Experience the Flavor and Health Benefits of True Food Kitchen’s Signature Kale Salad


True Food Kitchen is a restaurant chain dedicated to serving nutritious foods that make you feel great. Their popular Tuscan kale salad packs a nutritious punch. Learn how to make this superfood-loaded salad at home with our easy recipe.


Overview of True Food Kitchen’s Kale Salad

True Food Kitchen is a fast-casual restaurant chain focused on serving nutritious and delicious kale salad recipes and other dishes. Their commitment to creating healthy meals from scratch while avoiding inflammatory ingredients like gluten, dairy and refined sugar has earned them a loyal following.

One of True Food’s most popular signature items is their antioxidant-rich Tuscan kale salad. Massaged kale is combined with protein-packed quinoa, avocado, and a light lemon vinaigrette for the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

People love this vibrant kale salad for its fresh, crave-able flavor and nutrition powerhouse ingredients like kale, quinoa and more. The salad makes it easy to get your fill of leafy greens without sacrificing enjoyment. Read on to learn exactly how to recreate this balanced bowl at home.

Health Benefits of Kale Salad Ingredients

What makes True Food Kitchen’s kale salad so good for you? Let’s explore the top health benefits of key ingredients:


  • Excellent source of vitamins A, C and K
  • Packed with antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol
  • Anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting compounds called sulforaphane
  • May help lower cholesterol and blood pressure


  • Complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids
  • High fiber keeps you full and improves digestion
  • Rich in iron, magnesium, zinc and lysine
  • Gluten free and easy to digest


  • Loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids to reduce inflammation
  • Boosts nutrient absorption thanks to healthy fats
  • Hydrating and helps skin stay firm and flexible

When you combine all of these nutrient-dense whole foods together in one salad, you end up with an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to fight disease, balance energy and keep your body strong.




Step-by-Step Instructions for Making True Food Kale Salad

Now let’s walk through exactly how to make a restaurant-worthy Tuscan kale bowl at home.

You’ll need:

  • 1 bunch Tuscan/Lacinato kale (6-8 leaves), washed and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • 1/4 cup roasted butternut squash cubes (optional garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Massage the Kale

Start by massaging the chopped kale for 2-3 minutes until leaves are darker green and tender. This softens them so they wilt less. The friction actually starts breaking down plant cells to release Beneficial phytonutrients.

Step 2: Toast the Quinoa

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add cooked quinoa. Cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring occasionally until quinoa is lightly browned and makes a slight popping sound. This intensifies the nutty flavor.

Step 3: Make the Dressing

In a small bowl or jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt + pepper. Whisk or shake vigorously until blended into an emulsified vinaigrette-style dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Step 4: Assemble the Salad

Add the massaged kale and toasted quinoa to a large salad bowl. Top with avocado slices or cubes along with any other desired mix-ins like roasted squash. Right before serving, pour the lemon vinaigrette over and toss thoroughly to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.

Customize it by adding shredded chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, or other vegetables. Serve and enjoy your fresh, nutritious bowl of Tuscan kale goodness!

Tips for Customizing, Storing and Meal Prep

Get creative with health-boosting mix-ins:

  • Shredded chicken, steak strips
  • Beans or lentils for extra protein
  • Seed mix with chia, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds
  • Dried cranberries, chopped apples or pears
  • Roasted sweet potato, butternut squash or beets
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers
  • Toasted walnuts or slivered almonds
  • Goat cheese or feta crumbles instead of Parmesan

Storage Tips:

  • Store undressed salad in an airtight container, keeping kale separate from moisture-sensitive ingredients like quinoa and avocado.
  • Dress right before eating for the best texture.
  • Lasts 3-5 days refrigerated.

Get a head start on your healthy meals for the week by batch cooking quinoa and roasting vegetables. Build salad bowls throughout the week straight from the fridge.

More Kale Salad Inspiration

  • 15 More Crave-Worthy Kale Salads to Make Tonight
  • Satisfy Salad Envy with These 10 Restaurant Copycat Bowls
  • “I Hated Kale Until I Tried These 5 Easy Salad Recipes”

True Food Kitchen struck the perfect balance with their signature Tuscan kale salad. With the step-by-step recipe above, you can now enjoy this nourishing bowl at home any night of the week. What are your favorite add-ins? Share your go-to kale salad customs below!

The Best Ingredients for Building a Nutrient-Packed Kale Salad

When creating a powerhouse kale salad, ingredient quality is key. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top nutrient-dense foods to use as mix-ins. Stock up on these items so you’ll always be ready to throw together a nourishing homemade salad.


Protein performs crucial roles like building muscle, regulating hormones, boosting immunity and keeping you feeling full. Rotate different clean protein sources.

  • Organic chicken or turkey breast
  • Wild caught salmon, tuna, shrimp
  • Grass-fed beef or bison
  • Eggs, lentils, chickpeas, beans
  • Tofu, tempeh
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, hemp seeds

Healthy Fats

Don’t shy away from incorporating beneficial fats which supply essential fatty acids to balance hormones and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.

  • Avocados
  • Nuts like walnuts, almonds and pistachios
  • Nut butters
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Full-fat coconut milk


Pile on the antioxidant and phytonutrient-rich veggies. Go for vivid colors.

  • Kale, spinach, arugula, romaine, mixed greens
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions, garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beets

Fresh Herbs and Spices

Boost flavor and health benefits with antiviral, anti-inflammatory fresh herbs. Or tap into spices like turmeric and cinnamon.

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin

Fruits and Berries

A small amount of low-glycemic fruits add antioxidants and natural sweetness.

  • Pomegranate arils
  • Dried cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Apples






Meal Prep Kale Salad Bowls for Quick, Healthy Lunches

Planning ahead with homemade kale salads ensures you always have a nutritious lunch option ready to grab from the fridge. Follow these tips:

1. Prep produce in advance:

  • Massage kale – breaks down fibers so it stays tender for days
  • Roast squash, sweet potatoes, beets – intensifies flavor
  • Cook quinoa or brown rice – use as base
  • Hard boil eggs – easy protein boost

2. Store ingredients separately to maximize freshness:

Put items prone to getting soggy or mushy on their own plate or container with a paper towel to protect moisture:

  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Cooked quinoa/rice
  • Nuts/seeds/granola

3. Build each salad as you’re ready to eat for ideal texture and taste:

  • Start with greens as the base
  • Top with grains or proteins
  • Add any roasted veggies
  • Finish with toppings like nuts and dress right before eating

By preparing some ingredients ahead while keeping others separate, you’ve streamlined lunch prep. Simply construct tasty kale salads throughout the busy work week.

Bring Out the Superfood Nutrition of Kale

Leafy green kale truly earns its superfood status, packing impressive amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals to protect cells all over the body.

However, these nutrients aren’t always easily absorbed by our GI tract. Here are preparation tips to unleash maximum nutrition from kale:

Massage it First

Massaging or working the kale breaks plant cell walls through friction, allowing beneficial compounds to more easily release out. Even 5 minutes makes a noticeable difference in texture.

Pair with Healthy Fat

Nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K rely on fat for absorption. That’s why pairing kale with avocado, olive oil, nuts or seeds helps boost nutrient intake.

Add Acidic Foods

Vitamin C helps you better absorb plant-based iron found abundantly in kale. Dress kale salads with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Combining with tomato boosts vitamin C intake.

Don’t Overcook

While heat helps break down sturdy kale leaves, too much cooking degrades heat-sensitive vitamins. Steam lightly just until vibrant color brightens, about 3 minutes.

Now that you know how to maximize its nutritional value, enjoy reaping all the benefits kale has to offer in refreshing, well-balanced salads.

Craft Your Own Crave-worthy Kale Salad

True Food Kitchen makes it deliciously easy to get your fill of leafy greens with their signature Tuscan kale salad. Packed with nutrition all-stars like kale, quinoa, avocado and more, this antioxidant-rich salad tastes as great as it is good for you.

By following the simple step-by-step instructions, you can now recreate this balanced bowl with customizable add-ins to suit your personal taste. Use the best salad building blocks like wholesome proteins, healthy fats from nuts and avocados, hearty grains like quinoa and an endless array of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Preparing certain ingredients in advance while storing more delicate items separately helps streamline your weekly lunch meal prep. With a batch of massaged kale on hand along with prepped proteins, grains and produce ready for quick assembly, you’ll look forward to enjoying a fresh, nutritious salad every day.

So explore all the possibilities of powerhouse ingredients to craft your own signature kale salad masterpiece. A little meal planning goes a long way when striving to eat more balanced, plant-based foods. Here’s to discovering more feel-good meals that fuel you with energy and health!

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