Tag Archives: salad

Spicy Asian Kale Salad

This is one of those posts when I really wish one of my talents was photography.

The beauty in this salad cannot be captured with my phone. Period.

If you want an amazing blog AND amazing photography, I highly, highly recommend following Oh She Glows. It’s just beautiful. She’s beautiful. The food is beautiful. It’s beautiful.  (Get it?)

I know, I know, I have so many photographer friends. But who has time to coordinate? Plus, I work at midnight.

I know, I know, I could learn.  But does it make me crazy if I don’t want to? You mamas with little ones know how limited time is….I have to pick…and right now, I pick music.

Ok, so that’s out of the way.

Here’s the picture.

Imagine this Kale salad tasting about 40 million times better than the picture can even portray.

The taste is strong and brilliant.

What I love about kale (I mean, can I really break this down to just one thing?!) is that is doesn’t wilt.  That means making kale salads ahead of time are perfect.  And in fact, they get better when marinated.

Oh snap, clean eating just took the lead.

Spend a few minutes making this salad and you’ll have dinner for two and some leftovers for lunch or a week full of lunches. Pair it with some soup or fruit, and what a wonderful, clean lunch you have!

This recipe will come in stages!

The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare the things that need to be cooked:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Trim the bottoms of half of a bunch of asparagus and place on a pan.

3. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle salt and pepper generously.

4. Mix and roast in oven until browning, about 15 minutes.

5. While that starts roasting, put 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and 3 Tablespoons of crushed raw almonds on another pan.  Roast until browning and a nice aroma fills the room, about 6-8 minutes. Watch carefully so you don’t burn them.  These go from perfect to burned very quickly!

6. Meanwhile, chop the shallots. Heat pan and a small amount of olive oil on medium heat. Saute the shallots, stirring frequently, until soft & browning. Use a splash of water if they stick to the pan.

7. Cook 1 cup of edamame to package directions. Drain & rinse with cold water.

Next, while these ingredients are cooling, prepare the salad ingredients:

1. Wash, de-stem, and chop 8 cups of curly kale (for me, it was about 1.5 bunches)

2. Peel & shred 2 large carrots.

3. Chop 6 green onions.

4. Grate 3 small radishes.

5. Peel & dice one ripe avocado.

6. Peel, seed, and dice one orange.

Make the dressing (adapted from Detoxinista):

Put 1/4 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup tamari (gluten free soy sauce), 3 T raw honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option), 1 T lemon Juice, 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce, and 1/2 t garlic powder in a blender and blend until smooth.

Now, for the easy part.  Throw all the ingredients in a large bowl, and TOSS!  Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days, but it probably won’t last that long!

Asian Kale Salad w/ Spicy Almond Butter Dressing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • (Refer to above instructions on how to prepare each step)
  • 8 cups curly kale, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled & diced
  • 1 orange, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 small radishes, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ½ bunch asparagus, roasted and chopped
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked to packaged directions
  • 2 large shallots, sauteed
  • 2 t sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 T raw almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 3 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t sriracha sauce
  • ½ t garlic powder
  1. Combine last 6 ingredients and place in a blender. Blend until creamy.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Pour dressing on top and stir until well combined.
  4. Stir leftovers in an airtight container in fridge for a few days.


*You could make this recipe soy-free by omitting the edamame (soybeans) & using coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce!

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Writing this post about Ranch Dressing helps me remember how far my sweet husband has come in his journey!  Ranch dressing was just HIS thing.  Every salad needed a thousand croutons, bacon, and a mound of Ranch Dressing. I don’t think he ever had anything else before he met me.

Then one day, he tried a vinaigrette, and I’m pretty sure that’s when I knew I was going to marry him 😉

The point is–I realize Ranch Dressing is a food group to some. I was never big on Ranch, but for me it was BBQ sauce.  So–I get it!

The real thing is atrocious. Like, really, really bad. It has no place in our diet. But there’s good news, I promise.  Most of the ingredients are FAKE anyways, so there’s always a way to make fake stuff the REAL WAY.

This looks innocent, right? (Photos taken from www.hiddenvalley.com)

Hidden Valley

Well, let’s take a look at what’s REALLY going on. This is some bad mamma jamma:


For the very first ingredient, you see soybean oil.  Soybeans are one of the top genetically modified crops in the United States. Sugar is most likely made from GMO sugar beets.  You see chemicals, and MSG, and artificial flavors.  Think about that. Artificial flavors.  That means they are fake. They are made in a lab.  And remember, if it’s made in a lab, it takes a lab to digest.  We aren’t labs. We’re people. We’re human, and we can’t process these kinds of foods.

Feel blah after you eat? Feel tired?  Your body spends most of its energy digesting food.  So what you put in your body DOES matter. If it spends all day trying to digest foreign ingredients, it doesn’t have much room left to get you through your day.

Here’s the good news.  You don’t have to give up ranch dressing.  That’s the cool thing about this journey. We aren’t giving up stuff (well, except the bad stuff!).  You just have to find a better way to eat the things you love.  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without chocolate chip cookies!

Here’s an EASY, quick way to have Ranch Dressing.  Use it on a salad, as a vegetable dip, or make something fancy like these Beer Battered Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (I used gluten free beer and gluten free flour blend).

Read this recipe to hear my thoughts on Vegenaise!

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ½ cup vegan mayo like Vegenaise or Just Mayo
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • ½ t dried dill
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t onion powder
  • ⅛ t black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.


Honey Balsamic Dressing

Sometimes, you just need a classic.

Honey Balsamic Dressing

This one is it.  I love how simple, yet flavorful this dressing is!

My favorite kind of dressings are ones that have a hint of sweetness to it…Y’all know I’m a former sugar-aholic, so I’ve got to always have a little taste of sweet so I don’t relapse back… 🙂

This recipe will be a staple for your summer salads, and would make a great marinade, too!  Grill some tofu and some pineapple? Sounds YUMMY!

In the salad pictured, I used organic greens, organic strawberries, maple candied pecans (homemade), and almond feta cheese.  I took this salad to a gathering with some co-workers, and I had someone tell me it was the best salad she’s ever eaten! Wow, what a compliment 🙂

This dressing would work with ANY salad toppings of your choice.  Go for it this week!

Honey Balsamic Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ¼ cup + 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, or ½ t garlic powder
  • ½ t sea salt
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to a week!




Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Poppyseed dressing 2

About a week ago, we were a natural disaster zone, and I was busy in the kitchen making all kinds of chili recipes to keep us warm and full.

Today, the sun is shining bright.  It’s a tank top, windows down, pollen buddin’ kind of day.  It’s a little piece of happiness.  Lately, my taste buds have been as fickle as the weather, and today I’m in the mood for something that matches that bit of joy.

To me, nothing screams SPRING more than a fresh, light salad.  So I just had to make my version of one of my favorite salad dressings.

Did you know that most traditional Poppyseed Dressings call for 1/3 cup or more of WHITE sugar and over a cup of vegetable oil, both which (if not organic) contain GMOs?

Why make that when you can make something just as good (better in my opinion) with high quality, good-for-you ingredients?

Toss this with some greens, avocado, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and blue cheese (we like the sheep’s milk variety) and you have one of my favorite salads!

This would be perfect drizzled on some pasta salad for that family BBQ or summer picnic!

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T water
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • ½ shallot (about a heaping tablespoon or so)
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • ¼ t salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t poppy seeds
  1. Combine all ingredients (except poppy seeds) in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in poppy seeds until well combined.
  3. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for about a week.


Lemon-Basil Dressing

Allergen Information: Free of the top 8 allergens

Special equipment: Blender

Lemon Basil Salad 2

It’s tangy.  It’s basil-y.  It’s fresh. It’s interestingly addicting.  This dressing started as an experiment using up some ingredients in the fridge and is now topping my list as a favorite.

Lemon Basil Dressing 2I know that buying dressing makes life easy.  But I guarantee this will take less than five minutes of your time.  That five minutes will have you eating a fresh, real food dressing rather than a store-bought one laden with sugar, oil, preservatives, additives, genetically modified ingredients, and/or artificial sweeteners .  It will help your body GAIN energy rather than deplete it.

Put this one on your list this week and see what you think!

Lemon-Basil Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about one lemon
  • 2 T honey (try local honey!)
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • salt to taste (I used about ¼ t)
  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender & blend until smooth. Store leftovers in a jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.