Kale and Shrimp Salad with a herbed dressing (Paleo, Whole30, Keto, AIP)

   Kale is the star of this recipe! I used shrimp as the protein because it cooks pretty fast and it goes really well with all leafy greens! I created this salad as part of the ‘salad a day challenge’ that Dr Sarah Ballantyne posted on her instagram page. I have always loved salads for lunch mainly because they come together pretty easily and also because you can throw in a lot of different things to add to the nutrient density of the meal!

Kale is the base of this salad and I have used in place of the usual lettuce. As Kale retains it’s texture, this salad is a great ‘make ahead’ salad a sit stores well in the refrigerator (even after mixing the dressing) for a couple days.! This salad is paleo, whole30, keto and AIP compliant.

Interesting Nutrition fact: Kale has a Nutrivore Score of 4233, making it one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet! Check out this post from Nutrivore to see the detailed nutrient profile plus all the health benefits of eating kale!

What are the ingredients for this salad?

  • Kale – Whenever you use kale in salads, it is recommended to massage it gently using olive oil as that helps it to soften. Massaging kale releases some of the bitterness and helps tenderize or soften it for salads.
  • Carrots – I used a mandolin slicer to quickly get thin round slices but you could also use a grater.
  • Red Onions – I love adding thin slices of red onions to my salads as they give a slight crunch and pungency. I especially love them when I have lemon juice in my dressing as that helps to soften the onions. If you do not like raw onions, you can omit them from the salad.
  • Avocado – A few slices of avocado add good fat to the salad and also makes the whole meal more satiating! You can avoid the avocado if you want a lighter meal.
  • Kiwi – I love to use some kind of fruit to my salads! I usually go for the sour and less sweet fruits like kiwis, oranges, green apples or berries! Green Kiwis are perfect in this salad as they provide the slight sweetness and sourness perfectly complements the lemony herb dressing.
  • Shrimp – You can use any size shrimp for this recipe. Make sure to thaw them to room temperature in advance. And do not skip the marinating step. Marinating the shrimp in salt for 15-30 mins before cooking it helps to keep the shrimp soft.
  • Parsley – I have used fresh parsley for this dressing. However you can replace it with any other fresh herb too!
  • Garlic – Garlic is a must for this dressing! It gives a huge flavor punch. I recommend using fresh garlic for this recipe.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – A good quality extra virgin olive oil is what I recommend. But you can also use avocado oil as a substitute.
  • Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a lovely tang and freshness to this dressing.

Kale and Shrimp Salad with a herbed dressing
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
A delicious nutrient dense salad with kale, grilled shrimp and a herbed dressing made of fresh parsley, garlic and lemon juice! This salad is sure to keep you energized for the whole day!
  • 8-10 large size shrimp (4-6 if you use jumbo or 12-14 if you use medium), thawed to room temperature and shelled and deveined
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper ground (OmIt for AIP)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups Kale leaves (stems removed and chopped roughly)
  • ⅛th of a small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • ½ cup finely sliced carrots (I like to use a mandolin slicer) or grated
  • ½ of a ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 green kiwi, peeled and cubed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt for sprinkling
  • Avocado oil for pan frying the shrimp, about ¼ th cup
  • Handful of walnuts (optional, omit for AIP)
For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
  1. In a small mixing bowl, add the shrimp. Dab dry with paper towels to get rid of all the moisture. Then sprinkle the sea salt and pepper (if adding) and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil on top. Mix and keep it aside for 15 - 30 minutes.
  2. Next to a large mixing bowl, add the kale and drizzle about 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil on top. Sprinkle a little bit sea salt and then use your hands to massage the olive oil into the Kale. This is an important step that will help tenderize the kale leaves making it easier to chew and digest.
  3. Next throw in all the other veggies and fruit into the bowl. Keep aside.
  4. Heat a stainless frying pan on medium heat. When hot add the avocado oil and let it become hot (about 2 mins). then add the shrimp to the pan and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. then flip them and cook for about 1 more min on the other side until the shrimp are all completely opaque and curled. Turn the heat off and transfer to a dish.
Making the dressing:
  1. Add all the dressing ingredients to a s=food processor or small size blender and blend until completely fine. Transfer to a container.
Assembling the salad:
  1. Take a serving plate and add the kale and the tossed veggies on the bottom. Place the shrimp on top. Top with the avocado and kiwi. Drizzle with the herbed dressing and top with nuts (if adding).
Do not skip the step where you have to massage the kale with the olive oil as it helps the kale to soften.
This salad can stay in the refrigerator for a couple days without the kale losing its texture.

Other Salads you can try:

Kale and Shrimp Salad with Coconut Basil dressing (Paleo, AIP, Keto, Whole30)

Rainbow Salad with Teriyaki Dressing (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

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