Massaged Kale Salad with an Orange, Soy & Ginger Dressing

If I were to tell you to swap your lunch today for a bowl of kale you might look at me as if I was crazy, but stick with me here. I stumbled across...

If I were to tell you to swap your lunch today for a bowl of kale you might look at me as if I was crazy, but stick with me here.

I stumbled across a variation of this salad when I was browsing my local supermarket’s deli section.  After buying it a couple of times, I decided to try and replicate it in my own kitchen and - no surprises here - that the homemade version tastes so much better!

This is a delicious raw kale salad with an orange, soy & ginger dressing that’s packed with flavour, protein and antitoxins – you’ll be going back for second helpings I’m sure!

Sadly kale is nearly out of season, so I’m trying to get my fix now. This meal has become a staple in my diet and I have it 2-3 times for my lunch per week. Not to mention that I estimate around 12.5 grams of protein in one portion (half the recipe outlined below).

Before we begin, I want to stress the importance of massaging the kale. I’ve seen a couple of different bloggers talking about massaging their kale, and even though I enjoy my time in the kitchen, it’s something I’ve always skipped due to timely nature of it. Five minutes massaging a vegetable?!  However, it kept appearing in recipes so I decided to dig a little deeper and find out what all the fuss was about. Now that I’ve read about the benefits, and tried it in my favourite dish, I’m converted. I can’t believe I was eating kale in any other way before. It totally transforms the flavour and texture of the leaf. This process breaks down the kale, leaving you with a tender, less-bitter leaf that is easier to digest. Additionally, I’ve found that massaging the kale helps the leaf absorb the dressing easier -meaning that you can skip some of the marinating time if you get too hungry!

I also use my own juicer for the oranges in the recipe below. This obviously yields more juice than the traditional hand method so if you aren’t using a juicer I recommend you up your orange quantity by half (aka 3 oranges!).

Hopefully you enjoy this as much as me and find it an easy way to get some more raw green goodies into your diet!


Massaged Kale Salad with an Orange, Soy & Ginger Dressing

Prep time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Actual hands-on time:  10 minutes

Makes:  Enough for 4 as a side dish or 2 hungry lunches!


  • Juice of 2 large oranges (or 3 if juicing by hand)
  • 100g ginger
  • 50ml groundnut oil
  • 30ml dark soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free option)
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 50g cranberries
  • 200g kale, stems removed



  1. Wash & rinse your kale. Get as many as the stems out now as you can – this is the bitterest part of the leaf. Once you’ve rinse your kale, get stuck in with your hands and massage for 3-5 minutes. The kale will soften but still hold its shape. If you feel it getting to mushy – stop! Set the kale aside in a colander to drain some more while you get on with the dressing.

TIP: If you’re picking up the already torn kale (like most supermarkets package it) you can probably get away with 3 minutes else you risk the kale becoming a big green pulpy mess.

  1. For the dressing I use a mixture of juiced and grated ginger. I find that by using a mix I still get the strong flavour I want fully integrated into the dressing, but with a bit of texture too. If you are lucky enough to have a juicer at home, juice around 40grams of the ginger, and grate the rest. If you’re not using a juicer – grate the whole lot and pop it in your mixing bowl.

TIP: Before you put the oranges in the juicer, take the pulp from the ginger out add to your mixing bowl for extra zingy-ness!

  1. Juice your oranges and put into the bowl of ginger (remembering to take the wax off the orange if juicing).

TIP: if you are juicing, you’ll get some of the normal foamy-ness from the oranges. Sift this out for a more visually pleasing dressing or just leave it if you don’t care!

  1. Add the ground nut oil and soy sauce to the orange & ginger and mix. Your dressing is done!
  2. Now mix the massaged kale with the dressing in a large bowl then add the flaked almonds, cranberries, pumpkin & sunflower seeds. Leave to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge, making sure to stir every now and then so that the juices don’t sit at the bottom.
  3. Serve to your family & friends and never hear a complaint about kale again!


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