Favorite Kale Salads & Dressings

Getting Creative with Kale & Balsamic Vinegar

For Christmas one year, we received a basket full of balsamic vinegars and infused olive oils (they were all gluten-free) from Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegar located here in Austin.

I was so excited because I just love salads!  And we’ve had a great time experimenting with kale and pairing the various vinegars with the different types of fruit, nuts, seeds and veggie toppings.

I’ve listed a few of the stand out kale salads below.

Kale Salad with Roasted Pears

Cranberry Pear

We used a Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO to dress this salad made up of kale, oven roasted pears, toasted walnuts and pistachios, steamed Brussels sprouts and Persian cucumbers.

I like to massage the kale and toss it in the EVOO before adding it to the salad. Then drizzle the flavored vinegar over everything.  Yum!

Pistachio & Fig 

This salad was crazy and so delicious!  

We roasted a chicken breast in the oven and saved some of the crispy skin for the salad, too. The salad was loaded with kale, roasted Brussels sprouts, dried figs, avocado, pistachios, sprouted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.  

We dressed it with Fig Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO. We also added a little shaved Parmesan (which is not casein-free/dairy-free but I can tolerate small amounts).  So good!

strawberry balsamic vinegar

Broccoli & Toasted Cashew

Here is another favorite packed with vitamins and minerals. It went really well with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO.  Kale, steamed Brussels sprouts and broccoli, avocado, Persian cucumber, dried figs, toasted cashews, sprouted seeds and a boiled egg. Yum!

You could probably use a Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO for any of these salads and they would be just as delicious but it’s fun to try out these unique vinegars!

Apple Cider Honey

This salad is very similar to the last one, but I added a little white bean dip underneath and poached the egg instead to get a runny center.  I also added a little GFCF honey ham.  

The dressing is one of my favorites – a simple Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette, which can be used for several salads.  Find the recipe below.


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Apple Cider Honey Vinaigrette | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

A wonderful sweet and tangy apple cider and honey vinaigrette perfect for any seasonal salad!

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade salad dressing, salad, seasonal salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup local wildflower honey
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch pink Himalayan salt


  1. Add all the ingredients into a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until well combined.  

  2. Pour over the salad and toss.  Enjoy!

Hope you find some salad ideas and inspiration! 🙂  Check out my pinterest page for more salad inspo.

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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1 Response

  1. March 15, 2015

    […] Wednesday – Kale Salad, Roasted Pears, Ham, Shallots and Toasted Nuts dressed with Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette […]

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