lacinato kale for this recipe, but any kind of kale will work. For a complete meal, add a side of the protein of your choice. Grilled chicken, fish, or beef are good ideas.
I also recommend using very, very ripe strawberries in making the salsa. That way there will be a good amount sweetness in this salsa without adding a sweetener. On the flip side, you can adjust the hotness by using a larger or smaller pepper.
You can serve this kale chip salad as four or five individual salads or make it into one large salad for dividing at the table. Either way, take a minute to make it look pretty. It’s really not hard at all with these lovely ingredients!
I recently read about some interesting new food research, and this is my philosophy also:
“A new study led by Professor Charles Spence, the Oxford University gastrophysicist making waves in the food industry, has proven beyond doubt that making something look good makes it effectively taste better too.”
This kale chip salad recipe is a favorite of mine. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you try it, let me know what you liked or what you did differently in the comments below.
Spicy Strawberry Salsa
The pleasing sweetness of strawberries couples well with a little heat.
- 1/2 medium lime zest & juice
- 12 oz strawberries hulled and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped
- 4 scallions chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped, extra for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pinch fine Himalayan sea salt
Trim, hull, and dice the strawberries into small pieces. Place into a bowl.
Add both the lime zest and lime juice to the bowl with strawberries.
Trim the jalapeño pepper, remove the seeds and pith for less heat and mince into very small pieces. Leave some or all of the seeds if you desire more heat.
Trim and chop the scallions and cilantro.
Add everything to the strawberry and lime mixture. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Stir all of the ingredients.
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve the salad. Although you can serve this strawberry salsa right away, it is best to refrigerate it for at least an hour so the flavors meld.
When it comes to the jalapeño, use a smaller one for less heat or leave some of the seeds in for more heat.
Avocado-Lime Non-Dairy Crema
This delicious "crema" is dairy free and goes great on just about anything.
- 1 ripe avocado peeled and seeded
- Pinch fine sea salt Himalayan
- 1/3 cup coconut cream cream only from top of a can of good coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp cilantro more for garnish
- 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed OPTIONAL
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced until thick enough for drizzle OPTIONAL
Blend everything except cilantro in a blender or food processor. Stir in minced cilantro.
Remove from blender. Garnish with extra cilantro. If you refrigerate for use later, crema will thicken significantly.
Optional: Reduce balsamic vinegar in a small skillet until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat for a minute or two. Drizzle on top of crema.
Optional: crush a pinch of whole Sichuan peppercorns and sprinkle on top of crema.
A Note on Sichuan Peppercorns:
More aromatic Sichuan pepper is the berry of the mountain ash tree, with a pungent flavor unlike the usual heat of a peppercorn. Sichuan pepper’s unique aroma and flavor is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones.
Baked Kale Chips
Get ready to enjoy the simple and healthy crunch, crunch, crunch of these kale chips.
- 8-10 Lacinato Kale leaves
- 1-2 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- Pinch of Celtic or Cypress Salt to serve
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefully remove the spines from the kale leaves with a sharp knife. Chop into 1- to 2-inch pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drizzle the kale lightly with avocado oil or olive oil, and carefully coat each leaf with your fingers. Spread the kale pieces out on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Move kale around on the baking sheet after a few minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
How to Assemble Your Kale Chip Salad
You can make 4-5 individual salads or one large salad to divide at time of serving.
For individual salads:
- Divide strawberry salsa onto individual salad plates.
- Scatter kale chips around the edge of salsa.
- Add a large dollop of avocado-lime crema in the center of the salsa.
- Sprinkle with a small pinch of Celtic or Cypress salt on the kale chips.
- Serve immediately.
For one large salad:
- Put avocado-lime crema in a small dish for serving and place it in the center of a large serving platter.
- Arrange strawberry salsa around the dish of crema.
- Add kale chips around the edge of the strawberry salsa.
- Add a pinch of Celtic or Cypress salt on top of the kale chips.
Optional items: add small pinches of ground Sichuan pepper to top of the crema and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!