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Tex-Mex Kale Bowl with Creamy Lime Dressing

Updated: 8/14/21 2:00 amPublished: 9/28/18
By Catherine Newman

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 9 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

I’m not saying I’ve made a kale lover out of everybody, but...I’ve made a kale lover out of everybody I’ve served kale to. Okay, at least a kale liker. Because it turns out that the cooked flavor is what lots of people might not love about kale – and if you serve it as a zippily dressed raw salad, then you eliminate that problem! Make a big batch for the work week, and you will thank yourself when the lunch hour rolls around. The basic kale salad is great on its own – tart and creamy and fragrant with lime zest – and it keeps for 4 days or so in the fridge. To turn it into a complete meal, simply add avocado, sliced chicken, shredded cheese, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Protein, crunch, and creaminess mean a perfect, balanced lunch. Please note: I like the all-green of this version, but you can totally add red onions or radishes or peppers if you want an extra pop of color.

Ingredients for big-batch kale salad:

1 bunch kale, washed and dried (or 6-8 cups baby kale)

Creamy Lime Dressing (see below)


  1. Prepare the kale by stripping the ruffly leaves off the kale's stems (if unsure how to do this, see this video). Stack and bunch the leaves together, then use a large, very sharp knife to sliver them as fine as you can. Put the slivered kale in a large bowl.

  2. Add half the dressing to the kale, toss it very well, and taste a leaf. If it needs more dressing, add it and toss again. (It should actually taste a tiny bit overdressed, because it will be dressing the chicken and avocado when you add them later.) The salad will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Creamy Lime Dressing

Whisk together:

1/3 cup mayonnaise (ideally Best Foods or Hellman’s)

The juice and finely grated zest of one small lime (learn how to zest here)

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon table salt)

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos (optional)

1 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (optional)

For each individual kale bowl:

1 cup big-batch kale salad (see above)

1 cup sliced chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken

½ an avocado, sliced (or use 1 whole small avocado and bring it with you uncut so it stays fresh-looking)

¼ cup (loosely packed) shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or roasted peanuts

Makes: 1 serving

Total carbohydrates: 17 grams

Hands-on time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Last year they started the WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and are currently developing Seasoned, their senior version, commissioned by the AARP. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health and happiness at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »