For the Love of Kale

Kale.  America’s favorite superfood.  The Ryan Gosling of leafy greens.  This weird rough vegetable has reached super star status in the US in the past few years because of its glorious nutritional benefits and versatility.  But that’s old news.  We all know it’s super healthy and we should eat it all the time. But how, you ask?  Those big bushels of kale you spot at the farmers market sometimes seem more like house plants rather than ingredients.  But don’t be intimidated.  Here are three creative, easy, and delicious ways to incorporate more kale into your diet.


leanne blog kale


Kale Chips

Don’t have a dehydrator? Who cares.  set your oven to 275 degrees F and remove kale stems from the leaves.  wash and dry thoroughly.  Toss the leaves in olive oil and sea salt and place them on baking sheets.  Bake for about 20 minutes, flip the leaves, and bake for another 20, or until the leaves are crispy.  Enjoy them naked or hit it with nutritional yeast to taste and you’re done.  Kale chips are usually eaten as a hand held snack but throwing them in a soup or salad is also all kinds of wonderful.


Kale Lemonade

Go MJF style and use kale in your cold press juice.  Because it’s packed with vitamins but doesn’t contain a ton of water, use other fruits and vegetables that do along with it such as cucumber, apples, and citrus.  This lemonade is perfect for a morning buzz.

a large handful of kale

a handful of spinach

one small cucumber

2 stalks of celery

half a lemon

one large green apple

and one small chunk of ginger



Japanese Kale Salad

Massage your kale. This is the magical secret.  This little trick will make you want to eat raw kale at every meal.  Never make a kale salad without massaging it first.  It transforms the leaves from little rough pieces of green to soft luscious receptors for whatever marinade concoction you can dream up.  I keep a large container of raw kale massaged in lemon juice, olive oil, and herbamare in my refrigerator at all times and use it as a base for any salad I want.

I swear I could write a book on kale salads alone, but here is one of my absolute favorite recipes to get you in the groove:

in a large mixing bowl with a pair of CLEAN bare hands, massage kale leaves with


the juice of one large lemon
a table spoon of tamari
2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger

Drizzle kale with sesame oil.  Add fresh scallions and shredded nori to taste.
garnish with toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds and shredded carrot.

Trust me, this will be your new favorite meal.


Massage me.


Anyone can prepare a stellar kale dish.  Start here and go wherever your little vegetable loving heart will take you.  Once you start the possibilities are endless.  I promise.



Written by the awesome Leanne Kalpakis, a member of the MJF family and a bonafide mermaid rock star. Continue to check back to MJF Life for more inspiration from her.


Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger.  Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her.  It was then that her love affair with whole foods began.  As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet.  With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style.  When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.