One of my post-Whole30 goals is to keep eating huge veggie-filled salads. This kale salad makes for a great satisfying lunch option!
The base of this salad is raw kale massaged with vegan ranch dressing. Raw kale can be tough, but once it is well coated with dressing, it softens and becomes just pleasantly chewy in texture. I simply toss kale with dressing really well using salad servers, but you can also massage dressing into kale by hand if you want to make sure it gets soft! And speaking of dressing, this ranch dressing is so damn good! It gets creaminess and body from blended cashews and hemp hearts. These nuts and seeds also provide lots of healthy fats, protein and fiber, which makes this salad extra satisfying. I added fresh parsley and dried dill to add the traditional herbal note to my ranch dressing, but these could be swapped out with any other fresh or dried green herbs if desired.
I find that salads are more filling when they contain a mix of raw and cooked veggies. In this case, I added roasted cauliflower and shiitake mushrooms. These both pair really well with the flavors of ranch dressing, and their texture goes well with sturdy kale. To finish the salad, I added tangy red onions and crunchy pea shoots. I guarantee this salad with keep you full and satisfied until dinner!
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 12 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps cut in half
- 2 T. olive oil, divided
- ¾ tsp. sea salt, divided
- 2 lbs. dinosaur kale, thick stems removed
- Cashew hemp ranch dressing (recipe below)
- Pickled red onions (recipe here)
- Sunflower shoots
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Toss the cauliflower with 1 T. oil and ½ tsp salt. Spread out on a greased or lined baking sheet.
- Toss the mushrooms with the remaining 1 T. oil and ¼ tsp. sea salt. Spread out on a second greased or lined baking sheet.
- Roast the mushrooms until nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Roast the cauliflower for 30-40 minutes. It should be soft and start to get crispy on the edges.
- Toss the kale with enough dressing to generously coat. You will have to do this in batches; the number of batches will be determined by the size of your bowl. You might not use all of the dressing.
- Divide the kale between 3 plates or bowls. Top each serving with roasted veggies, pickled red onions and plenty of shoots.
- ½ c. raw cashews, soaked in hot water for at least ½ hour then drained
- ½ c. hemp hearts
- 1⅓ c. water
- ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1½ tsp. onion powder
- 1¼ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. dried dill
- small handful parsley leaves
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.