Miso Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, + Feta

Luck isn’t just a condition of our existence. It’s something we can make happen. It’s an attitude.


Granted, some people simply are lucky. At least that’s the premise of that awfully addicting 2006 rom-com Just My Luck featuring Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine, who are the luckiest and unluckiest people in the world, respectively. When they kiss one night at a party, their luck swaps and Chris’s character is suddenly waltzed away into a euphoria of fortunate circumstances that launch his music career and basically turn his life around.

I would highly recommend this movie for a night when the only thing you want in your brain is lots of nothing and eye candy action going on.


IMHO, though, luck is akin to mojo: the better your mojo and your general vibes, the more likely you are to feel lucky, which in turn affects how likely you are to be lucky.

This past week was full of lots of lucky incidents, ranging from small things like wishing away the line at Chipotle (we were trying to order quesaritos and didn’t want to do it if anybody was waiting impatiently behind us) to some bigger things as well. Friday–incidentally, Friday the 13th–I was channeling some serious positive vibes and basically bounced through the entire day from place to place under the (of course) sunny skies of a not-so-wintry March.

It’s amazing how a simple shift of perspective can turn a dismal, dreary week into a fantastic one. On Wednesday, I taught my final class of the quarter and my students clapped so hard at the end that I thought my heart would break from happiness. That’s what I mean when I say that it’s not all about being lucky–feeling lucky is just as important, and I definitely felt lucky, grateful, and blessed when I walked out of the classroom that day.


And then, when I sat down in Starbucks this afternoon to work on my research, my student came in (he had asked if I could meet him briefly) and then this whole thing happened:

English 4W Gift

Luck comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms–but most importantly, it comes as a direct result of our intentions and actions. I’m so lucky to have realized this sooner rather than later–and I’m feeling pretty lucky that I can share these thoughts with all of you!

And if that little pep talk hasn’t convinced you, I’ll have you know that this really is my lucky Miso Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, + Feta. Why do I call it that? Well, believe it or not, the way we eat our meals really does affect the tenor of our day–at least that’s what I’ve found in my own experience. Because this kale salad is so absorbent and so springy and so summery, with hints of miso and lemon and perfectly balanced natural ingredients, any day I eat a bowl is virtually guaranteed to be a great one.My friend who hates kale said that this was the first time she ever loved it–so lucky me for deciding to bring it to our potluck and making her a kale convert, too!



What about you: what makes you feel lucky?


Miso Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, + Feta

Miso Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, + Feta

This is one kale salad you'll love to love! It's absorbent, so the springy lemon and miso flavors really shine through. I've brought this to multiple picnics and it's always the first dish to go! Adapted from Marin Mama Cooks.


  • 1 bunch kale, washed, destemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons miso
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large apple, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or other seed/nut of your choice
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Place kale in a large mixing bowl and begin massaging it, really working it with your hands so that your kale becomes much softer. It will turn from a pale green to a dark, rich green color as the kale breaks down; the volume of kale in your bowl will also shrink by about half. Once your kale is ready, set it aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, miso, and minced garlic. Set aside.
  3. Add apple, cranberries, seeds, and cheese to the large mixing bowl. Pour miso dressing over the kale salad and toss until everything is well-coated. You can even get your hands in there and really massage in the dressing as well to make sure it absorbs.
  4. Serve and enjoy!



4 Replies to “Miso Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, + Feta”

  1. Nice story. We can’t always make our own luck, but we sure can contribute to it.

  2. Dearest Ala, you and my husband would totally get along! He is trying to persuade me to think positively because when you send out good positive vibes to the universe, that’s what you’ll get in return. He’s always had problems with insomnia, headaches and back pain, even though he’s always been very fit, active and good with his diet. About six months ago, a friend of his told him to watch The Secret and ever since, Tony has changed the way he thinks. All of a sudden, he’s sleeping through the night, no headaches or backaches, and his work is flourishing. It’s amazing, actually. I’m really really really trying but I’m such a negative person. Teach me your ways! You deserve to have your students applaud your efforts and shower you with presents because you’re awesome. And this salad sounds like exactly what my body needs right now instead of all the cakes ‘n cookies I’ve been scarfing down.

  3. Ala, you’re amazing, girl! I’m so happy knowing that you’re surrounded with people who care so much about you. And I guess today is my lucky day when I spot this salad. Yummm! Monday doesn’t taste as bad as I thought it would be….

  4. I totally believe that if you if think positively that you are more likely to have better luck or good things happen more often for you. So so sweet of your student, you are so positive and always trying to help others so it’s not surprise that they adore you 🙂 This salad looks delicious and has everything I love!

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