Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad

by | Jan 11, 2017

Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad | A quick and delicious kale salad massaged with a tangy, cheesy dressing. Vegan, paleo, and gluten-free! |
This Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad boasts kale, massaged with a cheesy (but dairy-free so rather a nutritional yeasty kale salad 😉 ) dressing with lots of lemon, fresh garlic, dijon mustard, and a few other seasonings. Ready in just 10 minutes and holds up great in the fridge, so make a big batch and nosh on it for a few days. Although, fair warning, no matter how much I make I always end up eating it all in one sitting… but you could make a really big batch then, and you’d be set.
Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad | A quick and delicious kale salad massaged with a tangy, cheesy dressing. Vegan, paleo, and gluten-free! |
3 Tips for making this without measurements:
  1. The dressing can be easily adjusted to your liking. Depending on your love of nutritional yeast, you can go as light or heavy as you like. The more you add, the thicker the dressing will become, and obviously the more “cheesy,” but the less you add will result in a thinner dressing. Both delicious, just different.
  2. A few substitutions/additions can be made. If you don’t have lemon, you can sub raw apple cider vinegar, or do a combo of both. I’ve used miso instead of dijon before, and loved it as well, just a slightly different flavor profile.  A low-sodium tamari can replace the coconut aminos. Lastly, make it as spicy (or not) as you like. Adding cumin is a great way to add some more depth and slight smoky flavor, while cayenne or even chipotle chili powder or hot sauce will add some awesome kick if you like spice.
  3. As far as the veggies for the salad goes, you can definitely make this with just kale, add even more cabbage, or even add other veggies like shredded cauliflower, collard greens, or celery. I’ve definitely used this dressing and the idea of a massaged kale salad, but bulked it up with other veggies to make more of a “dense” salad.
Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad
Total Time
10 mins
Servings: 1 salad
Author: Noelle Parton
For the salad
  • Curly kale, rinsed
  • Green cabbage
  • Fresh parsley
For the dressing
  • Lemon, juiced
  • Extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed
  • Coconut aminos, nama shoyu, or low-sodium tamari
  • Dijon mustard
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Fresh garlic, minced
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Kelp or dulse granules, optional
  • Ground cumin, optional
  • Ground cayenne, chipotle chili powder, or hot sauce, optional
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. For amounts, a good place to start with is about 1 large lemon for every bundle of kale used. This will give you about 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Whisk in about 1/2 the amount of olive oil so you have about a 2:1 ratio of lemon juice to oil.
  2. Add as much coconut aminos and dijon mustard as you'd like. Start with about 1 tablespoon or so of each, whisk and taste, and then continue adding about 1 tablespoon or a little less at a time until desired taste.
  3. Once these are together, add in the nutritional yeast. Begin shaking and whisking it in until the dressing begins to thicken and look creamy. Taste as you go and continue adding until the taste is to your liking. I end up using about equal amounts lemon juice and yeast, so for that 1/4 cup or so of lemon juice, it would be about 1/4 cup of yeast.
  4. Lastly, add in as much freshly chopped garlic as desired. About 2-3 cloves is a good place to start. Whisk in a pinch of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of kelp, if using. If you want the salad to have a hint of smokiness or spice, add a pinch or so of cumin and/or cayenne (or other spice).
  5. Taste and make sure the dressing is as you like.
  6. On the side, prepare the greens. De-stem the kale and rip into bite size pieces, chop the green cabbage into thick shreds or however you'd like, and roughly chop the fresh parsley. When making this salad, I usually do about 1 bundle of kale, a 1/4 of a cabbage head, and a handful of parsley. Use however much of each that you like, or you can simply use all kale if desired. It's up to you!
  7. Add the greens to the bowl with the dressing and begin working it with your hands for about 30 seconds until the greens are evenly coated and slightly wilted. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Use raw apple cider vinegar in place of lemon if needed.

*For those that don't know, my recipes are made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, but still incredibly satisfying. I share my recipes without measurements and hope they equip you to not feel confined to a recipe, but rather confident in your kitchen to be able to create something unique, nourishing, and delicious all on your own. So take this recipe as inspiration and enjoy! Head on over to my IG @noelle.parton and tag me if you try this out, or contact me if you have questions or comments.


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Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad | A quick and delicious kale salad massaged with a tangy, cheesy dressing. Vegan, paleo, and gluten-free! |
Cheesy Lemon Massaged Kale Salad | A quick and delicious kale salad massaged with a tangy, cheesy dressing. Vegan, paleo, and gluten-free! |


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