Diaries of a Plant Powered Dietitian


Summer Berry Kale Salad


Kale seems to be everywhere these days, from elaborate dinner salads to smoothies to kale chips. I just can’t resist throwing together a good summer salad when it’s too hot to cook anything (plus, the dietitian in me was craving some kale). This easy summer salad is loaded with antioxidants - from the cancer-fighting lutein in kale to the anthocyanins in berries that prevent oxidative stress in the body, boost energy levels, and fuel our brain, this salad has it all in terms of health benefits. Berries and kale are also rich sources of vitamin C needed to maintain a healthy immune system. 

I used a combination of green curly kale to add texture and depth, and the darker hued, smoother and more tender lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan or “dinosaur” kale). Raw kale should be gently “massaged” with a little oil, acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), or salt to help make it less coarse and bitter. This recipe calls for drizzling the pre-torn leaves with dressing and tossing gently, which will do the trick to make a tender and delicious salad.


  • 1 head of kale, washed and leaves removed from stems and torn into bite-sized pieces (Note: I used a combination of curly kale and lacinato kale, but whatever you like will work)
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¾ cup fresh blackberries 
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh strawberries (to slice, remove stems and slice lengthwise into 1/2” strips) 
  • 1 large avocado, sliced 
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup chopped honey glazed pecans or walnuts (see recipe below)
  • Poppy seed dressing to drizzle (see recipe below)

To serve:

Toss kale into a large salad bowl and drizzle generously with dressing, adding a bit at a time to coat the leaves and soften them. Add the berries, goat cheese, sliced avocado, and chopped pecans and drizzle with additional dressing if desired. 

For the honey glazed pecans/walnuts: 

  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions: Combine butter, sugar, and honey in a small skillet. Heat on low, and once the butter is melted add the pecans and toss lightly to coat for about 3 minutes. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until toasted and glazed over. Store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for future recipes or keep in an airtight container at room temperature.

For the poppy seed dressing: 
Whisk together ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar, ½ teaspoon dried mustard, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired.

Natalie Colla