Looking for ways to make kale a little more delectable? Try noshing on this kale, serrano and mint salad for a fresh and spicy taste adventure. Adding a little hot chili pepper goes long on flavor (and fat burn, too!).

Granted,  eating raw kale can be a bit tough. The trick is that you have to either marinate it, massage it, or chiffonade it (cut in thin strips), or a combination of all 3, in order for it to be enjoyable to eat. (If you’ve had a raw kale salad before and it was gross, don’t give up yet!)

Then, you add the freshness of mint and the sass of serrano for a flavor-fest.

The chickpea croutons add a nourishing boost of protein along with the crunch. But if you’re in a rush, just replace the chickpea croutons with regular chickpeas. They add a nice crunch, too!

Adding Spice to Kale & Mint Salad

All hot peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that may promote weight loss – especially hard to lose belly fat – by increasing energy expenditure after consumption. Ironically, that same compound that makes serrano peppers hot also helps to lower body temperature, making hot days more tolerable. (1)

Serrano chilis also sport a high antioxidant profile to support your immune system.

Here’s the recipe:

Kale, Serrano Chili, & Mint Salad

(serves 2)



1 head organic lacinato (dinosaur) kale

2 tsp. olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 serrano chili

1/2 cup mint

3-4 tbs. raw or sprouted pumpkin seeds

3-4 tbs. hemp seeds (optional)

salt to taste


1 1/2 cups of chickpeas (1 can)

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne or chipotle powder (optional)

pink salt, to taste

black pepper, to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix chickpeas, oil, and spices (you can add salt and black pepper to taste) until well coated.
  3. Lay chickpeas out flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, give the pan a shake to move everything around, then bake for another 10-15 minutes. (You can pre-make a large batch of these and use throughout the week. Store in an airtight container in the fridge).


  1. Chiffonade (cut into thin strips) the kale. Add it to a bowl and dress with the olive oil and lemon, mixing well, allowing it to start to marinate as you prepare other ingredients.
  2. Slice the chili as thin as possible (you could use a mandolin here). Add to the bowl.
  3. Let marinate while croutons are cooking.
  4. You can omit the croutons and serve as is. (But mix well and ideally let everything marinate for at least 10 minutes before serving).
  5. Add pumpkin and hemp seeds right before serving.
Get the printable recipe here.



About the Author: Maria Marlowe is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who has helped thousands of people improve their health by optimizing their diet. She has created meal plans and programs to help you lose weight, clear up acne, and spend less time in the kitchen yet still eat healthy.

She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, NBC, Well + Good, and more. Her first book, The Real Food Grocery Guide, will teach you how to eat healthy without going broke.

Check out her site, www.mariamarlowe.com, or follow her on  Instagram @MariaMarlowe and Facebook for more healthy recipes.