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Kale is a superfood.

Let the Mayo Clinic tell it, kale is a “nutrition superstar”.  One cup of raw kale has just 20 calories and high amounts of vitamins A, B6, C, K, folate, fiber, carotenoids, and manganese. The Department of Agriculture recommends any child and adult who is over the age of nine eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of dark-green vegetables every week and kale fits the bill perfectly.

Kale is an important vegetable for those of us with kidney disease because they promote healthy kidney function by helping kidneys filter out the blood easier with its antioxidants.  But if you are tracking potassium levels, be careful since kale is a high-potassium food.  On the flip side, though, kale is packed with protein, calcium, iron, fiber, and anticancer properties.  So find a way to get into your diet one way or the other.

Personally, since I began eating a plant-based diet, I no longer track potassium, nor do I have fluid or dietary restrictions.  So I basically eat what I want (within reason).  I still have to watch that sodium, though.  Life has gotten a lot easier.

Did you know that there were eight…count them, 8 different varieties of kale?  I didn’t either.  I thought there were just three – that curly stuff we normally see in the grocery store, baby kale, and lacinato kale (or Dinosaur or Tuscan kale).  But there’s also, ornamental kale, red Russian kale, Kailan kale (or Chinese broccoli), Siberian kale, and redbor kale.  The likelihood that you’ll see most of those varieties in the U.S. is slim to none unless your local grocery store or market has such exotic varieties. However, I’m sure if you’ve walked into an Asian or international market, you’ve seen Chinese broccoli.  I sure have.  I didn’t know it was actually considered kale.  Who knew?

Considering the high potassium in kale, the best way to pack a real punch and make it count is to eat it raw.

Now truth be told, I’ve never been a kale person.  Kale tasted like chewy grass to me – I don’t care how you made it.  Especially raw. Pure trash.


I found out that if you remove the ribs, chop it into smaller pieces, put it in a bowl, drizzle some olive oil and maybe some lemon juice over it with a sprinkle of salt, and simply massage that kale, it will break down some of the tough, fibrous texture.  Also it will make it easier to chew and digest and make it tender for a salad.

It's delicious this way.  You should try it.  Start with a Simple Kale Salad.  Takes 15 minutes to throw together.  You have no excuses.


Simple Kale Salad

Makes 6 servings



2 bunches curly or Lacinato kale (washed, ribs removed, and cut to size)

Drizzle of olive oil

Pinch of kosher salt

½ cup of parmesan cheese

1/3 cup sliced almonds, pepitas, or pine nuts

1/3 cup dried cranberries.

Lemon Balsamic Dressing:

¼ cup Olive oil

2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 to 2 teaspoons Honey (or pure maple syrup)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Make dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar.  Whisk or shake until well combined.  Set aside.

  2. Place prepared kale in a large bowl and drizzle with just a little bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and massage with clean fingers until the kale softens.

  3. Drizzle the dressing over the kale and toss well.  Add the parmesan cheese, nuts, and dried fruit.  Toss again and serve.

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