Creamy Kale Salad

A Whisk and Two Wands, Creamy Kale Salad

Creamy Kale Salad
(vegan and gluten free friendly)

Craving salads which is good to balance out all the fresh homemade sourdough, which has meant a lot of toast nights and bread in general, and fresh pasta. Oh and my constant pretzel and peanut butter cravings. Salads and all the fresh veggies have been in the rotation too big time. While craving salads isn’t anything new, craving a salad like this Creamy Kale Salad is. I’m not a fan of dressings as you may know if you are a regular reader but I had a salad on my mind from our trip to Napa last month and had to teak and recreate so I whipped up this delicious Creamy Kale Salad! So good it may have happened a few times recently and one I was hoping to get photographed only weather and lighting was not my friend. Maybe that’s a good thing because that version had fresh homemade sourdough croutons instead of hemp seeds. Great for entertaining or a nice dinner but this healthier version has been more of a repeat for lunch.

A Whisk and Two Wands, Creamy Kale Salad

Creamy Kale Salad
(vegan and gluten free friendly)

So I will note that this salad takes a little more planning ahead and prep compared to most of my throw together salads but it’s well worth it! Not really time involved but just you can’t go to the kitchen and whip it up. The biggest thing is soaking cashews ahead of time for the dressing, which only takes minutes to whip up after the cashews are soaked. You will also need to pickle onions, which only requires boiling water, cutting an onion, and throwing everything together in a jar and letting sit for an hour. The pickled onions can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Both of these will make enough for a couple batches of salad, or can be used for a number of things or other salads. Last you will need to roast tomatoes, again so worth it for the flavor it adds.

A Whisk and Two Wands, Creamy Kale Salad

Creamy Kale Salad
(vegan and gluten free friendly)

What else is in this salad? So much flavor! Chopped kale, I like Tuscan Kale, dressed with creamy cashew dressing (dairy free, vegan), grapefruit, roasted tomatoes, pickled red onions, coconut bacon, and optional hemp seeds! Oh wait there is not only that balance of sweet, tart, salty flavors but so much texture. Like I said I’m not a huge dressing person, usually just a balsamic or light vinaigrette, but even though it’s a creamy dressing it isn’t heavy and I add just enough to lightly coat the kale before adding the rest of the ingredients. It also helps the hemp seeds stick to it. If you are making this for a nice dinner in or a party you can make it as is or omit the hemp seeds and add homemade croutons. When making those I like to take big chunks of homemade sourdough, lightly coat them with extra virgin olive oil, and bake them until they are nice and toasty on the outside but still chewy on the inside. I can do crunchy and soft homemade croutons that are fresh but when it comes to the hard toasty ones and croutons in general I usually pass as I’m not a fan. The girls like croutons though, but love homemade, so it’s nice on occasion. Sometimes there’s nothing better then a nice salad and a glass of wine on the patio. Can you tell I’m ready for summer?

A Whisk and Two Wands, Creamy Kale Salad

Creamy Kale Salad
(vegan and gluten free friendly)

If you’re looking to add more salads in there is no better day then Monday, Meatless Monday! I say this because I often find that Monday sets the tone for the week and starting with a nice salad might do just that. It’s also Meatless Monday. If you’re looking for inspiration you’ve come to the right place! My co-host Deborah and I have a pretty inspiring Meatless Monday link-up, check out other meatless recipe creations below. Have a favorite join the fun and link up below!


A Whisk and Two Wands, Creamy Kale Salad

Creamy Kale Salad
(vegan and gluten free friendly)

Creamy Kale Salad
Makes 4 servings
15oz chopped kale (Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale)
2 grapefruit
8 roasted Campari tomatoes, see below
1/2c pickled onions, see below
1/4c coconut bacon bits (Organic Matters Coconut Bacon Bits)
Creamy Cashew Dressing, below
1/4c hemp seeds, optional (Navitas Naturals)

Pickled Red Onion
Makes 1-2 cups depending on the size of your onion
1 medium red onion peeled, cut in half and sliced
1c rice or white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 TBSP sugar

Bring a pot of water to a boil. In the mean time in a glass jar with a tight lid shake together vinegar, sugar, and garlic. Slice onions and place in a strainer. Pour boiling water over the onions. Place blanched onions into the jar with vinegar and shake. If you want to enjoy these right away let sit on the counter for one hour, storing the remaining onions in the refrigerator. Otherwise place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Roasted Tomatoes
8 Campari tomatoes
3-4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1-2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 tsp coconut palm sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Cut tomatoes in quarters, lay on rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Cashew Dressing
Makes 1/2-2/3 cup
1/2c raw unsalted cashews, soaked 4 hours or overnight
1 clove garlic, grated
1 TBSP tahini
1 TBSP lemon juice
2-3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
3-4 TBSP water
sea salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and drain soaked cashews. In a Vitamix, or high-speed blender, blend cashews, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Taste and add more vinegar if desired and sea salt and pepper to taste. After adding in more vinegar if desired add water as needed to make creamy and reach desired consistency. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to a week.


Start by making the Creamy Cashew Dressing, Pickled Red Onions, and Roasted Tomatoes. Remove peel from grapefruits, either cutting off and cutting out segments and cutting in half, or remove peel and tear our each segment as if you were going to eat them and cut each segment in half. Or you can leave the peel on and slice the grapefruit in half horizontally and remove grapefruit with a grapefruit knife and spoon. Set segments aside. In a large bowl, or individual bowls, toss chopped kale with just enough Creamy Cashew Dressing to lightly coat (doesn’t have to be fully coated just some on each piece). Toss coated greens with grapefruit segment, roasted tomatoes, and optional hemp seeds. Top with the coconut bacon and serve with additional dressing on the side to pass if desired. Enjoy!
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A Whisk and Two Wands, Creamy Kale Salad

Delicious vegan and gluten free friendly salad packed with flavor and nutrition, perfect for lunch or an entertaining dinner! Delicious combination of kale, Creamy Cashew Dressing, grapefruit, roasted tomatoes, pickled onions, coconut bacon, and optional hemp seeds or homemade sourdough bread croutons.


35 Responses to Creamy Kale Salad

  1. Courtney says:

    What a wonderful looking salad– so flavorful! That dressing sounds amazing.
    Thank you for hosting! 🙂
    Courtney recently posted…Chocolate Peanut Butter GranolaMy Profile

  2. I e never made anything with soaked cashews before! This reading sounds amazing have a fabulous meatless Monday
    Deborah @Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…The Best Ginger Snap Cookies – Sugar Free & Gluten FreeMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      They are a staple in our house, well cashews, for almond cashew milk, cashew cheesecakes, and now dressing. 😉

  3. Annmarie says:

    Love me a kale salad – this looks delicious!
    Annmarie recently posted…Creamy Coffee Protein Crepes {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}My Profile

  4. Im loving the grapefruit addition to this salad!
    AZ@…And a Dash of Cinnamon recently posted…Guest Post: Chocolate PB Energy Bowl [Clean, Vegan, GF]My Profile

  5. This is quit a salad, so many flavor elements! I can’t decide if I like the pickled onion or roasted tomatoes better. Guess I better make both, Thanks!
    Alison’s Allspice recently posted…Fresh Air Fridays – Spring WildflowersMy Profile

  6. Meme says:

    I love how you make this salad dressing with cashews!! The whole salad looks amazing too!
    Meme recently posted…Coconut Peach CobblerMy Profile

  7. I have been so in love with kale salads lately, this sounds perfect!! The dressing the flavor combos, thanks for getting my spring ideas going!
    amanda -runtothefinish recently posted…10 Simple Strength Moves to Consistently Improve Your RunningMy Profile

  8. What a great salad. That cashew dressing looks amazing!

  9. Emily says:

    My husband owns a restaurant and pickled red onions are one of their specialties 🙂 I’m going to ask him to bring some home for me so I can makes this tasty salad!
    Emily recently posted…Welcome to The Millennial GardenMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      I love pickled onions, I’ll have to get to his restaurant! Or maybe you can share his secret if their is one? ;)Let me know what you think of this salad when you try it!

  10. Liz says:

    I already know this is going to be a summer lunch staple of mine! Can’t wait to try!

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      I hope it is, it’s so good and salads are a spring and summer staple for sure more then other times of year because of all the amazing fruits and veggies that are in season!

  11. Jenn says:

    I saw this on Pinterest yesterday and was totally drooling! That creamy dressing sounds so good!!

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! It’s so good, I’m not a creamy dressing fan but this one is perfect as it’s creamy but not heavy. I hope you love it as much as I do!

  12. Taylor Kiser says:

    This is a gorgeous salad! So fresh and flavorful! Can’t wait to try this for lunch!
    Taylor Kiser recently posted…Safe, Non-Toxic Makeup and Skincare that I LOVEMy Profile

  13. Love all the flavors and textures going on in this salad. I bet that dressing would be good on just about anything!
    Jessica @Nutritioulicious recently posted…By: Menu Plan Monday: March 20, 2017My Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      I guess I’ll have to try the dressing on other things, I haven’t yet other then kale salads since they are heartier greens.

  14. This is a beautiful salad – love all the different colours and textures and flavours!! I haven’t tried adding grapefruit to salad before so I am definitely going to give this salad a try!!

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! Yes grapefruit is great in a salad, usually I pair it with avocado since I love them together but I love it in this salad too!

  15. Just today I made a cashew sauce with garlic and tahini! Different from this one and for a different type of recipe, but because of it, I can SO taste the deliciousness of this recipe. Will be making it …
    Alisa Fleming recently posted…Bananas Foster Breakfast Bread with Vanilla Cream SpreadMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      That sounds delicious Alisa! I love how you can taste it in your mind, let me know what you think!

  16. Kerri Olkjer says:

    I am definitely trying this one, especially that dressing! YUM. Love a good kale salad.
    Kerri Olkjer recently posted…FitGirl Cocktails: The Lemon DropMy Profile

  17. Tammy D. says:

    So this was my first time making this salad and I love love love it!!! So does my family. I also added some beets for one salad and another I tried sliced almonds which I browned in the oven for 10 minutes. MMMMMMMMMM. One question has anyone ever heard about massaging the kale??? I have gone to several healthy restaurants and that’s what they always claim to me they do.

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it! Beets are always a great addition and one of my favorites. Yes there are some recipes on here with messaged kale. Add kale to a bowl with oil (I usually use evoo or avocado oil) or even avocado and you just message the kale with your hands and the oil to soften it. You then take the greens and make your salad from there and you don’t need any additional dressing. You can also do the same with salads that have greens and grains and message or mash in the avocado to the greens and cooled grains. Hope this helps.

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