Real Food Whole Life

One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

RecipesRobyn Downs2 Comments

Decadent, rich, and made without a hint of flour or refined sugar, One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are easy to make and are the perfect everyday treat!

Decadent, rich, and made without a hint of flour or refined sugar, One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are easy to make and the perfect everyday treat!

Hello friends, how are you?

It's been a hot minute since I've posted a recipe here--since May 30 to be exact, when I shared this killer recipe for Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken.

In the meantime I've launched the Feel Good Effect podcast, have been working hard on new secret project, and (most importantly) connecting with my beautiful family.

Now that fall is just around the corner and back-to-school is knocking on the door, I am so excited to be back in the kitchen, whipping up new recipes to share with you!

And what better way to start than with One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins?

We started our zucchinis from seed this year, in the garage under grow lights hanging from the ceiling.

Each night Andrew and Elle checked on them, watered them, and gently, tenderly, coaxed them into being.

When they were ready the little baby sprouts were transplanted outside, and we willed the tiny plants to flourish with sunshine and water and the mandatory, daily slug patrol.

And now our reward: full grown zucchini-making monsters, sprouting more green squashes than we know what to do with.

We've been zoodling and grilling and roasting and of course, of course, making these amazing chocolate wonders!

What's left will be grated and stashed away in the back corner of the freezer, measured into in the perfect zucchini bread-making amounts, all ready for baking in the cold months when all we'll want is a taste of spring and those tiny little seedlings, bursting into existence. 

I hope you'll give this one a try soon, either with fresh zucchini or using your own freezer stash. Now, let's make some One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins!

Decadent, rich, and made without a hint of flour or refined sugar, One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are easy to make and the perfect everyday treat!
Decadent, rich, and made without a hint of flour or refined sugar, One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are easy to make and the perfect everyday treat!

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Peel the zucchini before grating to help the vegetable blend in.

2 | Swap oat flour for almond flour for a nut-free option.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Naturally-Sweetened, and Paleo Friendly  


Decadent, rich, and made without a hint of flour or refined sugar, One-Bowl Flourless Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are easy to make and the perfect everyday treat!

One-Bowl Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients

¼ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan

2 large eggs

⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce

⅓ cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cup finely ground almond flour*

⅓ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup loosely packed grated zucchini

⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping**

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

3. Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir gently until just incorporated. Add the zucchini and stir again until just combined.

4. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

5. Fill each section of a 12-section muffin tin with roughly ¼ cup batter, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean. 

6. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool the rest on a cooling rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Note: This batter can also be used to make zucchini bread. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack prior to slicing. 

I used this almond flour.

**Most chocolate chips include dairy. Be sure to use dairy-free if that's important to you.

How to Create a Wellness Routine (You Can Actually Stick To)

Whole LifeRobyn Downs4 Comments

Self-care. It’s one of those things we know we should be doing, but the idea of setting up a self-care routine can seem like just one more thing on the to-do list. 

Plus, when you look around the interweb, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that self-care requires a long soak in a tub filled with flower petals and crystals. 

Or a multi-step breakfast routine that involves 12 kinds of superfoods and a holistic nutrition degree.

Or hours set aside each day to meditate, journal and work out.

Which isn’t always realistic.

How to Create a Wellness Routine (You Can Actually Stick To)

Yes, these are options within the practice of self-care, but they don’t represent the only way to care and nourish yourself.

So instead, today we’re going to take a deep dive into getting started with a wellness routine. One that you can do and actually stick with, so you can take self-care off your to-do list and make it an essential part of your real life.

p.s. Listen to the Feel Good Effect podcast episode on How to Create a Wellness Routine (You Can Actually Stick To) to take this next level!


Part One: Set for Success


1 | It’s Not Self-Care, It’s Self-Compassion

Let’s reframe self-care as self-compassion. As a way to let go of self-judgement and criticism and embrace your life with kindness and understanding, knowing that to suffer, fail and to be imperfect is completely, perfectly human.

So why does practicing self-compassion matter?

Research (1, 2, 3) has linked self-criticism with depression, anxiety, body dissatisfaction, and various other forms of psychological distress. Self-compassion is a way to disrupt self-criticism and be gentle with ourselves. 

And, as it turns out, being gentle with ourselves doesn’t make us soft, it actually makes us more resilient.

Approaching a wellness routine grounded in self-compassion, then, allows you to forgive yourself when you miss a day or “fall off the wagon,” and will help you to build a sustainable practice that you can stick to over time.

2 | The Wellness Trifecta

Let’s think of wellness in three parts: food, movement, and mental wellbeing.

Yes, food is important. And yes, movement is necessary. But it’s the combination of all three that can really move the needle when it comes to your overall wellbeing.

When we over-focus on one area at the detriment of the others, we fall out of balance. 

By focusing on all three areas you can create your own, well-balanced wellness routine that addresses all areas of what it truly means to be healthy.

3 | Rethink Success by Recalibrating Goals

The all-or-nothing trap. We all fall into it one time or another. Maybe for you it’s in thinking about food. Or cooking. Or how often you work out.

No matter how all-or-nothing thinking looks like for you, we know it reduces the likelihood of success and does not contribute to feeling good.

Instead of all-or-nothing thinking, let’s focus instead on the parts and pieces you can do by using the Feel Good Goal Setting Process.

The Feel Good Goal Setting Process looks like this: 1) Ideal world, 2)  Happening now, 3)  Gentle goal, 4) Contingency goal.

Let’s break the Feel Good Goal Setting Process Down

1 ) Ideal world: This is your goal in the perfect world, when everything works out and goes according to plan. (Hint: This is usually the goal we set when taking on a new diet or exercise plan).

2 ) Happening now: This is what’s happening in your life right now.

3 ) Gentle goal: This is somewhere between Ideal and Happening now. The farther apart your Ideal and Happening now are, the more essential it is to identify a Gentle goal.

4 ) Contingency goal: This is your back-up plan. Something less than your gentle goal, but more than doing nothing.

Now let’s see what the Feel Good Goal Setting Process looks like in practice.


Part Two: Food & Movement


4 | A Fresh Start

We know it’s important to start the day with a breakfast full of protein, healthy fats and plenty of fiber, but it’s a meal that’s often skipped or filled with tons of sugar or carbs.

If you want your wellness routine to include eating a real food breakfast, use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to breakfast. 

Be sure to include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

5 | Nourish in the Middle

Up next, lunch. If you find yourself running through the drive-through or picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate, lunch may be a good meal to focus on as part of your wellness routine.

Use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to lunch, and be sure to include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

6 | Finishing Strong

Even if you have your breakfast and lunch game figured out, dinner can sometimes slip through the cracks, especially on busy weeknights.

I like to use Real Food Fix to map out our weekly meals, but I still employ the Feel Good Goal Setting Process to figure out the details.

Use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to dinner. As with breakfast and lunch, include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

7 | The Right Amount of Movement for You

As with food, movement is essential to any wellness routine. 

Maybe your goal is to add more movement to your day, or perhaps it’s to reduce the amount or intensity of exercise to focus more on connecting and feeling good in your body.

Regardless of your goals, use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to exercise or movement. As you did with food, include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).


Part Three: State, Track, and Ground in Self-Compassion


8 | Tracking and Self-Compassion Practice

The last piece of establishing a wellness routine you can actually stick to is to track your stated goals and add a little self-compassion to the mix. 

So, for each Feel Good gentle and contingency goals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, movement), create a place to state your gals and to track daily progress. 

You can use the journal sheet provided at the end of this post to get started, or create your own personalized version.

Now, and here’s the key, add a line each day to add a note of kindness. Remember that self-compassion part we talked about at the beginning of this post? Here’s a chance to put it into practice.

If adding a note of kindness sounds silly, remember that most of us spend a significant amount of time engaging in self-critical or negative self-talk.

Adding a note of kindness brings self-compassion into our awareness, and gives us the chance to intentionally practice it on a daily basis.


Bringing It All Together


A wellness routine is so much more than individual acts of self-care. It’s about grounding your actions in self-compassion and focusing on the Wellness Trifecta: food, exercise, and mental wellbeing in an intentional way.

By taking the Feel Good Goal Setting Process and applying it to your own food, exercise, and mental wellbeing goals, you can craft a wellness routine that you can actually stick to and feel really good about doing it.

Remember, this is all about what works for you! You don’t have to focus on all the areas described above, you can take this framework and use it to create something that works in the context of your life.

To help you get started, I’ve created a free Feel Good Goal Setting Process journal sheet, which you can download below.

If you create a wellness routine using this process, let me know! I love hearing from you in the comments, on Instagram, or in the Feel Good Effect Facebook Community!                         

10 Real Food Pantry Staples (and How to Use them)

Whole LifeRobyn DownsComment

Having a pantry stocked with real food ingredients is key to effortless weeknight cooking. That's why I'm sharing my top pantry staples, along with simple ways to use them, in this new Real Food Pantry Staples series.

Read on for 10 of my most used staples, plus find out how you can get them at 25%-50% retail, all delivered straight to your door for free.

Thrive Market pantry staples (plus a promo code)!

Ready to stock your pantry? Simply head to https://thrivemarket.com/feelgood for a free month trial membership, 25% off your first order, plus free shipping.


Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour

Use it in: One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wild Planet canned Wild Alaska salmon

Use it in: Make the simplest lunch by combining 1 can drained salmon, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Then add finely chopped sweet onion, and chopped fresh basil. Serve with your favorite veggies and sliced avocado.

Thrive Market Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Use it in: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken & Slaw

Safe Catch Canned Wild Tuna

Use it: In place of chicken in One-Bowl Harvest Chicken Salad

Thrive Market Organic Tomato Basil Tomato Sauce

Use it: As a shortcut in 20-Minute Tomato Cream Sauce

Thrive Market pantry staples (plus a promo code)!

Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Use it: 3-Ingredient Chocolate Truffles

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo

Use it: Real Food 7-Layer Dip

Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste

Use it: Slow Cooker Spring Veggie Coconut Curry

Thrive Market Organic Tomato Paste

Use it: Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken

Thrive Market Organic Coconut Aminos

Use it: 15-Minute Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Thrive Market pantry staples (plus a promo code)!

Stock your pantry by heading to https://thrivemarket.com/feelgood for a free month trial membership, 25% off your first order, plus free shipping.

As always, I love to be transparent about the brands I partner with, so here are the details! This post is not sponsored. It does contain affiliate links, which means Real Food Whole Life receives a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you choose to become a member of Thrive Market. Thank you for helping us to continue to share recipes and resources!

How I’m Getting Ready For Swimsuit Season

Whole LifeRobyn Downs10 Comments

My no-fail plan for getting ready for swimsuit season

1 | Saying no

No to body shaming, to self-loathing, to never ending self-criticism. No to working late and email notifications. No to living on social media instead of real life, and no the 24-hour news cycle. No to regrets.

2 | And also saying yes

Yes to slowing down, to staying up late, to breaking the rules. Yes to backyard picnics, outdoor concerts, staycations, and road-trips. Yes to present, to today, this moment, to right now.

3 | Getting in the pool

I’m getting ready for swimsuit season by putting my swimsuit on. Getting in the pool. Running through the sprinkler. Soaking up the sun. 

4 | Being in the picture

This summer I will be in the picture. With my daughter and my husband during this beautifully, perfectly imperfect time in our lives.

And when looking back at the pictures I want to say: “Look at how happy we were. How much fun we had. How young I was. How beautiful I was, without even knowing it.”

Except, scratch that. Let’s change that to, “How grateful I was. Grateful for my strong body and the love I gave so generously to myself and to the precious people in those pictures.”

5 | Savoring more

How am I getting ready for swimsuit season? By savoring the season.

Farmer’s market bounty. Snap peas from the garden. Hikes in the mountains. Juicy slices of watermelon. Ice cream cones with my girl, chocolate dripping down our arms.

Bike rides around the river. Fresh peaches baked with vanilla and cinnamon. Rosé in the backyard. Marshmallows around the fire-pit.

I want it all, and I want to savor every single last bit.

6 | Leaning into the mess

Summer gets messy. Board game pieces and art supplies, shoes piled around the front door (why can’t anyone put their shoes away?!?), mud tracked through the house, popsicle wrappers strewn across the yard (why can’t anyone throw their wrappers away?!?).

Dirt around ankles and under fingernails at the campground, a car full of camping and sports equipment.

This summer? This summer I’m leaning into the mess for all its worth.

7 | Practicing gentle

This. This right here is my swimsuit-ready plan. Practice gentle. Be kind. Let it go. Forget about perfect. Because right here, right now? This is as perfect as it gets.


Plug Into The Community!

Introducing the Feel Good Effect Podcast (and How to Listen)

Feel Good EffectRobyn Downs2 Comments

Today I'm am absolutely thrilled to introduce you to the Feel Good Effect Podcast!

The Feel Good Effect is a weekly podcast that deconstructs and simplifies healthy.

The Feel Good Effect is a weekly podcast that deconstructs and simplifies healthy.

Through the show we will explore what it really looks like to live a happy, healthy, authentic, and inspired life.

There will be interviews with innovators and visionaries in the fields of health & wellness, as well as solo shows where we can really dive into simplifying healthy.

The show is an absolute labor of love and I cannot wait for you to listen. Read on for how to listen, subscribe, and leave a review.

Here's to feeling good!

xxoo,

Robyn

Listen now on iTunes, right here, or on Google Play using your Android podcast app of choice!


How to Listen


The Feel Good Effect is a weekly podcast that deconstructs and simplifies healthy.

iPhone Users

1 | Find the podcasts app on your phone.

2 | Search for Feel Good Effect.

3 | Download each episode so you can listen offline.

4 |  Subscribe on the Feel Good Effect page so each new episode will be waiting for you!

The Feel Good Effect is a weekly podcast that deconstructs and simplifies healthy.

Android Users

1 | Download the Stitcher or Pocket Casts app from Google Play.*

2 |  Search Feel Good Effect and click the plus sign (+), to add it to your Favorites List.

3 | Go to the Favorites List and tell it to download new episodes by clicking the gear in the upper right corner.

*Sticher isn't allowing any new show submissions at the moment, so as soon as they get their issue fixed we'll get the show uploaded there. In the meantime, you can listen on Pocket Casts or right here on the site!


On the Blog

1 | Listen to the show anytime, right here.

2 | You can access the show from your computer or mobile device, as long as you have an wifi connection.


Join the Feel Good Effect Podcast Community!

Subscribe below to join the exclusive Feel Good Effect Podcast community for show updates, guest previews, and listener goodies & freebies.

Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken

RecipesRobyn Downs10 Comments

Naturally sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious, Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken is a breeze to throw together and makes for a healthy dinner everyone will love!

Naturally sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious, Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken is a breeze to throw together and makes for a healthy dinner everyone will love!

Pulled chicken in the slow cooker. It's easy to throw together with just a few ingredients, everyone in the family likes it, and the pulled chicken can be served in a number of different ways.

Taking one base recipe and using it in various meals throughout the week is essential for keeping weeknight cooking doable, and is how I stay sane as a working mama, while still eating real food.

I break down the process of cooking base recipes and using them in different meal types in Real Food Fix, and this tropical pulled chicken is the perfect example of the RFF concept in action.

Served pilled high on buns topped with slaw one night, wrapped in lettuce wraps another, or served with rice and roasted veggies another. Simple, versatile, and so darn delicious!

This pulled chicken gets a tropical twist from pineapple and ginger, lending a little natural sweetness and zip without being cloying or spicy. 

It's a fun way to get a taste of summer, without heating up the kitchen.

I hope you'll give this one a try soon. Now, let's make some Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken!

Naturally sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious, Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken is a breeze to throw together and makes for a healthy dinner everyone will love!

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Serve the pulled chicken in buns, in bowls, or as a filling for lettuce wraps.

2 | Use boneless, skineless chicken breasts or thighs, whichever you prefer.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Naturally-Sweetened, Nut-Free and Egg-Free 


Naturally sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious, Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken is a breeze to throw together and makes for a healthy dinner everyone will love!

Slow Cooker Pulled Tropical Chicken

Ingredients

¼ cup reduced sodium (gluten-free) tamari*

1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

5-Ingredient Everyday Creamy Cabbage Slaw, for serving (optional)

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, crushed pineapple, tomato paste, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger and salt. Scoop ¼ cup of the mixture and set aside.

2. Add the chicken to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the remaining sauce, turning the chicken to coat.

3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6.

4. Uncover and shred the chicken with 2 forks. Add the remaining ¼ cup sauce, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt if desired.

5. Serve the chicken warm on buns, in bowls, or in lettuce wraps with Creamy Cabbage Slaw, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

Notes: All slow cookers are different, so you may need to adjust the time up or down depending on your particular model.

*Look for gluten-free tamari near the soy sauce. If gluten is not an issue for you, reduced sodium soy sauce may be used in its place.

One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes

RecipesRobyn DownsComment

Tender, lightly sweet, and bursting with berries, One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes are simple to whip up and make for the perfect healthy weekend treat.

Tender, lightly sweet, and bursting with berries, One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes are simple to whip up and make for the perfect, healthy weekend treat.

We are on a bit of a pancake kick around here.

Elle is going through a growth spurt, and seems to be a bottomless pit when it comes to her favorite meal. 

I'm grateful for her appetite, since there are definitely times when I can't get her to eat even one bite. 

It's funny how children's appetites seem to ebb and flow during different time in their development, and I always try to take advantage of her "hungry" times to fill her belly with as many real food recipes as possible.

Pancakes are definitely at the top of list when it comes to Elle's favorite meals, so we've been making batch after batch, and then freezing what we don't eat so we can reheat on busy weeknight mornings.

We love these One-Bowl Blueberry Mini-Muffins so much I thought I'd create a pancake version, with a little lemon to add some zing.

The flavor in these pancakes is spot on, and a healthy sprinkle of juicy blueberries really takes things over the top.

I like to serve a steaming hot stack of these lovelys with a drizzle of pure maple syrup for Elle and a smear of almond butter + blueberry jam for me. So good!

I hope you'll try this one soon. Now, let's make some One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes!

Tender, lightly sweet, and bursting with berries, One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes are simple to whip up and make for the perfect, healthy weekend treat.
Tender, lightly sweet, and bursting with berries, One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes are simple to whip up and make for the perfect, healthy weekend treat.

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Swap in any fresh berry or chopped fruit you have on hand.

2 | Top with maple syrup, or almond butter and blueberry jam. Yum!


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and Vegetarian


Tender, lightly sweet, and bursting with berries, One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes are simple to whip up and make for the perfect, healthy weekend treat.

One-Bowl Blueberry Lemon Pancakes

Ingredients

⅓ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan

3 large eggs

⅓ cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups oat flour*

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest

⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk**

1 cup fresh blueberries

Pure maple syrup for serving (optional)

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

3. Add the oat flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Stir until well incorporated. Pour in the milk and whisk until just combined.

3. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Add a bit of coconut oil, then ladle ¼ cup batter into the pan for each pancake. Top each pancake with a sprinkle of blueberries.

4. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until small bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake, then flip and cook on the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Continue with the remaining batter.

4. Serve the pancakes warm, with additional blueberries and maple syrup if you like.

Makes 6 medium or 12 small pancakes.

*Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing 2 cups whole rolled oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. 

You can purchase pre-made oat flour at many grocery stores and natural food markets or online

If you are gluten-free be sure to buy oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free.

**Substitute any kind of unsweetened milk to keep this recipe nut-free.

Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing

RecipesRobyn Downs4 Comments

Easy to make ahead and packed with flavor, Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing is just the thing to pack for lunch, a picnic or a potluck.

Easy to make ahead and packed with flavor, Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing is just the thing to pack for lunch, a picnic or a potluck.

I'll admit it, I'm not a huge fan of kale.

At least not raw kale. It's hard to chew and just doesn't taste that good, at least to me.

I know how power-packed it is, though, so I'm always looking for ways to make the dark, leafy greens more palatable.

A rich, flavorful dressing definitely helps (hello Tahini Citrus Dressing!) as does massaging the kale with a few tablespoons of dressing.

Massaging the kale helps to break it down, makes it more tender, and adds flavor. Definitely worth trying this method if you haven't already.

Tons of other crunchy veggies and sweet fruit also help take kale to the next level, and a sprinkling of toasty almonds seals the deal with flavor and more crunch.

In addition to making kale crave-worthy, I love that this salad can be made ahead and packed for lunch on the go, taken to a picnic, or wrapped up for a potluck.

You'll probably end up with some extra Tahini Citrus Dressing, and I've provided some ideas for how to use it in the notes below.

The amount you use in the actual salad is really personal preference, so taste as you go until you find the right balance for you.

I hope you'll give this one a try soon. Now, let's make some Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing!

Easy to make ahead and packed with flavor, Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing is just the thing to pack for lunch, a picnic or a potluck.

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Add 2 cups cooked brown or wild rice along with the remaining dressing for a yummy twist.

2 | Use any remaining dressing for another batch of the salad, or as a dressing for salads, bowls, veggies, chicken or fish.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Egg-Fee, Soy-Fee, Nut-Free (omit the almonds), Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo and Whole30 Friendly


Easy to make ahead and packed with flavor, Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing is just the thing to pack for lunch, a picnic or a potluck.

Make-Ahead Kale Salad with Tahini Citrus Dressing

 

Ingredients

For the Dressing

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons tahnini*

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 medium garlic clove, grated or finely minced

¼ cup olive oil

For the Salad

4 cups tightly packed, thinly sliced kale

1 cup chopped apple

1 cup chopped grapes

1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

1 cup chopped sugar snap peas

1 cup grated carrot

⅓ cup chopped toasted almonds

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, tahini, salt, and garlic. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, and continue whisking until smooth. Alternatively, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the kale and 3 tablespoons dressing to a large bowl. Massage the dressing into the kale, squeezing and kneading until the kale is bright green and tender.

3. Add the apple, grapes, cabbage, snap peas, and carrot. Add ¼ cup dressing, tossing to combine. Taste and add additional dressing if desired. The amount of dressing is personal preference, so continue tasting and adding until you find the right ratio. (Use the remaining dressing for another batch of the salad, or as a dressing for salads, bowls, veggies, chicken or fish).

4. Add the almonds, toss, and serve. If making ahead, add the almonds right before serving, along with a splash more dressing to brighten the flavors.

Makes 5-8 servings.

*Tahini is sesame seed paste, and is often found near the nut and seed butters or the ethnic food aisle of the grocery store. Be sure to stir well in order to combine the oil that has separated before using.