a bright kale salad with a creamy low fat vegan poppy seed dressing
This salad was inspired by my beautiful friend Megan. She made a version of this and it sounded so good that I just had to re-create it on the blog. But also, this salad kind of reminds me of Megan herself. She’s bright and jaunty. She has unexpected layers….just when you think you know her best, she surprises you with her vibrance. It’s got some of her alma matter colors in it. ECU gold and purple –pineapple and cabbage.
Also, her eyes are super sparkly. That has nothing to do with the salad. It’s just something that you notice when she smiles brightest.
She also gives the very best hugs. Some people give weak hugs, but when she hugs you, gosh…..you just feel the love behind it.
Speaking of hugs. With the holidays coming up, you’re gonna be getting lots of hugs from relatives you haven’t seen in a while. You might also be getting lots of cookies and holiday goodies and platefuls of sugar and butter. All that stuff is amazing and good, but ohhhh after a while, it all feels kinda heavy.
So you definitely need this salad in your life right now. You need it in between Nana’s cookies and Uncle Milford’s eggnog punch supreme. This salad is packed with fruit and veggies and flavor. The only fatty part is this amazing crumbly nut cheese, which you can totally leave off if you’re still full of buttery potatoes.
But if you don’t want to leave if off, let me tell you little bit about it. It’s crumbly but can be pressed into cubes if you want. It’s kinda like feta, which is what Megan put on the original salad. It’s super easy so make. Just soak some pecans in water for about an hour, then drain with blend them into crumble with some nutritional yeast.
I think my favorite part of this salad is the dressing. A dressing can make or break a salad, don’t you think? This is so so so creamy. The secret is canellini beans. Just open up a can and drain them. Soak those babies until they don’t taste like anything at all. Cream them in a blender with lemon and garlic and a little drizzle of maple syrup. And the poppy seeds, of course.
And don’t worry about getting them in your teeth. There will be plenty of relatives (or snarky friends 💜 ) there to tell you all about it.
I made a rich and crumbly nut cheese to imitate feta. It can be easily pressed into cubes with your fingers, or left crumbly.
- 1 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2-3/4 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 can of low sodium or organic cannellini beans
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp crushed or microplane grated garlic
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- salt to taste
- 6 cups of medium-packed kale
- 2 cups cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup sliced or chunked pineapple
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
- handful of toasted corn (corn nuts)
- handful of dried cranberries
- Soak nuts in water for 1 hour. Drain well. Toss into a blender until crumbly, add nutritional yeast and salt. Use your fingers to press the crumbles into cubes, if desired.
- Drain and rinse the beans. Soak in water for 5-10 min. Drain, rinse, and soak 5-10 min again. Rinse again. Taste. If they are totally bland, you are ready to go. If not, repeat until they are bland.
- Blend beans, lemon juice, maple syrup, and garlic in a food processor till smooth.
- Stir in poppy seeds and salt.
- Wilt the kale in the microwave for 3 minutes.
- Toss kale with cabbage, pineapple, grapefruit, corn nuts, cranberries, and nut cheese.
- Serve with love and drizzle with dressing as desired.