Ever since I improvised a recipe for a vegan version of the Green Goddess Dressing, I’ve been in love. It’s so savory and really accentuates the deliciousness of most foods. I like to have homemade hummus around for snacking, and now I also always have a little Green Goddess Dressing in the fridge. It’s good as a dip and great as a dressing on salads, roasted vegetables (beets, potatoes, broccoli), and some roasted meats. I’ve even dipped a rice chip in the dressing. And it tastes like a platonic (all natural) ideal of a Cool Ranch Dorito – I mean that in the best possible way.
This salad came about because I was out of lettuce. Of course, I had several varieties of kale in the fridge – red, Tuscan or Lacinato, and your standard green kale – because we have a kale smoothie everyday. And I had celery and carrots – for dipping in the hummus or Green Goddess Dressing. I always have avocados around too. I don’t often use kale in salads, maybe because I eat it everyday in a smoothie. But it was the only green available that night, and I wanted salad. The best kale to use in a salad is the Lacinato. It’s more tender and it’s pebbly surface soaks up vinaigrettes and dressings well. I’ve found, though, when I have a kale salad out at restaurants it’s often tough to chew, even the Lacinato. So I like tenderize mine first with a little lemon juice and olive oil. And then I toss the greens in the Green Goddess Dressing.
This salad, the result of improvisation, is really delicious, and it’s so good for you. Kale is, as we all know, a super food. Sweet potatoes, baked or cooked however you like, with the skins left on – I love potato skins! – are so good for you. And celery offers a fresh, clean taste with a nice crunch. Sometimes, I’ll add roasted beets – if they’re in season at the Farmers Market. They’re easy to prepare. They take about 20 minutes to either boil or roast in the oven. And though they’re higher in sugar than other vegetables, they’re also known for their high levels of the B-complex vitamin folate. Folic acid works with vitamins B6 and B12 to reduce blood levels of homocysteine, thereby reducing inflammation. I like carrots in the salad for their sweetness, crunch, and color. Carrots, like beets, are high in sugar but are also good sources of beta-carotene, which your body uses to produce vitamin A.
You definitely want all your vegetables in this salad to be organic as all the ones used absorb pesticides terribly well, if they’re conventional. It’s just common sense to avoid exposure to pesticides, herbicides and GMOs. Scarily, there have been an increasing numbers of studies that are starting to link a higher body burden (body burden testing measures levels of environmental toxins in our bodies) of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease. For now, and in this salad, make sure all your fruits and vegetables are organic.
Superfood Salad with (vegan) Green Goddess Dressing
- 1 bunch of organic Lacinato kale, chiffonade the kale into long, thin strips
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup organic carrots, chopped (leave skins on)
- 2 cups organic celery stalks and leaves, chopped
- 1 large organic beet, yellow or red, peeled, cooked, and chopped
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 large sweet potato, baked, cut into pieces (leave the skins on)
- Sea salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons Green Goddess Dressing
- In a big salad bowl, toss the chiffonade of kale with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive oil. Allow the kale to macerate while you chop the other vegetables and cook the beet and sweet potato.
- In a small bowl whisk together the 3 tablespoons of Green Goddess Dressing and juice from half a fresh lemon. This will thin out the very thick dressing. It will be quite thick if you’ve made it a day or two earlier.
- Add the chopped celery, carrots, sweet potato with the peel, and beet to the kale, drizzle the dressing over this salad. Stirring the kale and vegetables so that they’re fully coated with the dressing. Taste the greens, adjust seasoning as needed, add salt or more dressing if you want.
This salad keeps well. The kale is hearty enough to keep, refrigerated, for lunch the next day.
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.