Apple Pecan Kale Salad with Apple Honey Dressing

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We eat a lot of salad around here. However, none of us like plain, boring, limpy leaves. If I want my kids to eat it, it has to be interesting, and adding great toppings just makes it easier to get more nutrition into them. Once I got them all to start eating salads, in much the same way I talked about in this post, I quickly figured out that they get bored if I don’t switch it up and make it interesting. But I get lazy, and it’s SO tempting to just get the container of spring mix out of the refrigerator and add some dressing. I know…blah. That’s what the kids think, too. So, I have been trying to up my salad game recently.

We are in the process of trying to reintroduce some dairy back into Natalie’s diet to see how she handles it. If you take your time and follow the right steps when trying to heal Leaky Gut, it is often possible to tolerate some of the foods that you previously needed to avoid. Natalie has been gluten and dairy free for 10 months, and we have seen great improvements in her health. We are attempting to reintroduce some dairy, but not all. Fermented dairy and cheese are often more tolerable to people who are sensitive to dairy. Also, some people can easily tolerate goat or sheep milk cheeses even if they can’t eat cow milk cheeses. Natalie ate this with the feta, which is a mixture of sheep and goat milk, with no ill effects. We are hopeful she will be able to occasionally enjoy some of the foods she has been missing for so long.

Now, if you are into labels, the feta would make this salad Primal, not Paleo. But, I just label it delicious. EVERYONE asked for seconds…of salad!! Kale salad no less. I was shocked, but really, it’s just so darn yummy I shouldn’t have been surprised. The tanginess of the feta goes perfectly with, and balances, the sweetness of the apples, dried cranberries and the dressing. It is a perfect, easy side, but I have also topped it with leftover grilled chicken for an easy lunch the next day. It would also make a great light dinner served this way.

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The amounts listed below in the recipe are really just a guideline. Do you LOVE apples? By all means, add in more! Don’t like feta? You can easily leave it out (but trust me, it’s SO good in here!)

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Apple Pecan Kale Salad with Apple Honey Dressing


Kale, de-stemmed and torn (if you can find it, it comes pre-torn in a bag, but be sure to check for stems)

1 Gala apple, thinly sliced

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

3 Tablespoons Feta cheese, crumbled


3 Tablespoons raw honey

2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Place the torn kale in a serving bowl and pour about half the dressing over the kale. Toss the kale and dressing together with your hands, gently massaging the dressing into the kale. Kale can be very tough, and this helps soften the kale and makes sure to coat it all with the dressing. Let the kale sit for at least 30 minutes, but you can let it sit longer, if needed.
  2. When ready to serve, toss the rest of the salad ingredients with the kale, using more dressing as needed



2 thoughts on “Apple Pecan Kale Salad with Apple Honey Dressing

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