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Lisa’s Kale Salad

This quick recipe for raw vegan kale salad is full of flavor and texture. It is one of our favorite ways to enjoy fresh kale!

Bring on the Kale!

Kale is a fantastic vegetable, full of flavor, texture, and nutrition, and it comes in several interesting varieties. It certainly is something that we should all try to eat plenty of. Of course, some detractors complain that kale is a trendy ingredient. But we can safely ignore them.

If you love kale, or if you are growing your own produce, as we do, and you have lots of the vegetable available, and are looking for easy delicious ways to use it, then this recipe is definitely for you (and everyone else, too).

Lisa Started It!

Our good friend Lisa is an intuitive and creative cook. She and her husband introduced us to Tower Gardens, where we grow surprising amounts of produce, including kale! There are many reasons we love Lisa, and one of her endearing qualities is something she has in common with Georgia: they will both come up with unique dishes, dressings, sauces, etc. but only have a vague idea of exactly what ingredients and how much went into it.

As you can imagine, this has been the subject of many conversations with Georgia and me as we produce recipes to share here on the Full of Beans blog. It’s all part of the process, and we often laugh about it. This kale salad is one of those situations, but it started with Lisa.

Tweaking Inspiration

She and her husband, Kraig, grow tons of vegetables in their Tower Gardens, including a tremendous amount of kale. So Lisa is always coming up with ways to enjoy the bounty. I first encountered this yummy dish at a potluck event we were all attending. As soon as I had two bites of it I immediately asked Lisa for the recipe. Her answer was one I’m pretty familiar with from Georgia: she had some inspiration from a couple of recipes, tweaked a few things for her own personal taste, made a few versions of it, and produced the bowl served at the event. However, she was able to share the sources of her inspiration and the essential list of ingredients that went into the dressing for this dish. 

Since the dressing is absolutely the cornerstone, that’s where I started. It didn’t take very long because I started mixing things together, getting suggestions from Georgia, who was kibitzing from the couch, and we eventually settled on the recipe below. 

I’m not sure if it’s an exact match for the yummy dish Lisa produced, but it’s pretty close in our memory and now we can share it with you! We think you’ll love it and hope there are many delicious kale salads in your future.

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Lisa’s Kale Salad

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  • Author: Greg @
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This nutritious raw vegan kale salad is filled with textures and flavor. From crunchy kale and cabbage, to a full-flavored dressing and chunks of peanuts it is a satisfying dish. It is perfect for a delicious raw meal or a special dish to bring to a get-together.


Units Scale


  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/41/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, minced (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)

Kale Salad

  • 1/41/2 ripe avocado
  • 68 cups chopped kale (Lacinato or curly or whatever you happen to have/enjoy)
  • 12 Tbsps chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • Optional: 1 block air-fried tofu (see Crispy Air Fried Tofu )
  • Optional: nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan for topping



  • whisk all ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  • set aside (if you prefer cold dressing, make ahead and chill)


  • shred the cabbage and add to the bowl
  • chop the chives in small pieces (your preference)
  • coarsely chop the peanuts (a mortar and pestle does this surprisingly fast)
  • Chop kale in approximately 1″ wide pieces
  • Place kale in a large bowl, add the avocado and massage it into the kale. You can omit this step but it adds a richness to the taste and slightly softens the kale
  • Add the cabbage, chives, and peanuts to the kale and toss to coat
  • Add the tofu (if including)
  • pour a small amount (less than 1/2) of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat
  • adjust dressing amount to taste
  • serve in bowls and sprinkle top with nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan (optional)
  • Enjoy!


We have substituted cashews for peanuts and it was very nice.

This recipe makes plenty of the dressing. We suggest going easy to start and adjust once you have tossed the salad. The dressing is VERY tasty 🙂

The yield (4 servings) is average meal (lunch/dinner) salad size. But tastes and appetites vary, so it may be 6 or 2 very generous and some leftovers.

This is one of those recipes that is extremely flexible. The essentials are kale and the dressing – add what you love (or have on hand) omit something you don’t care for. Experiment, make it your own and enjoy fresh kale!

Husband and wife, father and mother, working adults – Greg and Georgia formed Full of Beans to share encouragement, inspiration, and tips to get you started on, and maintain, a plant-based vegan diet (even if you think you don't have the time/money/skills/energy). See the About page for more.

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