Dirigo Dish: Tasty Kale Salad

Not sure how you feel about kale? Sure, it’s a super food, but it can also be tough. Check out this recipe from the American Heart Association that includes a trick to make raw kale more tender – you just have a change of heart about kale! Spring into more healthy recipes over at www.heart.org!


  • 8 cups chopped stemmed kale (about 1 large bunch)
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow or Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted, hulled sunflower seedsOR
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted, hulled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated, reduced-fat Parmesan cheese


  1. Prepare the kale: Lay each leaf onto a cutting board. Use a knife to cut each side of the kale leaf’s rib to remove and discard it. (Kale ribs are quite bitter and tough, making it best to remove.) Repeat with remaining leaves. Then, slice the kale into about ½-inch pieces. If kale is still wet from washing, dry it in a salad spinner.
  2. In a large bowl, add lemon juice, oil, mustard, and pepper. Use a fork to mix dressing together. Add the chopped kale into the bowl. Use your fingers to gently massage the dressing into the kale until the kale has wilted from 8 cups to 6 cups, just a few minutes. Massaging the kale makes it less tough and more tender.
  3. Top kale salad with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Cooking Tip: Just a dab of mustard, like in this salad dressing, helps keep the oil and vinegar together in homemade dressings.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!

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