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Creamy & Dreamy Kale Salad

Hit the reset button with this nutrient rich kale salad packed with micronutrients and fibre. The dairy-free creamy dressing is dreamy and memorable.
Dec 30, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

This Creamy & Dreamy Kale Salad is everything you want a salad to be after an indulgent week or weekend. You see the worst thing to do is restrict or deprive yourself because that will only backfire. But if you're like me and you want something that feels good for your body and hits the reset button, then this recipe is for you!

That's what this salad is like – hitting the reset button after heavy and indulgent meals.

I love me a salad, be it winter, spring, summer or fall – I eat them all year round. This salad works nicely in the winter because the almonds, kale, and currants are grounding which helps to balance out the lightness of the apple, red pepper and carrots.

The dressing, which I will get to in a minute, adds the warmth, as well as the creamy and dreamy appeal to this wonderfully nourishing, body-loving salad. 

I love using curly kale for this salad because it holds its form really well, meaning, you can make this salad for dinner and then enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day. You won't have soggy green leaves as you would otherwise have with spinach or romaine lettuce because kale is the texture of soft tree bark (haha!).

With that said, this is why you must massage your kale, just like I talked about in this old video when my hubby Walker first made his appearance on my YouTube channel!

The best way to massage kale is to drizzle a touch of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt to the chopped kale and massage it with your hands.

This breaks down the tough fibrous cell wall of the kale. However, if you massage it too much, then it doesn't hold well for leftovers, so don't get too "handsy" with it if you know what I mean ;).

Tahini Lemon Dressing

This dressing is simple and straightforward – just the way I like my recipes. It's also creamy and dreamy. All you need is some really good quality tahini, olive oil, lemons, garlic, and sea salt. I buy tahini from a middle eastern convenience store (and yes, I did just write "convenience store" because that's where they sell my favourite kind of tahini - Alkanator).

Like most salads I share with you guys, a little chop chop chop, drizzle, drizzle, drizzle, mix it up and a forkful into your mouth is all you need for your tastebuds to smile with JOY! Okay, I got a little carried away there, but I just LOVE this salad -- much like my Juicy & Crunchy Kale Salad

This salad would go amazingly well with my Mushroom, Asparagus and Feta Tartines from my brand new cookbook THE JOYOUS COOKBOOK.

Joyous Cookbook_Promo Block

Every time I look at this photo, I drool! It's one of my favourite recipes from my new cookbook. You could also use green beans for this recipe instead of asparagus if you like since it's not in season right now. Alternatively, you could buy frozen. 

I often make double the dressing so I have plenty for leftovers the next day. It's also yummy as a dip for crunchy veggies too!


This Creamy & Dreamy Kale Salad recipe is...

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free (yup, even the creamy dreamy dressing!)
  • Totally plant-based (unless you get a little wild and add some shaved parm like Walker loves to do)
  • Grain-free 
  • Nut-free (if using pumpkin seeds instead of almonds)
  • Beautiful to look at because it's rich in phytonutrients 

Here's the recipe:

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  • 1 bunch curly green kale
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups radicchio, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated/shredded carrots
  • 2 apples, chopped (granny smith, royal gala or honey crisp)
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins
  • Optional: Shaved parm
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp water to desired consistency
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Wash kale, de-stem and cut into chunks. Place in a large salad bowl, drizzle with olive oil and pinch of salt. Massage with hands for a few minutes.
  2. Add chopped radicchio, carrots, apple, sweet pepper and green onions. Toss together.
  3. In a small bowl, make the dressing. Combine the tahini, lemon and olive oil. Whisk with a wire whisk for best results. You'll notice it starts to thicken and then thins out again when you add a touch of water to desired consistency. The water is only necessary if the dressing is too thick. But that all depends how thick the tahini is that you're using.
  4. Add garlic and sea salt. Set aside.
  5. Drizzle dressing over top of salad and toss. Top with almonds, currants and parm if using.
  6. If you don't plan on eating it right away, place in fridge undressed. Add dressing just before serving.
  7. Keep in fridge overnight and eat within a day. The curly kale holds it's shape really well!


Serves 4

And a friendly reminder that the Joyous Kitchen Challenge is back for the third year in a row! Be sure to join this year because I've got two bonus meal plans for this year's program!

Have a joyous day!

Joy xo


Sherran   •   October 5, 2020

Hi Joy McCarthy and Team I am so grateful to go on your blog and try all these healthy, delicious recipes. Thanks so much for sharing. Every recipe I try I love. Your amazing Cheers Sherran

Joy McCarthy   •   October 6, 2020

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