Wilted Kale Salad with a Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Wilted Kale Superfood Recipe

 

Inspired by the classic kale & avocado salad, this dish was a hit in New York when I made it, almost on a daily basis, for everyone at The Plant. (Postscript: The Plant is no longer open.)

Chipotle peppers are jalapenos that have been smoked, and so are not raw. However, I love to use them as they have such a great taste and you don’t need to use many! I have provided an alternative combination of ingredients in the recipe as a substitute to using jalapenos that will give a similarly distinctive taste.

This is a really hearty meal with a kick that’s perfect for those cold winter days!

Serves 2

For the wilted kale

  • 11 oz (300 g) kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)

For the dressing

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 chipotle pepper* soaked for 2+ hours
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Chipotle soak water as needed to blend

*If not using chipotle peppers, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon each of onion powder, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and tamari (or nama shoyu).

Assembly

  1. Remove the kale stems, and then wash and cut the kale into small pieces. Place into a bowl, add salt and start to massage the kale until it wilts and takes on a ‘cooked’ texture.
  2. Add the tomatoes and hemp seeds to the bowl and mix in by hand.
  3. Blend all dressing Β ingredients in a high-speed blender until creamy, and then mix into kale by hand.

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155 Comments

  1. Fayette
    Reply
    Posted

    ​Newbie here. This sounds like a great meal.

    Question: This might be a stupid question but would this work with frozen kale or should I keep that for smoothies?

    Question 2: My mom is on a salt restricted diet, is there a way to accomplish the wilted/cooked effect without using salt?

    Question 3: I am a wimp when it comes to spice/heat; will the designated amount of chipotle peppers result in mild, medium or hot heat?

    • Russell
      Reply
      Posted

      1) I’ve not tried it with frozen kale, but I imagine the kale would be too wilted after defrosting.

      2) No, you’d have to lightly steam it in that case, which I sometimes like to do.

      3) Medium, but maybe to you hot πŸ™‚

  2. Leeanne Morrison
    Reply
    Posted

    HI Russell
    What would I substitute hemp seeds for as am unable to get them in New Zealand. Can’t wait to try this

  3. Jillian Shepherd
    Reply
    Posted

    Thanks for sharing this recipe Russell, going raw in baby steps and this sounds ideal, thanks once again.

  4. Manijeh Talaei
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell.
    Looks yummy. Kale is one of things which I can’t have it because of my Thyroid. Is there anything else I can replace it.? xx

  5. Le-Ann Buoni-Smith
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell I am from Australia and I have no idea what a chipotle pepper is? If we don’t have that here what can I substitute ? Cheers.

  6. Vera Moore
    Reply
    Posted

    Need to have go.
    Two avocados and olive oil πŸ˜‰ ???? Any way it is better than bag of crisps ;-).
    Thank you.

  7. sheena brown
    Reply
    Posted

    Am just about to have my first raw food meal (not counting salads). I wAs too late to try the chipotle recipe, but it is now on my list … Not keen on hot spicy food, so will introduce this new ingredient carefully. Really excited to be joining up with like minded people ?

  8. Julia Sundberg
    Reply
    Posted

    This looks great and I cannot wait to give it a try (the avocado paired with the chipotle already has by interest piqued). I may try substituting the kale with radicchio as it still has the great superfood benefits, but just a different flavor. Either way, this looks great and I look forward to serving it to my family. Thanks!

  9. Melissa
    Reply
    Posted

    We have been making your Wilted Kale recipe just about every year for Christmas… and shaped it into an edible Christmas wreath. This recipe has surprised many, even kale “haters” have been converted. Some even say, this is the only way they would eat kale – Wilted Kale Salad. Thanks for a delicious recipe.

  10. ben
    Reply
    Posted

    Hey russell. Great books. I’ve looked all over for kale in Brighton but can’t find any. I can get spinach, cabbage and another green the name escapes me. What do you recommend as a substitute to kale?

    • Russell James
      Reply
      Posted

      Cabbage would be really good.

      Kale has been hard to find recently but I’ve noticed it has come back into stores in London, so you may be able to get it soon from Infinity Cafe.

  11. Erika
    Reply
    Posted

    Hello Russell,
    This salad was delicious! I made it the other day, and was soon reminded that avocado doesn’t agree with my stomach. Would you recommend a substitution for the avocado in this recipe and others that call for it?

  12. Andy
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell I made pesto and marinated mushrooms Christmas Day. OMG fantastic!!!!!! Thank you. I look forward to trying more delish recipes. Cheers Andy

  13. Sasha
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell
    I am writing you here because you seem to be excellent at responding to people’s comments beneath your recipes and I have not been able to contact you successfully through direct email. I feel frustrated because I bought all your recipes books online over a week ago, have fully paid for them, but the link for downloading does not work. You ask people via email to contact you directly if there are any problems and I did so several times but no response. Please help. Thank you

  14. Donna H.
    Reply
    Posted

    This looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it. Kale is one of my favorite foods on the planet. Question- I am still unclear regarding the lemon juice. Is it- 2 Tablespoons plus one cup of lemon juice? Thanks, and thanks for all I’ve learned from you regarding raw food creations.

  15. PK
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi, I made this salad yesterday and can’t stop eating it. Thanks, I love it and plan to make it over and over again. I plan to try the lasagna today. Thanks!!

  16. shirley
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi, I am new to raw food eating & am starting to look at the recipes you are sending me. They all seem fantastic. Can I ask before I attempt to start a raw food recipe, which one would be an easy & successful one to try first ? Thanks from Australia

  17. Andrea
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi there I made this today, but I was confused as to the chipotle part. Do you mean for us to use a whole dried chipotle? I only had canned chipotle the kind in adobe sauce so I removed a chipotle and soaked it. The result was less than steller and the sauce had an odd taste. I think I should have clarified beforehand. About how much water should be added? My sauce started out like mortar, so I think I ended up adding to much!

    • Russell James
      Reply
      Posted

      Hi Andrea,

      You’ll need to use a dried chipotle, not one removed from a sauce.

      Soaking the dried chipotle chili will make it soft enough to blend.

      Add enough water to have it be the consistency of reasonably thick yoghurt.

      • Judy Hirsh
        Reply
        Posted

        I wish I had read this first. I couldn’t find dried chipotle so I also used canned. The dressing was missing something– kind of bland. With dried, does it have more pizazz with out being too spicy?

  18. Gay
    Reply
    Posted

    Russell, I am in Australia and reading your Kale Salad and am wondering what I can use instead of hemp seeds no available here.

        • Russell James
          Reply
          Posted

          Flax seeds aren’t particularly digestible in the unsoaked, whole form.

          Chia tend to be a bit hard and grainy in the mouth if unsoaked.

          The issue with soaking either is that they turn very gelatinous, so would not be great to use in a recipe like this.

          If you just wanted to use a sprinkle of either to see how you like them unsoaked, you could certainly give that a go.

    • Nick Scott
      Reply
      Posted

      Good day Gay, you can purchase De-hulled Raw Hemp Seeds, direct from Hemp Foods Australia, these guys are down in Bangalow, NSW. Contact them on Tel: 02-6687-1260. There help you out . Freedom & Peace.

  19. Elaine J
    Reply
    Posted

    Unfortunately I am highly allergic to raw kale. It caused me stomach pain 3x, and blistered the inside of my mouth and lips last time. I won’t be eating kale again, ever.

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