Kale salad is something I never really get tired of which is why I’m continually coming up with new kale salad recipes. This one is so pretty with its rainbow carrots and has a ton of flavor thanks to its coconut “parmesan,” dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. This works perfectly as a beautiful side salad and would be great as a holiday salad. It is AIP, Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and Whole30 compliant.
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Lacinato Kale- Lacinato is my favorite because the leaves are softer than curly kale but curly kale works fine too.
Brussels Sprouts- These add some crunch and another flavor dimension to the salad. Be sure to slice them very thinly.
Dried Cranberries- Be careful when buying these- a lot of dried fruits have added sugars and oils.
Rainbow Carrots- I realize rainbow carrots are not always easy to find. I usually can find rainbow baby carrots at Kroger (and was able to find them at King Soopers when I lived in Colorado). I was excited to find some big rainbow carrots at a small produce market near my house recently.
Anyway, if you can't find rainbow carrots, regular carrots will be fine and the taste will generally be about the same.
As with the brussels sprouts, slice these very thinly (or you can even grate or spiralize them).
Coconut “Parmesan”- The coconut parmesan in this salad was inspired by my all-time favorite kale salad recipe by Oh She Glows which uses a “pecan parmesan.” I wanted to achieve a similar texture and flavor but in a way that was AIP compliant. The coconut parmesan contains nutritional yeast, coconut flakes, avocado oil, garlic powder, and pink Himalayan sea salt and it is fabulous.
Balsamic Vinaigrette- This is a simple mixture of oil (avocado or olive) with balsamic vinegar and sea salt.
Massage the Kale
Kale can be a little bit tough, so it pays to take a little time to tear it into teeny tiny pieces (or use kitchen sheers), then add a little oil and sea salt and massage. Just massaging it with your hands for a couple of minutes before adding the other ingredients makes a big difference! It’s also quite therapeutic.
This salad (like most) is best eaten fresh. If you want to make it and save for later, this can be done 1 day in advance, but be sure to wait on adding the olive oil and vinaigrette until it’s almost time to serve.
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This recipe is shared on the Paleo AIP recipe roundtable.
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Kale Salad with Rainbow Carrots and Cranberries (AIP, Paleo, GF, Whole30, Vegan)
- Start by placing the kale pieces in a large bowl. Make sure the pieces are shredded very small. You can tear them by hand or use kitchen shears for this. Then, add about 1 tbsp avocado oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and massage them into the kale leaves by hand for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the brussels sprouts, carrots, and cranberries. Set aside.
- Make the coconut parmesan. In a food processor, combine the coconut parmesan ingredients and blend. Leave some little lumps in it for texture (if desired).
- Add the coconut parmesan to the salad.
- Make the dressing. Serve the salad with the dressing drizzled over-top. Enjoy!