How To Build A Raw Kale Salad


I have made A LOT of Raw(ish) Kale/Collard Salads in my days!  Having worked in two restaurants that were inside of health food stores, I had access to a lot of produce all of the time, so depending on my mood and ingredients on hand, I have sort of a template, which I would like to share with you.  Most of my recipes are really just templates I color with this spice or that grain, etc.

Basic Raw* Slaw

  • 4 cups sturdy leafy greens (kale, mustard, chard, collards, spinach, escarole)
  • 2 cups red or green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or citrus juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive, sesame, flax, coconut)

Massage together for 5 minutes or until the veggies start to break down

You are essentially ‘cooking’ the greens here and not paying attention to flavor. The carrots/onions add a nice dimension to the greens as they break down, creating a vegetable broth.

The greens are super juicy now and I take advantage of that juice and don’t drain it. If you want a cleaner flavor, just strain for 5 minutes before proceeding.  I like to add some of these ingredients that soak up the juice and create a delicious dressing without a lot of extra oil (add around 1/4 cup each or 1 cup all together)

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  •  toasted dried coconut
  • nutritional yeast
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • dried mushrooms
  • raisins
  • dried cranberries
  • apricots
  • toasted walnuts
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • crystalized ginger
  • chopped apples or pears (Dried would be great too)


NO matter what I’m doing, I always add a small pinch of nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds.

You can add 1/2 teaspoon of these:

  • Basil, marjoram and rosemary for an Italian Salad (great with sun dried tomatoes, walnuts and nutritional yeast)
  • Lemon Pepper, Coriander and Curry for Indian Slaw (great with coconut, and raisinis)
  •  1/4 teaspoon Cardamom,  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (with pumpkin seeds and crystalized ginger, apples and raisins)

Other ad ins:

  • 2 cups seasonal fruit
  • avocado (this creates an amazing creamy yummy dressing!)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Herbs  (basil, cilantro, mint, parsley or whatever you have on  hand)
  • Various Raw Veggies  (Broccoli, peppers, celery, sprouts, lentil sprouts, anything you have that needs to be used)

Finally, taste and add to taste:

  • Soy sauce/tamari/braggs or
  • Seasoning Salts
  • Pepper
  • Acid (vinegars, citrus juices, tamarind umeboshi)
  • Your favorite spices
  • More nutritional yeast
  • Your favorite oils (I add more oils last… and usually the best quality oils I have..)
  • Hummus or your favorite bean based spreads

You basically want to get a nice balance of savory, acidic, sweet, crunchy..

*rawish because not all the ad ins are raw

  • Make sure your hands are VERY clean before making this salad
  • This will keep (as long as you NEVER double dip or use the same tasting spoon) for up to 4 days in the fridge.

I hope you play around with what you have on hand.  That is how the BEST creations are made.

Do you have a favorite Raw Kale Salad?


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