Thursday, January 16, 2014

"I Tried It!" Kids and kale in Charlotte Schools

Massaged Greens Salad testers
By Erin Brighton
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council

This fall, thanks in part to a grant from the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council was able to add some new veggies to the tasting repertoires of students at schools around CMS. From sweet potatoes to kale and more, students met local chefs, learned new recipes, and, most importantly, tried new foods!

For the past few years, schools around Charlotte have been growing more school gardens, hanging out with more local chefs, and generally increasing their fruit and veggie consumption with innovative programs and projects. Pizza gardens and tasting carts have done a lot to get our kids thinking differently about eating more produce and this recent program, I TRIED IT!, joins the growing number of classroom projects intent on turning the junk food tide.

Have you had your favorite little people try new veggies lately? Get your kids some kale and have them make this amazing Massaged Greens Salad from local chef and culinary instructor Megan Lambert. If you want a taste of the finished product, grab a bite fast! I guarantee this salad won’t last long.

For more information about the Char-Meck Food Policy Council, visit our website at and be sure to join the Charlotte School Garden Network on Facebook! Happy eating!

Massaged Greens Salad made with kale

Massaged Greens Salad

Recipe by Megan Lambert, RD, JWU Culinary Instructor

This salad sounds a little scary, even for veggie lovers.  The dressing makes it really delicious, though, and kids love to help massage the greens!


  • 1-2 bunches fresh kale or mustard greens
  • 1 lemon for juice and zest
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 3Tbsp olive oil


  1. Thoroughly wash the greens in several changes of water.
  2. Remove stems.  Cut the greens into thin ribbons and place into a large bowl.
  3. Zest the lemon, and squeeze juice into a small jar.
  4. Mash the garlic and add it to the jar.
  5. Add the cheese and olive oil to the jar.  Place the lid on the jar, and shake to mix the dressing.
  6. Pour the dressing over the greens in the bowl.
  7. With very clean hands or wearing rubber gloves (over very clean hands), massage the dressing into the greens for a few minutes.  Really squeeze and mix the greens! 
  8. Enjoy!

See Megan's Massaged Greens Salad video

Find this and other recipe videos at

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