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Warm Kale and Spinach Salad with a Creamy Paleo Lemon Dressing

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I’m a Nutritionist. And what that means is: I am supposed to be head over heels for KALE. All hale KALE. But… I’m not. I actually think it tastes a bit like a banana… And if you know me or follow me at all, you know that I loathe bananas. Always have. I’m sorry if I’ve now ruined the kale experience for you. Next time you eat it (hopefully this salad) you’re probably going to think of bananas. But, perhaps that will be a great thing, because maybe you really like bananas. All I know is – while I really don’t care for kale, I’ve learned that if I let it marinade in dressing for a bit or if I roast it and get it crispy, THEN I really enjoy it. Hence the birth of this salad. Well, and the fact that I am trying to incorporate more meatless dinners into our mix for Mo’s sake. The man loves meat. A lot. And left to his own devices, would probably eat it at every meal in spite of believing whole-heartedly that there is no need for it at every meal. I, on the other hand, would eat meat once a week, if left to my own devices. I’m not opposed to it, I would just much rather have vegetables!

So, we compromise………

I ALWAYS use spinach in the “Big Salads” I make. It’s my favorite. It’s dark green, it’s leafy, it’s antgi-inflammatory, it’s full of nutrition and man. It’s SO easy when you buy the pre-washed organic stuff. AND, it isn’t bitter like some other greens… Ehemmm KALE!

But, like we coach our clients, variety is the spice of life! 🙂 So I try to use other greens when I’m feeling the motivation to do so. I’ve never made a “massaged kale salad” before. But I have eaten them and really enjoyed them, in spite of my apparent distaste for kale. Mo loves kale, so I thought I’d up my compromise game and throw some kale and try the whole “massage the leaves technique” and let it sit for a few before adding the other ingredients. You know? It’s super easy… A little messy on your hands, but who cares? And, here’s the kicker – I really liked it. Annnnd, a little bonus – kale is 3g of protein per 1 cup chopped, so when you’re going meatless, this is an important point to consider!

Will kale be the new spinach for me? Heck no! But, now I have an easy way to make it something I think is delicious! Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Warm Kale and Spinach Salad with a Creamy Paleo Lemon Dressing

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side…


Roasted Vegetables

  • 12-16oz bag pre-riced cauliflower rice
  • ½ tbsp smoked or regular paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1lb baby new potatoes (any color), cut into ¼” thick rounds
  • 3 small carrots (any color), cut into ¼” thick rounds
  • 1, 15oz can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin


  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice


  • 1 bunch dinosaur or lacinto kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)


  • First, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl – whisk until well combined and smooth. Pour ½ of the dressing over the chopped kale and massage with your hands so that all pieces of kale are coated evenly. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line one large, one medium and one small baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a light coating of coconut oil cooking spray.
  • Place the cauliflower rice onto the medium baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt, paprika and turmeric – toss to combine. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, in a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and carrots. Add in drizzle of olive oil and spices, mix well until everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and tender.
  • Spread chickpeas onto the small baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the oven, under the potatoes/carrots, to roast for approx. 15 minutes or until slightly browned and crisped.
  • Remove potatoes/carrots and chickpeas from oven and pour potatoes/carrots and cauliflower rice into the bowl with the dressed kale. Add the spinach and remaining dressing and toss well to combine.
  • Top with chickpeas and toss once more to combine.
  • Serve in bowls and top with jalapeno (if using) and toasted sesame seeds.