Vegan Kale Salad with Creamy Spicy Cashew Dressing

For Father's Day, I prepared a slow roasted pork ribs along with this salad. Nothing quite like giving Ben a hearty Paleo Pork ribs with homemade barbecue sauce. And nothing like me trying to push the veggies on him. His take on most veggies is he eats them because he knows he should, not because he chooses them.

His love of vegetables has only increased since being married to me, so I take that in a mission accomplished. I believe this is due to him tasting what a fresh summer tomato tastes like, or broccoli steamed just right. So, when creating this salad, I wanted to provide a creamy dressing and I just happen to have an orange & lime juice in the fridge needing to be used. I liked the idea of adding a bit of spice to liven up the senses. Cashews seemed perfect to create an easy creamy dressing (plus, Ben loves cashews). The only thing needed was crunch to the kale--toasted pumpkin seeds throw it over for me. I'm a sucker for adding 'crunchiness' to about anything.

Increase the spice if you need more 'oomph.' My girls can't handle too much, so I left it a bit tame. Make the dressing a day in advance by placing it in the fridge to make it an even easier salad to put together. Happy Summer!

Vegan Kale Salad with Creamy Spicy Cashew Dressing (printable recipe)

I prefer the lime over the lemon, but have used both when I was all out of limes. If you want to make this salad with more of zing, then use one diced jalapeno in place of the red chili flakes.


1 head of kale, curly or Siberian, cleaned, rinsed & cut into bite size pieces
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 cup chopped raw cashews
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp red chili flakes
Grinds of black pepper

1/2-2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds


In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, place the pumpkin seeds. Constantly shaking the pan, allow them to toast & get lightly brown. Pumpkin seeds toasting will begin to pop if left to toast too long. This takes about 3 minutes. Once toasted, pour into a small bowl & set aside.

In a blender, add the orange, lemon or lime juice, cashews, garlic, salt, pepper & chili flakes. Purée until fairly smooth (this will depend on your blender). Stop the motor & scrape down sides & purée again.

In a large bowl, add the kale and pour the cashew dressing over. Mix thoroughly to coat. I truly think a very clean pair of hands works the best to toss this salad. Take the toasted pumpkin seeds and evenly sprinkle on the top. Serves about 6-8.