Mango Avocado Kale Salad

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This is another recipe I found on Pinterest, and I was drawn to it because of its visual appeal. It already feels like summer here in Alabama, and I’m in the mood to eat salads and fruit. Champagne mangoes (also called honey or yellow mangoes) have been a favorite fruit of mine for many years. They are in season now, so grab some while you can get them. Kale is a recent welcome addition to my family’s diet. Neither Tom nor I grew up eating kale, but recently I’ve been including it more often, steamed with some olive oil, as kale chips, or even for breakfast!

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Massaged Kale Salad with Mango and Avocado from Healthy Food for Living
Ingredients (4 servings):
1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale, leaves torn from the stalks and thinly sliced (I used regular kale)
1/4 cup Lime Olive Oil, such as Boston Olive Oil Company Whole Fruit Persian Lime (alternately, you can use 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice – this is what I did)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
2 ripe champagne mangos, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened flaked coconut

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Toast the almonds and coconut in the oven or in a dry skillet on the stove top, taking care not to burn them (more than once). In a large bowl, toss the sliced kale leaves with a small drizzle of the olive oil and a bit of Kosher salt; massage with your hands until the kale softens and wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Since Dora is our resident massage therapist, I recruited her for this job.

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In a small bowl or jar combine the remaining olive oil, honey, and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk or shake until well-combined. This takes some doing if your honey is thick like mine was.

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Toss the massaged kale with the dressing and add in the diced mango and avocado.

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Serve at room temperature topped with the toasted sliced almonds and flaked coconut. I added 1/2 can of salmon to each portion when we had leftovers for lunch. Mom and I really liked this salad and ate it for several meals. It kept very well for 3 days. The combination of sweet and bitter flavors and the combination of textures were delightful. The rest of the family decided they didn’t like raw kale. Their loss!

Salad in a Jar

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Before I adopted a Paleo diet, I usually took a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread (with avocado if I had any) to work for lunch. I’d have raw veggies on the side, a small piece of fruit and maybe a small piece of dark chocolate. I considered this a healthy and satisfying lunch that I really didn’t mind eating every day. Sometimes I would take a salad, but it seemed like so much work. When I started eating Paleo I decided that I would have to get over it and just make the time to make a salad.

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One of my hang-ups with a salad is that I really prefer it freshly made (I am the same way about sandwiches). I have tried taking all the ingredients and making my salad at work, but that is so time consuming! Pinterest gave me another good idea – salad in a jar! This combines 2 of my favorite things: fresh food simply prepared and reusing glass containers.

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There really is no recipe for this. This does work best with a thinner salad dressing. I often just use a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Choose a large glass jar (2 cup+) for a main dish salad. I often make two salads at a time. They stay fresh for 2-3 days.

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Add your salad dressing first. Thin it with lemon juice or vinegar if necessary.

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Don’t turn your back on it if you have hungry family members lurking about!

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Add your salad toppings. If you are using cheese, add it first. Feta cheese is superb marinated in vinegar and oil. Beets (if using) are next. Try this incredible marinated beets recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. I used to buy pickled beets but started making my own when I realized that they contained high-fructose corn syrup. Next add the rest of your vegetable toppings, moistest ingredients first.

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Top off the jar with salad greens. Don’t be afraid to stuff them in! It’s best if they are thoroughly dried. I just love how the salad looks in the jar.

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Dump the salad out onto a plate. If a lot of the dressing sticks to the bottom, put some of the salad greens back into the jar and shake vigorously. The beets turned my ginger dressing a brilliant hue of magenta!

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I add the meat separately because I like to add plenty of it. Sometimes I prefer to heat the meat up first. Yesterday I took the leftover flat iron steak with balsamic reduction to top my salad. I also pack avocado separately since it browns quickly. If anyone tries this, I’d love to see pictures!