Lauren Kelly Nutritionist

Better Health, Better Food, Better You

Please welcome my friend Lauren O’ Connor as our guest blogger today!

on February 17, 2012

Lauren O’ Connor, M.S., R.D. is a Nutrition writer and Nutrition Consultant in sunny California.  Lauren’s blog, is designed to provide general nutritional knowledge, healthy recipes & inspirational posts. It encourages success stories and contributions from its readers/fans.


A mother of twin toddlers and nutrition professional, I try to keep my meals simple, healthy and delicious. And, although not all my dishes my please my  little girls, if I can at least gain their interest, that is half the battle (in upping their veggie intake). That is what this raw kale salad did indeed – it struck their curiosity. I got silly grins, “sticky hands” (yes, they reached into the serving bowl) and open mouthfuls of the leafy greens, and then some smirks. Probably a bit mature for their palates, it pleased my husband’s and mine.

Today’s recipe is one that can be varied with the addition of feta (in place of the olive tapenade) and chopped avocado for a smooth, creamy compliment. It serves nicely with marinated grilled wild salmon, and can be delightful with roast chicken, too. It holds up on its own as a healthy mid-day snack. Or as a tasty base for a quinoa salad. And because kale is a strong, leafy green, it can stay in the refrigerator over night and be served the next day – a benefit to busy individuals who can certainly use healthy grab-n-go options.

To make this recipe lower in fat and calories, I’ve adjusted the amount of olive oil from 1/3 cup to 1/8 cup (2 TBS) and added in 1 TBS starch (flour) for viscosity. (Many recipes use as much as 1/2 cup of oil.) You can opt to use the whole amount of olive oil (without the flour) for a nice consistency and satisfying mouthfeel, but just remember to use the dressing sparingly. Hint: start with just a TBS of dressing on your kale blend (and add a little more as needed, but don’t use all the dressing), shake it well a zip-lock bag until nicely coated.

And while I’m at it, there are many great reasons to mix it up with kale. Check out kale on 8 Super Foods Your Heart Will Love.


Makes 4 servings.

  • 4-6 cups loose, chopped, fresh kale
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped coarsely
  • 1 TBS low sodium tamari (soy sauce or Ponzu marinade)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS brown rice flour
  • 2 TBS sliced, toasted almonds
  • 2 TBS olive tapenade

Rinse, stem* and chop kale (or buy pre-chopped). Set aside. In a blender, place garlic, lemon, tamari and flour. Blend on variable speed from low to high until well blended. (Note: VitaMix highly recommended, but not necessary). Slowly drizzle in olive oil at low-speed and continue to blend for another 3-5 minutes. Pour onto kale and mix in well to coat each piece. In a non-stick pan or in toaster oven, toast sliced almonds until light brown. Toss in almonds and olive tapenade. Enjoy!

*Since kale is chopped, stemming is optional, but may be preferred.

Nutrition (per 1/4 recipe) : Cal 140, Fat 11g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 180mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 1g, Protein 3g

Stop by and “like” Lauren at

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Thanks Lauren for this amazing recipe! 🙂


2 responses to “Please welcome my friend Lauren O’ Connor as our guest blogger today!

  1. Thank you for inviting me to contribute to your blog! : )

  2. Mo says:

    OMG! Mmmmoreslicious!
    Thank you, Lauren squared! 🙂

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