Simple Summer Kale Salad

Summer screams something tasty and light. Serve this quick-to-make kale salad at your next dinner party or for that post pool lunch meal. Full of fresh veggies and color, this vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free salad is the perfect solution to an occasion this season.


Pickled onions:

  • 1 large red onion very thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 bunch kale finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil + dash sea salt
  • 1 apple thinly sliced or julienned
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries fruit-sweetened
  • 1 avocado peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free parmesan cheese optional


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the pickled onions first. They need to marinate for about 30 minutes. You can also make them ahead of time and store in the refrigerator to cut down the salad prep time.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, maple syrup and salt. Turn the heat to medium and heat until just simmering. While the mixture heats up, place the sliced onions in a mason jar.
  3. Slowly pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions in the mason jar to cover them, and use a spoon to ensure the top onions are covered. Marinate the onions for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad, or cover and refrigerate to use later.
  4. To toast the almonds, heat a medium skillet over medium and add the almonds, arranging in a (mostly) single layer. Allow them to toast for two minutes, stir, and allow to toast another minute or until beginning to turn golden brown. Once done, remove them from heat to avoid burning and set them aside.
  5. Place the chopped kale in a large serving bowl. Drizzle the olive oil on it and sprinkle with salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale using your hands for a few minutes to soften the kale.
  6. To the serving bowl, add the toasted almonds, sliced apples, cranberries, diced avocado, and dairy-free parmesan cheese, if using.
  7. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl or small mason jar and either whisk well (if using a bowl) or shake well (if using a mason jar) to combine.
  8. Once the onions are done, add them to the salad, then add the dressing and toss together with tongs.
  9. Serve right away, or keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours before serving. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy!



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Dr. G
Dr. G

Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Kansas City, MO who serves patients in the surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.