Emerald Kale Salad (For A Life Well-Lived)

June 18, 2019
Emerald Kale Salad (For A Life Well-Lived) - Chopped kale, a light tangy dressing, speckled with bits of grainy crouton crumbles, and salty parmesan.

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize”   ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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For those who follow The Veggies, you’ll know that I’ve been studying holistic nutrition.  This Spring, I turned in my last paper, took my final exam, and told my major professor how much her words of wisdom had meant to me over the years.

Since then, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the how of it all.  “How did you find the time?  How did you manage the workload?  How has it changed your life?  How are you going to use your education?”

And the grand finale: “How are you feeling now?”

(Spoiler alert: So very inspired.  So very grateful)

— —

Our invitations to each other were both simple and exciting.  “Would I like to meet; talk about my post-graduate plans?”

“Would she like to be interviewed for a blog?”

But, of course, it was so much more

Photo Credit: Hawthorn University

Today starts the third in a series here at The Veggies – one devoted to people living lives filled with inspiration.  The kinds of people I’ve found myself fascinated with and gravitating toward.  People who are a joy to be around, they’re so lit up about doing what they love.

Meet Paula Bartholomy.  Hawthorn University’s Director of Online Events, as well as the Registrar.  She’s the friendly voice you’ll hear listening to webinars.  If you’re a student, her words of wisdom have guided your studies.

This story has a little inspiration for everyone ..

A deeper knowledge of holistic health?  Hawthorn might be the place for you.

People improving wellness in the communities everywhere, in the coolest of ways?  Meet a Hawthorn graduate.

Expert advice on a wide range of wellness topics?  The webinars are truly incredible

Words of wisdom from a nutritionist and educator?  One practicing over four decades?  Paula’s all sorts of wonderful

Where does she turn for inspiration?  A wealth of podcasts, cookbooks, and resources

Somewhere in between?  One never knows where they’ll find nuggets of inspiration

I hope you enjoy reading, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing

(A quick heads up. This is a longer than usual series and I’ll publish it over the next few weeks, with some other life and recipe posts in between)  

Photo Credit: Paula Bartholomy

Today, in Part I, we chat about Hawthorn’s humble beginnings and the many challenges it’s overcome.  How her roles have changed over the years, favorite parts, and her funny reaction when she got the initial call.

— —

I didn’t realize, until recently, that you were one of Hawthorn University’s founding members.  Will you share with me a little of the back story and inspiration? 

Back in 2000, I got a call, “Did I think a school of holistic nutrition would be a good idea?”

“Yes, of course!”

The need for comprehensive training was very evident to me.  I also wanted to raise the professional standards, and therefore the status of nutrition consultants.  I think we’ve accomplished this at Hawthorn and I feel really proud that other schools are following our lead.

So that’s very much how it started.  With a phone call.  “Did I think it was a good idea?”  Yes.  “Did I want to start a school?”  No.  But the draw and the need was huge.  And there I was ..

“I’m in” 

How many founders were there?

There were three of us.  An entrepreneur and a financier, a tech-savvy businesswoman who grew up ‘playing school’, and me

During those early years, what was your role?

I became the school director and developed the first curriculum.

Following a thorough review from California’s Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education, Hawthorn was approved and licensed to offer our educational programs.  Soon after, we launched our flagship training program: Nutrition Consultant and I started teaching.

How did you decide which courses the university was going to offer?  

Partly, what I thought was essential for a nutrition professional to know when they’re doing clinical practice work.  Also, we wanted to make sure that, no matter the clinical training program a student took at Hawthorn, they would be prepared to sit for the HNCB (Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board) board exam through the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP).

How often is the course content reviewed?  

It’s important for us to have current, reliable, responsible, peer-reviewed standards in our education and the materials we provide.  Therefore, there’s a revision process for all of our programs.  For example, this year, we’re looking at all of our master’s programs and revising accordingly, every three years.  But if there is a book or resource change that needs to be made, updates are immediate.

Emerald Kale Salad (For A Life Well-Lived) - Chopped kale, a light tangy dressing, speckled with bits of grainy crouton crumbles, and salty parmesan.

What is your current role?  How has it changed over the years?

Currently, I’m the Director of Online Events, as well as Hawthorn’s Registrar.

As Director of online events, I bring webinars, interviews, special programs, and events.  All are done live.  The webinars and interviews are open to everyone, including the interested public.  The special programs are available for our student population.

In my role as registrar, I look out for student’s needs, maintain their records, and in that way, also lend some support to our faculty.  So it’s a coordination of policy, procedures, rules, and regulations.  (laughing)  Certainly, we need rules and regs, policies and procedures.  But it’s really not what I’m made for.  I’m an educator.  I’m a creative!

What’s your favorite part?

Online events, because it’s creative.  I get to engage with a broad range of health professionals and experts in the field.  It’s so exciting to discuss their expertise, topics, and the knowledge that they’re bringing.  Not to mention, pulling together all of the pieces.  The presentations include a lot of valuable information that has longevity.  Sometimes we’ll include them in the curriculum.  Or they’ll be there in our archives for students who avail themselves when doing research.  The archives are a treasure trove of information and resources, and anyone has access to them.

I also love interviewing graduates for our All About Alumni series.  It’s such a pleasure to showcase all of the amazing work everyone is doing!  It’s nothing short of amazing the variety of ways they are using their Hawthorn education in their businesses.  It’s very fun.

So, that’s probably my favorite part.  All of the people that I get to interact with.

Emerald Kale Salad (For A Life Well-Lived) - Chopped kale, a light tangy dressing, speckled with bits of grainy crouton crumbles, and salty parmesan.

What are some of the challenges the university has faced as it’s grown and evolved?

Gaining accreditation is probably the biggest.  But we persisted.  We succeeded and achieved full status as of February of this year through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, a national accrediting agency, the strictest in the land!  It was a big milestone for us.

How closely does the Hawthorn of today match what the founding fathers envisioned?

I think impeccably.  Our mission and goals remain the same.

Our mission statement:  Hawthorn is dedicated to providing supportive, comprehensive and professional education in the fields of holistic health, nutrition, and health sciences.  We do this through distance education methods.  Therefore, all of the programs that we offer are presented to a diverse community of adult learners who are working to enhance wellness around the world.

It’s a big mission.  One that guides us daily in the work that we do.

As part of this mission, some of our goals are:

Providing high quality, comprehensive education that prepares our students for careers in the fields of holistic health and nutrition

Developing, within our students, the knowledge and skills they’ll need to be professionals and reach their personal objectives.

Offering support and services to our students.  We emphasize communication and critical thinking.  Both of which, support their education and really, the improving of teaching and learning here.

Maintaining a curriculum that’s current and industry relevant.

Recruiting, hiring, and retaining faculty and staff.  People who are highly qualified and dedicated to Hawthorn’s mission and goals

That’s a little bit about our mission and goals.  And they match!

They guide us daily

( .. to be continued .. )

Emerald Kale Salad (For A Life Well-Lived) - Chopped kale, a light tangy dressing, speckled with bits of grainy crouton crumbles, and salty parmesan.

Choosing recipes to feature during the series has been so much fun.  Between Paula’s favorite cookbooks, class recipes, and the many talented Hawthorn grads, my list kept growing (and growing and growing some more!)

“I always eat a variety of fresh greens, salad greens, and dark leafys”  ~ Paula

I think of her during my weekly trips to the farmers market.  All of the stands are a beautiful sea of greens, and afterward, our fridge is overflowing.  This salad is my current obsession, and the big batches I make are likely to be gone by the next day.

If you’re familiar with kale, the thought of eating it raw might sound a bit daunting. It’s tough and somewhat bitter. Here, it’s tossed with a light tangy dressing, and speckled with bits of grainy crouton crumbles and salty parmesan; a beautiful blend of sweet and tart with dried cranberries and candied walnuts.  A simple salad that hits every tastebud, yet is so light it’s nearly effortless to eat.

In honor of all sorts of eaters here, I’m going to leave it to you to fill out as a meal.  Maybe that’s roasted salmon, grilled steak, chicken, marinated tofu, lentils or lemony shrimp.   A wonderful base salad that you can add anything to.

A few notes about the recipe

If you buy your greens at Trader Joes, I get a similar yield from one bundle as I do from one of their bags of chopped kale, after I pull out the stems (I know, tedious but important!)

You’ll likely have more dressing than you need, but better to be prepared.  Plus, it’s a great excuse to make more salad

If you like leftovers, make a little extra.  The kale stands up really well to the dressing, so you can keep it lightly dressed in the fridge and it only gets better.

To expand the salad, add more of a tender green, like butter lettuce or mixed greens.



ps:  You can read more about Hawthorn University and Paula Bartholomy in Part II  |  Part III  |  Part IV  |  Part V  |  Part VI  |  Part VII Part VIII  |  Part IX  of the series

— — —

~ Adapted from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Micky Trescott

Emerald Kale Salad



  • cup olive oil
  • cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 5-6 cups stemmed and chopped kale (any kind of kale will be great or substitute spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, or any other leafy green)
  • cup crumbled croutons (or whole grain breadcrumbs) (gluten-free are great)
  • ⅓-½ cup grated parmesan (or pecorino) cheese
  • cup candied walnuts
  • cup dried cranberries (optional)



  • To a screw-top jar, add oil, lemon juice, garlic, a pinch of sea salt, and grind or two of black pepper; shake well to combine.
  • Taste for spice and lemon to olive oil ratio. (A touch of honey will mellow out the tang)


  • Remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves well. You’re going for small pieces; something you could eat with a spoon, not larger leaves. (about 5-6 cups)
  • Transfer to a large bowl
  • Pour enough of the dressing over the kale to coat the leaves. Massage the dressing into the kale for five minutes or so. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes. (These steps will help soften the kale and remove any bitterness)
  • Add the cranberries, nuts, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and a bit more dressing. Give the salad another toss to combine.
Serves: 4
Nutrition + Show
Calories 288
Total Fat 18.1g
Saturated Fat 3.3g
Carbohydrates 29.2g
Fiber 3.5g
Sugars 12.3g
Protein 7g
Print This Recipe

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  • Reply heydave June 19, 2019 at 10:53 am

    5 stars
    I like it and I’m not a huge kale fan. The massaging is really interesting: after the requisite several minutes, you actually can feel a softening of the fibrous material in your hands!

  • Reply Katie June 21, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    I really appreciated Paula’s candidness and positive outlook around some of the more challenging aspects of starting Hawthorn. Looking forward to hearing more of the story!

  • Reply Sarah June 28, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    I made this last week and it was divine. We used a roasted garlic bread to make our own bread crumbs. I made the salad first and let it sit while we prepared everything else for the next hour- the leaves were perfectly tender- I used a huge wooden bowl and made the vinaigrette in there – I absolutely love this recipe! Thank you!

  • Reply Averie July 8, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Oooh, I love kale so much. Definitely my favorite green. I like to go out to the garden, take a few leaves and toss them into whatever I’m making. This recipe sounds and looks awesome. I really like massaged kale salads, so I might try massaging the kale ribbons first. Super excited to make it! Thank you!

  • Reply Olivia August 5, 2019 at 5:30 am

    Love kale, and my only rule is please don’t serve it to me in a glass. (Your salad is beautiful, bty) When I want to take kale to the dark side, I saute it with freshly made garlic oil and a handful of tiny fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthwise, and finish it with a little freshly chopped applewood-smoked bacon.

  • Reply Vanessa August 25, 2019 at 3:09 am

    I finally attempted one of your salads and this was a hit. Thanks for the lovely story about Hawthorn University and recipe!

  • Reply Kristin September 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    I love kale, and our local farmers market offers a great variety. But what made this recipe extra special? My meat-n-cheese-pick-out-the-parsley Texas man gobbled it up, demanding to know what this was! I rarely follow recipes, but If this gets raw kale into him, then it is pretty much a miracle. I served this before some lovely Neopolitan-style pizza I made – total hit. And I am taking the rest to have as a few light lunches at the office. Thanks. Ali

  • Reply Meg September 21, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I’ve followed along with this series and have enjoyed it so much. I’m wondering, Ali, if you would consider doing periodic nutrition columns? Anything that’s like, “The 5 things you should eat when you’re stressed” or “5 Meals For Healthy Skin” or “Nutrients your Body Needs Before and During your Period” I love that stuff.

  • Reply Erin September 28, 2019 at 4:08 am

    Oh, I’m so excited for this series about Hawthorn and Paula! I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and always like when you catch us up on your latest classes. Also, yes to doing nutritionist posts!

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