Category Archives: Salads

Citrus Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Citrus Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This citrus kale salad is a massaged with a simple grapefruit vinaigrette for a satisfying salad packed with delicious flavors and textures. Perfect for winter citrus season!

Rectangular plate full of a citrus kale salad massaged with grapefruit vinaigrette and topped with sliced avocado, citrus segments, and slivered almonds.

Citrus Kale Salad

This citrus kale salad was totally inspired by my super delicious and popular winter kale salad recipe.  While that version boasts dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a cranberry vinaigrette, this citrus kale salad takes a few different flavors, while still combining all the textures and nutrients for one satisfying salad.

The kale is massaged with a delightful grapefruit vinaigrette. I used the juice from half a fresh grapefruit, but you could totally use bottled 100% grapefruit juice if that’s what you have on hand or prefer. Gosh – even if you’re not a big grapefruit fan but still want to try this salad, you could even use orange juice instead!

Then of course – the toppings. Y’all know that when it comes to salads, I’m in it for the toppings. Leafy greens are great and all, but I love using toppings as a way to add flavors, textures, and other nutrients for a more balanced meal.

Here we’ve got segments of grapefruit and oranges for bright pops of citrus flavor. Creaminess and healthy fats are added with sliced avocado. Almond slivers (use sunflower seeds if allergic) add great texture and more fiber and healthy fats. Finally, just a little bit finely chopped fresh mint throughout the massaged kale salad adds just another dimension of flavor that makes it even more satisfying to your taste buds!

Rectangular plate full of a citrus kale salad massaged with grapefruit vinaigrette and topped with sliced avocado, citrus segments, and slivered almonds.

How to Make Citrus Kale Salad

Like the original winter kale salad, this citrus kale salad with grapefruit vinaigrette really is pretty simple!

Toss your grapefruit vinaigrette ingredients into a small mason jar. Seal, shake until combined, then pour over your kale. (No jars? You can totally use a small bowl and whisk or fork, too.)

Next it’s time to massage your kale. Yup – massage. Every time I talk about a massaged kale salad there are always questions! I’ll try to make a video soon, but basically quite literally massage (or rub or knead) the vinaigrette into the kale leaves. This will help the kale tenderize (making it less chewy and more tolerable to many compared to raw, untouched kale), and many say they feel massaged kale is less bitter tasting.

I usually let my massaged kale salad then sit for 30 or so minutes in the fridge (or even up to a day, if I’m making it in advance). When I’m ready to eat, I add my toppings (grapefruit and orange segments, sliced avocado, and almond slivers) and dig in!

Now, let’s chat about the mint. I have mint listed as an optional ingredient here, primarily because I know how annoying it can be to buy a large package of a fresh herbs when you only need a small amount, and I don’t want that to stop you from making this salad. Truthfully this salad still tastes great without it. But, if you’re looking for another little pop of flavor, just chop some mint and add it to your kale before you add the grapefruit vinaigrette. Especially when you let the flavors sit and mingle for a while, the mint really gets drawn out!

A handheld citrus juice, half a juiced grapefruit, and a small mason jar with the ingredients of a simple grapefruit vinaigrette.

How to Turn a Salad Into a Balanced Meal

Now I will say – I wrote this recipe to act as more of a side dish to accompany the rest of a meal. So if you’re looking to make a full meal out of this salad, be sure to do a couple things:

  • Portion enough salad for a meal versus a side portion . You need enough energy to sustain you for a few hours so you can go about focusing on and enjoying your day.
  • Add some protein. Most individuals will need a little more protein from a meal than this salad provides. Pair it with leftover shrimp or salmon from last night’s dinner, or add some grilled chicken, chickpeas, or lentils on top. Try pairing it with my foolproof instant pot salmon or crunchy roasted chickpeas!
  • Consider your needs and possibly adding some complex carbs. Some people will feel super nourished and satisfied from eating this salad with some protein and be done there. Others may need a little extra carbs, like baked sweet potato fries, whole grain toast, or even some quinoa added to the salad. Check in with yourself and your current hunger levels, how long you need this meal to sustain you, and again – add away! Try pairing it with my spiced baked sweet potato fries, sweet potato carrot soup, or an oatmeal banana muffin.

Close up of a citrus kale salad massaged with grapefruit vinaigrette and topped with sliced avocado, citrus segments, and slivered almonds.

Looking for More Easy, Healthy Salads Loaded with Toppings?

Try some of the most popular Nutrition to Fit salad recipes:

As always, when you try a NTF recipe, be sure to comment and rate the recipe below so others may see! And of course, take a picture of your finished creations and tag me on social media – @nutritiontofit and #nutritiontofit. I love seeing my recipes being enjoyed by you, and love to reshare your pictures on my social media accounts, too! Live well!

Rectangular plate full of a citrus kale salad massaged with grapefruit vinaigrette and topped with sliced avocado, citrus segments, and slivered almonds.

Citrus Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 237 kcal

This citrus kale salad is a massaged with a simple grapefruit vinaigrette for a satisfying salad packed with delicious flavors and textures. Perfect for winter citrus season!

free from: wheat/ gluten, dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, peanuts, *tree nuts optional (sub sunflower seeds for almonds)

Print

Ingredients

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice (about half a grapefruit)
  • 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Citrus Kale Salad

  • 8 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint (optional)
  • 1/2 grapefruit segmented
  • 1 naval orange segmented
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds

Instructions

  1. Combine the grapefruit vinaigrette ingredients in a small mason jar, seal, and shake until thoroughly incorporated. Alternatively, you can whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

  2. In a large bowl, add chopped kale, optional chopped mint, and the grapefruit vinaigrette. Massage the vinaigrette into the kale by kneading and rubbing it into the kale leaves, tenderizing the kale.

  3. While the salad can be enjoyed right away, you can also allow the flavors to really develop and kale to become extra tender by setting the massaged kale in an airtight container in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to one day.

  4. When ready to serve, top with remaining salad ingredients and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Citrus Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 126mg 5%
Potassium 939mg 27%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 8g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 277.4%
Vitamin C 235.5%
Calcium 23.7%
Iron 13.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This citrus kale salad is a massaged with a simple grapefruit vinaigrette for a satisfying salad packed with delicious flavors and textures. Perfect for winter citrus season!

This citrus kale salad is a massaged with a simple grapefruit vinaigrette for a satisfying salad packed with delicious flavors and textures. Perfect for winter citrus season!

Winter Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cranberry Vinaigrette

Winter Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cranberry Vinaigrette

This winter kale salad with cranberries is massaged with the lightest, most delicately sweet cranberry vinaigrette for a festive massaged kale salad everyone wants more of! You HAVE to make this winter kale salad!!! I know – you’re probably thinking, “it’s a kale salad…I’ll take pumpkin pie crumble bars, please…” but there is just something… Continue Reading

Zucchini Noodle Antipasto Salad

Zucchini Noodle Antipasto Salad

Antipasto salad gets a light and fresh take with this zucchini noodle antipasto salad. A fun zucchini noodle pasta salad, it’s perfect with any healthy summer meal. Pasta salads like antipasto salads were something I remember never being hugely interested in when I was growing up – but I also never really enjoyed pasta that… Continue Reading

Sunflower Seed Tabbouleh Salad

Sunflower Seed Tabbouleh Salad

Naturally gluten-free and grain-free, this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad offers a fun and healthy variation packed with texture and fresh flavors. This summer the parsley in my garden has absolutely exploded! While it almost feels like there’s more than I even know what to do with, I’ve been adding parsley to everything and even pulling… Continue Reading

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad

This healthy creamy cucumber salad is a simple salad recipe that gets its creamy dressing from a heart-healthy source: avocados! Perfect for summer, it’s hydrating, cooling, full of monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Don’t forget to save this creamy cucumber salad recipe to Pinterest to make later! Cucumbers are the epitome of cooling refreshment… Continue Reading

Mango Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Mango Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This mango chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing is a fresh and flavorful salad perfect to keep you energized in warmer months. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, this mango chicken salad is full of protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Save this recipe for later with Pinterest. When it comes to salads, I’m all… Continue Reading

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro lime dressing is a flavor-packed healthy salad dressing that needs just a handful of simple ingredients. Let me preface this by saying I know – cilantro is super polarizing. If you’re not a cilantro fan, go ahead and skip this cilantro lime dressing recipe. May I suggest making these more universally appealing oatmeal banana… Continue Reading

Blueberry Panzanella Salad

Blueberry Panzanella Salad

Toasted gluten-free blueberry bagel chips bring loads of flavor to this fresh Blueberry Panzanella Salad that’s great for gluten-free brunches and picnics! This recipe is sponsored by Canyon Gluten-Free Bakehouse. May is both Celiac Awareness Month and Food Allergy Awareness Month, making it a great time to talk about managing dietary restrictions while still enjoying… Continue Reading

5-Minute Balsamic Thyme Tomato Salad

5-Minute Balsamic Thyme Tomato Salad

5-Minute Balsamic Thyme Tomato Salad is a light, fresh, simple salad side dish perfect for picnics and hot summer nights! | gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, free of all other top 8 most common allergens It’s April, which basically means it’s almost summertime here in Florida! 😉 I know, I know – with the horrible winter… Continue Reading

Avocado Veggie Egg Salad

Avocado Veggie Egg Salad

Avocado Veggie Egg Salad is an egg salad recipe that’s full of healthy fats, flavor, veggies, fiber, and nutrients. It’s a unique and lighter version of a traditional egg salad. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and easy to make! It’s the week before Easter, which for many of us means a week from now there… Continue Reading

I'm Lindsey! I'm passionate about helping you find healthy habits and nutrition that fit your life - not the other way around!

by LINDSEY JANEIRO, RDN, CLT