Hail to the Kale Salad

This Hail to the Kale Salad is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the powerhouse green. The creamy, flavorful dressing makes it a hit, even for those who aren’t typically fans of kale!

hail to the kale salad plated

Why I Love This Recipe

Hey there, fabulous foodies! It’s Chef AJ, your Queen of Quick and Easy, here to share one of my favorite recipes: Hail to the Kale Salad. I’ve always known that kale is incredibly good for us, but let’s be honest—many people don’t find it very appealing. That’s why I set out to create a recipe that transforms this nutrient-dense green into something unbelievably delicious. When I’m not busy crafting oil-free, refined sugar-free, and salt-free dishes or interviewing plant-based experts for my YouTube show, I love discovering ways to make healthy eating both easy and enjoyable. This kale salad does just that!

What I love about this salad is its creamy, rich dressing made with almond butter, fresh lime juice, and a hint of ginger. It’s packed with flavor and perfectly complements the hearty kale. Whether you’re a kale lover or skeptic, this recipe will make you appreciate this superfood in a whole new way.

Key Ingredients

  • Raw Almond Butter: Adds a rich, creamy texture to the dressing while providing healthy fats and protein. Almonds are also high in vitamin E and magnesium.
  • Coconut Water or Plain Water: Helps to blend the dressing to a smooth, pourable consistency. Coconut water adds a subtle sweetness and extra electrolytes.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Adds a bright, tangy flavor. Limes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Garlic: Enhances the overall flavor with its robust, savory taste. Garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties.
  • Fresh Ginger: Adds a zesty, spicy kick. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits.
  • Low-Sodium Tamari: Adds a savory, umami flavor. Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce alternative that’s lower in sodium.
  • Dates: Provide natural sweetness to balance the tangy and savory elements of the dressing. Dates are high in fiber, potassium, and essential minerals.
  • Red Chile Flakes: Add a hint of heat. Chile flakes are known for their metabolism-boosting properties.
  • Kale: The star of the salad, kale is a nutrient powerhouse rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants.
hail to the kale ingredients

The Process

Start by making the dressing. In a high-powered blender, combine the raw almond butter, coconut water or plain water, fresh lime juice, garlic, fresh ginger, low-sodium tamari, dates, and red chili flakes. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Prepare the kale by removing the large, thick stems. Finely chop the kale leaves and place them in a large bowl. Pour two cups of the dressing over the kale and massage it into the leaves with your hands, using food service gloves if desired. This helps to soften the kale and infuse it with flavor.

Sprinkle the salad with seeds or chopped nuts before serving, if desired. Refrigerate any unused dressing.

Chef’s Tips

  • For a low-fat, low-sodium option, use 2 cups roasted chestnuts instead of almond butter and 2 tablespoons California Balsamic Teriyaki (or any balsamic) instead of tamari. Use 8 dates instead of 4. One cup of almond butter has 1600 calories and 148 grams of fat; in comparison, one cup of chestnuts has only 320 calories and 4 grams of fat.
  • For another low-fat option, substitute 1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) plus 6 tablespoons almond butter for the 1 cup of almond butter.
  • Tahini can also be used in place of the almond butter.
  • Save time by buying ginger in the frozen food section, already cubed for easy use. You can also buy kale already washed and cut in the produce section.

How to Store Hail to the Kale Salad

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The dressing can be stored separately for up to a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different nut butter?

Yes, peanut butter or tahini can be used in place of almond butter for a different flavor.

How long does the dressing last?

The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I use different greens?

Yes, you can use other hearty greens like spinach or Swiss chard, but kale works best for this recipe.

hail to the kale fork

Serving Suggestions

Serve Hail to the Kale Salad as a main dish or a side. It pairs wonderfully with roasted vegetables, quinoa, or a hearty dish like Chef AJ’s Disappearing Lasagna or my Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers.

Summary

Hail to the Kale Salad is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy this powerhouse green. With a creamy, flavorful dressing and a variety of optional garnishes, it’s sure to become a favorite in your plant-based kitchen.

If you tried this recipe, I’d love to see your results! Share your culinary creation on social media and tag me. As the Queen of Quick and Easy, nothing makes me happier than seeing how my convenient plant-based recipes inspire your kitchen adventures. Let’s celebrate the love of cooking and enjoy the deliciousness together!

hail to the kale salad plated

Hail to the Kale Salad

Equipment

  • High-speed blender

Ingredients 

Dressing

  • 1 cup Raw almond butter, unsweetened and unsalted
  • 1 cup Coconut water or plain water
  • ¼ cup Fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch (or ½ ounce) Fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp Low-sodium tamari
  • 4 Pitted dates, soaked in water if not soft
  • ½ tsp Red chile flakes

Salad

  • 24 ounces kale, about two bunches
  • Seeds or chopped nuts for garnish
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Instructions 

  • In a high-powered blender, combine all the dressing ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Remove the large, thick stems from the kale. Finely chop the kale leaves and place in a large bowl.
  • Pour two cups of the dressing over the kale and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands. Feel free to use food service gloves to do this.
  • Sprinkle with nuts or seeds before serving, if desired. Refrigerate any unused dressing.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Chef AJ

Hey there, I’m Chef AJ, the Queen of Quick and Easy plant-based recipes. I’m the culinary wizard behind delicious dishes that are oil-free, refined sugar-free, and salt-free. As a chef, author, and host, I’m passionate about creating convenient and easy recipes that make healthy eating fun and incredibly tasty!

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