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Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salads on white chilled plates

Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salad

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Sometimes I just really want to dive into a big salad. I feel you, Elaine. This Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salad is the big salad I want. It’s decadent, satisfying, and can be made ahead or without too much hassle on the fly.

This salad is:

  • Made with oil-free dressing
  • Easily modified by adding a vegan protein
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Zesty & garlicky
  • Easy to roll into a wrap

What kind of kale?

I recommend Dino kale, also called lacinato kale. I like calling it Dino kale because it reminds me of the pet dinosaur on The Flintstones.

The curly stuff is a bit much for me. I’ve done it, I just wouldn’t seek it out. If you don’t really like kale, you can use chopped Romaine lettuce or a mix of greens you like.

Flat Dino kale a.k.a Lacinato kale
Flat Dino kale a.k.a Lacinato kale
Weighing kale
Weighing kale on a postal scale before cutting

Why massage the kale?

Obviously the kale deserves a little pampering every now and then, just like the rest of us. Massaging the kale makes it less tough, less bitter, and more pleasurable to eat.

Proteins & Add-ons:

This Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salad is dressed with Creamy Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing and topped with 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake.

Let’s Make Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salad

Make the Caesar dressing

Add all dressing ingredients into a jar or large mug. Mix well with a fork or whisk until creamy. Adjust flavors and thin with water if desired. Cover and place the dressing in the fridge. Additionally, place your salad plates or bowls in the freezer if you feel fancy. It’s very fine dining to serve a salad on a chilled plate.

Stirring Vegan Oil-Free Caesar Salad Dressing
Keep stirring! It will get creamy

Make the hemp seed parm

Make the 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake by putting all ingredients into the food processor, reserving 1/4 cup of the hemp seeds. Pulse until sand-like. Next, add the reserved 1/4 cup of hemp seeds to the food processor and lightly pulse once or twice. You want to combine the remaining hemp seeds but leave them whole to give it a varied texture. Adjust salt or add more hemp seeds to lessen the salt, if preferred.

adding the remaining hemp seeds to the vegan hemp seed parm in a small food processor
Adding the remaining hemp seeds

Slice those kale ribbons

Wash and slice kale into approximately 1/4″ ribbons.

You can de-stem the kale prior to doing this. I only cut out big, firm stem pieces from the bottom of the leaves.

Cutting out big, firm stem pieces from the bottom of the leaves with a ceramic knife.

Cut the kale in 3 – 4 batches, placing the cut kale ribbons into a large one-gallon ziplock bag or large bowl as you go. If using a bowl, massage kale between your fingers or crush it in your fists. However, there’s no need to do this if using a ziplock bag.

Dino Kale sliced into ribbons on a white cutting board
Kale sliced into ribbons

Dress & massage

Add 3/4 of dressing to the bag, squeeze out most of the air and work the dressing it into the kale, massaging it until evenly distributed.

Adding Caesar dressing to the ziplock bag of Dino kale ribbons
Adding Caesar dressing to the bag of kale ribbons

Open the bag and stir with a spatula to help coat the kale. Taste the kale and decide if you’d like to add more dressing. Add more dressing if desired and stir, squeeze and shake the bag to coat the kale.

If using a large bowl, mix the dressing into the pre-massaged kale, taste, and add more dressing if needed.

Plate & serve

Divide dressed kale onto serving plates or bowls. You may need to remove the serving vessels from the freezer first. Top with 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake. Optional add-ons include Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes, Homemade Garlicky Nooch Croutons, Oven-Baked Sriracha Tofu, or dry pan-roasted chickpeas.

Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salads
Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salads

Make-Ahead Instructions

Make the dressing and hemp seed parm and store in separate air-tight containers in the fridge. Wash and slice the kale into ribbons and place it into a one-gallon ziplock bag and store it in the fridge. When ready to eat, assemble the salad. You might need to add a little water to the dressing because it thickens in the fridge.

Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salads on white chilled plates
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5 from 2 votes

Massaged Kale Ribbon Vegan Caesar Salad

A creamy, oil-free, whole food, nutritious vegan version of a classic Caesar salad
Course Big Salad, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, French, Italian, Vegan
Keyword Cashew Butter, classic, creamy, dairy-free, gluten-free, Lemon, oil-free, Zesty
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 Very Big Salads, 4 Medium Salads
Calories 623kcal

Ingredients

Creamy Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 2 TBSPs lemon juice About half a lemon worth of juice, depending on the size and juiciness of the lemon. You may want extra.
  • 1 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard any variety: yellow, dijion etc.
  • 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper more if desired
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt fine; more if desired
  • 2 – 3 TBSPs water more if needed to thin dressing

5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake

  • 1 TBSP minced garlic I use jarred minced garlic or fresh
  • 8 whole Brazil nuts shelled, raw, un-roasted, unsalted
  • ½ cup divided hemp seeds (a.k.a hemp hearts) divided (half go in the food processor right away, the other half are lightly pulsed at the end)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast unfortified or non-fortified is strongly recommended the fortified stuff can taste synthetic and vitamin-y
  • ½ – ¾ teaspoon salt fine

Greens

  • 2 – 3 bunches flat dino kale, a little under a pound, also called Lacinato kale, sub other lettuce if kale isn't your jam, curly kale is a little tough and thus not recommended **weighing recommended, bunches vary, go light here if you like lots of dressing**

Instructions

  • Add all dressing ingredients into a jar or large mug. Mix well with a fork or whisk until creamy. Adjust flavors and thin with water if desired. Cover and place the dressing in the fridge. Additionally, place your salad plates or bowls in the freezer if you feel fancy. It's very fine dining to serve salads on chilled plates.
  • Make the 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake by putting all ingredients into the food processor, reserving 1/4 cup of the hemp seeds. Pulse until sand-like. Next, add the reserved 1/4 cup of hemp seeds to the food processor and lightly pulse once or twice. You want to combine the remaining hemp seeds but leave them whole to give it a varied texture. Adjust salt or add more hemp seeds to lessen the salt, if preferred.
  • Wash and slice kale into approximately 1/4" ribbons. You can de-stem the kale prior to doing this. I only cut out big, firm stem pieces from the bottom of the leaves. Cut the kale in 3 – 4 batches, placing the cut kale ribbons into a large one-gallon ziplock bag or large bowl as you go. If using a bowl, massage kale between your fingers or crush it in your fists.
  • Add 3/4 of dressing to the bag, squeeze out most of the air and work the dressing it into the kale, massaging it until evenly distributed. Open the bag and stir with a spatula to help coat the kale. Taste the kale and decide if you'd like to add more dressing. Add more dressing if desired and stir, squeeze and shake the bag to coat the kale. If using a large bowl, mix the dressing into the pre-massaged kale, taste, and add more dressing if needed.
  • Divide dressed kale onto serving plates or bowls. You may need to remove the serving vessels from the freezer first. Top with 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake. Optional add-ons include Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes, Homemade Garlicky Nooch Croutons, Oven-Baked Sriracha Tofu, or dry pan-roasted chickpeas.

Notes

Nutrition information is approximate. 
Make-Ahead Instructions: Make the dressing and hemp seed parm and store in separate air-tight containers in the fridge. Wash and slice the kale into ribbons and place it into a one-gallon ziplock bag and store it in the fridge. When ready to eat, assemble the salad. You might need to add a little water to the dressing because it thickens in the fridge.
www.planttestkitchen

Nutrition

Serving: 1Very Big Salad | Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 872mg | Potassium: 2425mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45159IU | Vitamin C: 545mg | Calcium: 748mg | Iron: 13mg

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

Recipe adapted from the Kate Flowers cookbook Freedom Foods 1.0.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like this Oil-Free Flaked Crab-less Vegan Salad.

Did you make this big salad?

How was it? Any add-ons or did you keep it simple? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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