Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado (the “detox” salad)

by jenna on April 25, 2012

So….when I was in Louisiana, I ate a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Like, way more than could ever be considered good and healthy a lot. Breakfasts consisted of donuts, coffee, bacon and eggs, lunches were big doughy sandwiches deliciously doused with hot sauce and dinner were….well, dinners were out of control (think pecan fried catfish with rum butter sauce).

Make no mistake, everything was absolutely delicious and I enjoyed every single finger lickin’ bite. I try to follow an 80/20 principle in my life. I tell myself that if I eat healthy 80% of the time, that means 20% of the time I can eat all the fried catfish, candied bacon and chocolate cake I want. It works for me.

That being said, I had no problem stuffing my face for three days straight on my trip because I knew that when I came back home, I’d do a little detox and then everything would resume as normal.

First, let me tell you my hardcore “detox” only lasted for two days. It took me two days to get really, really, REALLY hungry again and that was my body saying “hi! remember me? i like bread!”. So there. I didn’t detox to lose any weight, either. I really just wanted to feel a little less greasy, you know? And guess what? It totally worked!

For two days, I drank a TON of green juice and ate my body weight in this kale salad. I made a light and citrusy dressing from freshly squeezed orange juice and olive oil, and tossed almonds, avocado and more oranges in my salad for a little extra substance.

Just look at how pretty this dressing is! It’s practically begging to be poured on some kale.

When paired when some miso soup, this salad is the perfect light dinner if you’re detoxing or not. And the best part is that it lasts several days in the fridge (and only seems to become better as it sits!), so I recommend doubling this recipe if you love kale. No need to double the dressing recipe though—you’ll have extra.

After a couple days of juice, kale salad and miso soup (with some sweet potatoes and lentils thrown in there for good measure), I felt as good as new and ready for another round of pecan fried catfish and biscuits.

Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado

makes one giant salad (with leftover dressing)

Print this recipe!


1 bunch lacinato kale (“dinosaur” kale”), washed and roughly chopped

2 juicy oranges

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 avocado, diced

2 tbsp sliced toasted almonds

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper


First, make the dressing. Combine the juice of one orange with the olive oil, pinch of sea salt and pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, peel the other orange and separate the sections (peeling off the white pith as best you can). Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the kale, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle about half the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy now or stick in the fridge and eat later (this salad will stay good for a couple days in a covered container in the fridge). Dressing will stay good in a sealed jar for a about a week.


5 minutes


Related Posts with ThumbnailsPin It

{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

sahrish April 25, 2012 at 3:34 am

love your 80/20 rule jenna!


Molly@RDexposed April 25, 2012 at 3:48 am

Detoxing should just be called begging your body for forgivenesses. Ha
Side note: I’m so hesitant to try kale in a raw salad. Maybe one day I’ll have to beg for forgiveness so badly that this salad isn’t an option but is mandatory!


Linda December 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Massage the kale with the oil. Easily 5 to 8 minutes. It goes through a chemical change and becomes divine!!


Liz @ Blog is the New Black April 25, 2012 at 3:50 am

This is gorgeous and looks like the perfect detox salad. The colors are so fun.


laura April 25, 2012 at 3:58 am

I work on the 90/10 rule and it’s really working. I always say do what works for you!

This salad looks delicious. I’m just wondering, why do your dressing have coloured specks in it if it’s just lemon and olive oil?


Lisa April 25, 2012 at 4:56 am

Combine the juice of one orange with the olive oil, pinch of sea salt and pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.


laura April 26, 2012 at 3:03 am

Oops, my fault. Thanks lisa!


Emily April 25, 2012 at 4:06 am

Yum! I’ve mentioned before on here that I can’t get kale (sad face), so I’ll definitely end up making this with spinach leaves. The dressing sounds lovely and I think this is the perfect dish to incorporate into my “summer detox” diet!


Mo April 25, 2012 at 4:07 am

Hey Jenna! I love your recipes! I’m dying to start cooking real meals…as I’m finally buying groceries on my own and have a tremendous yearning to create gourmet meals at least three times a week. Can you recommend any staple kitchen items/spices for the newbie with a minimal grocery budget?


Mary April 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Hey Mo! I’m not Jenna, but I’ll chip in with some advice….

Items: Mixing bowls, whisk, tongs, juicer (doesn’t have to be a professional one, you can get a hand juicer for less than $5), wooden spoons, a slotted spoon and a ladle. Cookware, for instance, something like this: http://www.target.com/p/T-Fal-10-pc-Copper-Bottom-Stainless-Steel-Cook-Set/-/A-11124243 is economical and will get you pretty far in the kitchen (I’d just add one large non-stick frying pan to get you started). Also a mixer (hand-held is what I started with and you can get one for a great price). Toothpicks! Baking pans, if you’re just starting I would go with a 13×9, an 8×8 OR 9×9. Loaf pan if you’d like to try breads. Cookie sheets, a pie pan and a cupcake pan to start.

Spices: If you buy a spice rack, the main ones are often included, like basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, dill, etc. Additions depend on what you like to eat. I love spicy foods so cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, chili pepper, etc. are musts for me. I also love baking so that means cinnamon and nutmeg are must-haves. I found my collection of dried spices just grew as I went along….when I first started cooking for myself I would look up recipes that looked good to me and would have to buy the spices for that. It’s pricey in the beginning but pays off later when you have a pantry full of great spices and don’t have to run out buying them. Plus if you’re basing it on dishes you love, you’ll end up with spices you favor as well.

For actual food-stuff, I always like to have garlic and onions on hand, eggs, milk and chicken stock. Fresh veggies area best but I try to keep canned on hand, everything from beets, chickpeas, beans, etc. You can also stock up on some frozen veggies and fruits. Fresh veggies, fruits and meats I pick up as needed and then just resort to the frozen or canned stuff when needed.

For baking, the standards I have are flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, marshmallows, food dye, and various sprinkles that I’ve collected.

I am by no means an expert but I DO love to cook and bake, and got started maybe 5 years ago. So the start-up process is still fresh in my mind! Basically, if your experience is similar to mine, you will collect things as you go (both ingredients like spices and also pots and pans) as recipes call for them.

I hope this helped! Have fun!


Mary April 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Oh, and knives! Yeeks, how could I forget knives!


Emily April 25, 2012 at 4:14 am

I love that you’ve mixed avocado with orange rather than the more traditional lime. I am by no means recovering from a southern feast, but i could still gobble this salad up today! It is now in my folder for next week’s meal inspiration 🙂


Katrina April 25, 2012 at 4:42 am

What a great salad! This sounds so lovely. I’m in need of a fun salad 🙂


Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

I’m definitely going to try this salad! I have a new found love for kale, so this is right up my alley! 🙂


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama April 25, 2012 at 5:00 am

My body craves veggies after a splurge. This is the perfect way to return to healthy eating!


Lisa April 25, 2012 at 5:02 am

when I was looking up ways to detox I found that there are actually some yoga moves you can do to help your kidneys detox! I found this to be amazing!! Of course, this was for toxins in your kidneys, not for eating too much, I would assume!! lol


Jen April 25, 2012 at 5:36 am

Please take that with a grain of common-sense. There is no such thing/no evidence of moves that will actually “detox” your kidneys and that word is thrown around too loosely in the yoga/health community.

The salad does look bright and simple to make Jenna!


Evan April 25, 2012 at 5:14 am

Yup, that sounds about right. I feel like the 80/20 rule is a vital part of my existence as a restaurant publicist….sure, order every dessert on the menu at a restaurant for “work,” but definitely go for the kale smoothie/salad and don’t miss that yoga class the next day.

This recipe is right up my alley for the day after an oh-so-awesome food marathon 🙂


Joelle (on a pink typewriter) April 25, 2012 at 5:14 am

I am still a little nervous about eating kale! Not sure why it seems like it’ll taste bad, but i think I just need to give it a try!


Heather April 25, 2012 at 5:17 am

Awesome salad, never thought to put the oranges w the kale!! I love detoxing – makes me feel so much better!!


Ellen April 25, 2012 at 5:27 am

Mmmm….looks like a great detox salad! Thanks!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh April 25, 2012 at 5:29 am

I wish I could jump on the kale bandwagon but the Mr loathes it and I’m not wild about it either but I assume I could use arugula or spinach? Mmmm.


Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove April 25, 2012 at 5:48 am

My husband loves kale (and almonds) so maybe I’ll make this for him one night this week. Thanks for the recipe! Also, I love the idea of using oranges for the dressing. So yummy!


Melissa @ Squats and Squash April 25, 2012 at 5:51 am

LOVE the 80/20 principle…when I stick to it!! haha. Honestly, I still haven’t tried kale. I can’t get a read on it…it seems like one of those veggies that isn’t really all that great, but it’s so great FOR you that people say they love it while attempting to choke it down…

I tend to overthink things though. I should probably just try it 🙂


Alex April 26, 2012 at 7:06 am

no way, its honestly so good. I mean – i did try it raw with next to no dressing and it was nasty, but if it has the dressing with oil/something acidic on it to soften it, its really great, and so versatile. I like it a lot more than normal salad lettuces, because it doesn’t get soggy and wilty, and it seems so much more substantial because its heartier and chewier than lettuce. The nutrition is just a big bonus 🙂 Try it!


katie April 25, 2012 at 5:53 am

I dont’ do detoxes. I don’t have the willpower.

(Even though if someone needs a detox, it is DEFINITELY this body I’m toting for sure!).

Looks like a nice side salad.


amy walters, aDESIGNdock April 25, 2012 at 5:56 am

I’ve never had kale salad before, but this dressing looks so delicious that I think I may just have to give it a go!


katie @KatieDid April 25, 2012 at 6:21 am

I absolutely love kale and eat it once a day easily. I’ve actually never purchased that variety though! I always get the more curly leaves (not sure of the name), but have been eyeing that kind. This looks wonderful, light, and springy!


valerie April 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

I ADORE kale… it’s wonderful in smoothies, too, as I’m sure you already know. I am curious about the green juice you mentioned… is this something you make (I follow your posts but cannot recall if this is something you have written about before) or purchase? And would you mind sharing the recipe/info? Thanks!


Margarita April 25, 2012 at 6:40 am

The 80/20 principle is how I eat my way through life. I love kale and cook with it all the time but I’ve never tried it in a salad. I really should do that soon.


Emily April 25, 2012 at 6:43 am

I can’t wait to have this for lunch! I absolutely am in love with kale, and I have a ton of oranges left over from my overzealous citrus splurge at the farmer’s market. Delicious, and bonus points for driving people nuts at work when I eat all of that “healthy crap”.


Nicole April 25, 2012 at 6:52 am

Do you know where your dressing jar came from? I’m looking for ones just like that for making pot de cremes!


jenna April 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I got that from a little ceramic shop here…but I’ve seen them at Sur la Table!


Jill April 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

After all the pizza I ate and beer I drank last night, I could really use this salad today! It just so happens I have most of it on hand. 🙂

Love the 80/20 rule. Love it!


Melissa (Better Fit) April 25, 2012 at 7:00 am

It sounds like you had a great few days of eating some pretty decadent foods!

I kind of love that feeling of getting back into the swing of a healthy lifestyle. It’s an exciting challenge and gets me feeling inspired. Is that geeky?! 🙂


Jen April 25, 2012 at 7:02 am

Girl, this is the story of my life. I live in NOLA and this year after Mardi Gras I felt like I needed to eat actual grass for a week to get my body back in balance.


Jenn April 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Bahahaha! Grass would cause all sorts of different problems 🙂


Mai April 25, 2012 at 7:07 am

i love kale!

this looks so pretty & delicious!


Cait's Plate April 25, 2012 at 7:46 am

I’ve never had kale in any other form than “chips” – for whatever reason it kind of scares me. But this looks pretty darn tasty!


andrea April 25, 2012 at 7:57 am

I can’t believe how the universe works- yesterday I was looking at kale and felt drawn to purchase but decided against it because of my lack of experience with it and then last night I went to search for a recipe and fell asleep and then I wake up and the first thing i see is a tweet from you about Kale Salad… is the universe telling me a need a major detox?? hmm i better take this seriously and make this pronto 🙂 thanks for sharing!!


Carrie April 25, 2012 at 8:08 am

Yum!! I love kale salads!!


Averie @ Averie Cooks April 25, 2012 at 8:12 am

I love orange-based vinaigrette and dressings. That one looks like a keeper and so does the kale salad. Mmmm, good stuff. Love kale!

Traveling and exploring new foods is fun; and then coming home and getting back into a routine is nice, too. Way to have the balance 🙂


Allie@sweetpotatobites April 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

i love kale salads! this recipe sounds perfect – i’ve had grapefruit in kale salads but now i will have to try oranges.


Moni Meals April 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

I love this. This is so similiar to something I would make any day! I have the same rule…80-20, works for me. 🙂

Love the citrus here, best to absorb the nutrients too. 🙂


Laura @ She Eats Well April 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

I have a big bushel of Kale in my fridge and this is def. how I will be preparing it! I love the idea of a simple fresh dressing with orange. Might even get crazy and add in some rind for extra zest…!


Doris @ vanillacocoberry April 25, 2012 at 8:43 am

did someone say pecan fried catfish??? oh my!!!
this salad contains avocado so its definitely a winner and soon to be tried! thanks JEnna and hello once again from your biggest fan from Austria (I always read but havent commented in what seems like forever 🙁 ..so time to change that!)




Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin April 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

I think it’s a rule that you have to eat a lot when traveling to a new place! 🙂 Love the idea of pairing kale with a citrus dressing!


Em (Wine and Butter) April 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

I love your attitude to health and eating. It has shone through in both your old more food diary type writing and in your recipe posts. It really makes me want to feed my body well just so I can embrace life as much as possible… totally the best outlook!


Jes April 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

Yum. I had to laugh when I read this, though, because I’ve already been eating this salad all week. The.same.salad. Well, not entirely true – I used roasted beets in a few in lieu of avocado, but either way: yum.


taylor April 25, 2012 at 11:14 am

this sounds so good. i cannot wait to make it.


Michelle P. April 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

This sounds so refreshing! I’m going to try it tonight.


jenna April 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

holy yumo!!! this looks gorgeous! i love how vibrant your avacado looks!!!


Jaclyn April 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Yum – looks delish!! I will definitely have to try this one, I love kale salads!!

…Whole foods makes the BEST kale and sesame seaweed salad with ginger… just ‘sayin 😀


Colleen @ MissPetiteSweets April 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Hi Jenna! I just nominated you for the Most Versatile Blogger Award: http://misspetitesweets.com/2012/04/25/pumpkin-blueberry-banana-bread/


Alison April 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

It’s all about eating like you suggested – 80/20. We ate a ton of vacay last week and are trying to cut back to healthier options this week!


Charlotte Marie April 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Any recommendations for your favorite green juice? Salad looks great!


jenna April 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I buy it at the ferry building in San Francisco (gave my old juicer to a friend and looking to get a new one soon). My favorite combo is apple, celery, parsley, kale, ginger


Megan April 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Making this tomorrow morning. I have all the ingredients!!! Yay!!! Thank you Jenna!!!



Val @ Tips on Healthy Living April 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

Raw kale in a salad is the best. I’ve found that if you dress the salad about a half hour before eating, it gives the kale a chance to wilt a little and absorb the dressing so it’s not as rough.


Samantha April 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I made this today ! after a huge day of sampling yesterday, of food from different vendors that we have a work. It was just what I needed, Thanks!


Maddy April 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Kale and avocado is mag-i-cal!


Mary April 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I made this today (though I forgot the avocado…boooooo) and it was just delicious! After I mixed together the dressing, I dipped my finger in to taste and thought it was horrible (tasted very olive-oiley, a-duh!) BUT once I added it to the salad and let it rest, it was magical! So, so, so tasty! Thanks for sharing!

Also, slight variation: I lightly steamed the kale so it was just a bit cooked rather than raw, and I used whole almonds instead of sliced, since that’s what I had!


hannah April 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm

this was so delicious! thanks for sharing(:


Justeen @ Blissful Baking April 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

This salad is delightful! I only had one orange for the dressing, so I threw some chopped mango into the salad instead. The creamy avocado and crunchy nuts are great additions!


Jason May 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

You mention “green juice” as part of your plan. What kinds?


Sarah May 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

Oh! I need this, very badly! Thank you!! 🙂


Amy August 3, 2012 at 11:08 am

great looking salad!! could i use regular (curly? i have no idea) kale..? or would that taste funky? we’re growing a ton of it right now!


love.natural.food August 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

Love it! orange in dressings is amazing. Good detox salad and definitely one to try!


Katie September 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm

The flavors in the salad are awesome! I will try this with other greens next time. I like the Kale, but the texture is not as smooth as, say, spinach. However, I must say I felt very healthy after eating two helpings!


Yolanda September 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Would you share with me how you make miso soup?



Pixie October 2, 2012 at 12:30 am

Can someone explain what the 80/20 rule is? And are there certain rules to follow with this detox? Can I drink coffee or tea? Do I eat as I do everyday and have this salad as dinner?


Sara December 31, 2013 at 9:22 am

I know this is an old post … but did you know your picture is on buzz feed? I was googling for kale salad recipes and clicked on this buzz feed link … saw your picture!!


Leave a Comment

{ 20 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: