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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Kale & Avocado Salad with Creamy Hemp Seed Dressing

Kale salad – as promised!  Having survived a week of constant rain and gloom, and with another one ahead in the forecast, it helps to look back through pictures of our trip to Hawaii last month.  That feels like so long ago!

While we were there, we ate a lot of delicious vegan food, and I felt really inspired to come home and start paying more attention to what I eat each day.  As a mom it’s too easy to eat granola bars and trail mix all day long, but I know that that’s not what’s best for me in the bigger picture.

Since then, I’ve been working hard to have more greens on hand, and more prepared foods ready to grab in the fridge when the days are too busy to cook.  In Maui, we had an amazing kale salad with red pepper dressing that I promised to remake once we got home.

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And now I have done just that.  This salad is super simple, but tastes really decadent with such a rich and creamy dressing.  Raw salads are so quick to make, and having them on hand is such a great way to ensure you always have a healthy option in the fridge. 

Kale and Avocado Salad with Creamy Hemp Seed Dressing

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

    For the dressing

    • 1/2 cup shelled hempseeds
    • 1 tablespoon white or yellow miso
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced/cubed
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • pinch of salt

    For the salad

    • 2 bunches Italian kale, torn and de-stemmed
    • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
    • 2 avocados, peeled and cubed

    Instructions

    I know that hemp seeds sound like the ultimate hippie food.  But if you can get past their crunchy name, they are really rich in nutrition.  They serve as a great source of essential fatty acids, as well as easily digestible protein (great for vegans and vegetarians!).  Not to mention, when blended, they turn silky smooth and act as a great cream substitute for those who are dairy-free.

    You can find them at any health food store or Whole Foods-type of grocer, usually in the bulk aisle or with the nuts and seeds.  IMG_9944 (640x427)

    Now onto the recipe!  To prep the dressing, add hemp seeds, miso, bell peppers, lemon juice, and water to a high powered blender. Mix until totally smooth – you’ll probably need to scrape the sides down several times.  The dressing should be creamy and silky!  Season to taste with kosher salt.

    To make the salad, simply rinse and tear the leaves off of two small bunches of Italian kale (the flat-leaf variety). You can also use curly kale if that is your preference, but I tend to find those to be too hearty for raw kale salads.

    Thinly slice 1/2 head of red cabbage, and add to the bowl with the kale.

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    Peel and cube two large avocados and toss with the kale and cabbage. If you are making this ahead of time, reserve the avocados until the last minute to avoid browning.

    Toss the salad with the dressing and work it with your hands to distribute it evenly.  Season to taste with any additional salt, if needed.

    IMG_9289 (640x427)

    Serve along with soup for dinner, or pack leftovers for a healthy lunch!

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    Having a great run or doing a hard workout always makes me want to continue my whole day being my healthiest self.  And eating raw salads always makes me feel energized and healthy, and helps me avoid overdosing on unnecessary sugar and carbs as the temptations creep in later in the day. 

    IMG_9292 (640x427)

    Enjoy!

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    68 Comments so far
    Leave a comment

    Noelle (@singerinkitchen)     at 11:08 am

    Love the dressing. I will definitely make this for tomorrow’s lunch!

    [Reply]

    erin     at 11:09 am

    Is Kale weird to eat raw? I have only ever cooked it and never attempted to eat it raw as even undercooked I find it very tough. Still I see lots of rescipes for kale salads. Am I missing something or not getting the right type? Maybe I just need to try it an decide:)

    [Reply]

    Noelle (@singerinkitchen) Reply:

    Dinosaur kale is the softest in my opinion. I usually massage the other type of kale with the dressing. And yes, that is a hand massage. :-) It is very worth the taste and vitamins!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Curly kale is much heartier raw – I really like dinosaur or italian kale best for raw salads!

    [Reply]

    Lauren @roasted&toasted     at 11:11 am

    I just bought a bunch of kale yesterday so this is perfect! I miss your wonderful veggie recipes!

    [Reply]

    meghan     at 11:11 am

    Yum!! Can I make the dressing in a food processor if my blender is weak? #dumbquestion
    Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    You can certainly try! :)

    [Reply]

    Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks     at 11:12 am

    It’s so true that a workout helps to reinforce healthy habits throughout the day! Your kale salad looks fantastic, Emily, kudos for fitting in healthy cooking these days =)

    [Reply]

    Heidi from BundlesofHugs     at 11:14 am

    Ooooh, that does look good! I need to eat more greens too. I totally understand how fast a day goes by when you’re busy with a kiddo.

    [Reply]

    Destini     at 11:14 am

    WOW I love hemp seeds/hearts a lot! I never thought to make a dressing out of them. Wonderful post

    [Reply]

    Shannon Bell     at 11:15 am

    This looks so good! I’ve been wanting to incorporate hemp into my dishes, but didn’t know how, I’m excited to try this, thanks!

    [Reply]

    Heather @ Better With Veggies     at 11:18 am

    As a self-proclaimed Kale Salad addict, you can never have too many variations of kale salad. :) this looks great and I haven’t added hemp to my versions recently, great reminder. I would suggest that kale is not the best before a long run – which I’ve learned the hard way. :)

    [Reply]

    Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 11:22 am

    You have no idea how excited I am to see this recipe! My husband and I just got back from Maui yesterday and went to Choice Health Bar (per your recommendation) for lunch one day. I had their kale salad and it is probably the best salad I’ve ever had! I can’t wait to try this out!

    [Reply]

    barefootgirl27     at 11:49 am

    Emily… this sounds wonderful. My daughter & I are recent vegetarians ( I’m more strict than her, yet not complete Vegan … I’m calling it veganusque :)

    I know you are busy with little Mr adorable Cullen, but is you have a second, could you maybe guide me on a few things to do in Seattle?

    My son is touring University of Seattle ( as well as a schools in Tacoma & Portland) We will be out there for a few days and was wondering from a foodie point of view what not to miss? Other than Pike’s place?

    Any great walking/ hiking areas you can recommend?

    MY hubby & I will be traveling with our 17 & 19 year old, but they are not your typical teenagers & actually ENJOY spending time with us & being foodies ( the boys are meat eaters)

    I’m doing research on my own, but your are an east-coaster recently out there, I was looking for your opinions :)

    And I am in love with your little man…. he is so precious… enjoy every minute.. they grow up so fast and next thing you know you are across the country looking at colleges :0

    thanks in advance

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I am finishing up a “best of Seattle” page as we speak!

    [Reply]

    Danielle     at 11:56 am

    YUM!! Avocado in salad (well, in/on anything) is my favorite… and this dressing is so different I’m definitely going to hunt down some hemp!

    [Reply]

    Teresa Kato     at 12:01 pm

    Costco now has large bags of organic baby kale leaves that are quite tender, I think they’d work well in this recipe. They also carry bags of organic hemp seed. I bought both yesterday and am going to make this salad for my lunch in a few minutes! Thank you for the timely post!

    [Reply]

    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 12:16 pm

    I’ve never tried hemp seed but have always wanted to. This recipe sounds like the perfect way. My grocery store usually only has dinosaur kale so I think I’ll try it with that. I’m sure I could substitute spinach for a tasty alternative, too.

    [Reply]

    Gina (Yogattude)     at 12:24 pm

    I didn’t realize you can make dressing with hemp seeds, Yum! I am def going to try this!

    [Reply]

    Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 12:33 pm

    Looks great! I’m learning to love kale. Hope that the sun shines your way soon! Oh and I was wondering, is there a special harness that you use for the dogs when you run with them? I just adopted a dog and she has lots of energy and I want to take her running with me but she needs a harness! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Our dogs are insane pullers, so we actually have to use pinch collars. :( We tried every harness in the book and none worked for us.

    [Reply]

    Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 12:34 pm

    That dressing sounds amazing and so full of goodness!

    [Reply]

    Coco     at 12:47 pm

    Kale salads are probably one of my favorites! I always tend to make them with a lot of lemon juice to have the nice acidic kick- and it’s really a good day when I have avocado and nutritional yeast on hand.. mmm.. Guess I know what is going to be on my shopping list this week :)

    [Reply]

    Mandy Jo     at 1:14 pm

    YEAH! I recently began loving kale. My first attempt was kale chips and I hated them. Blah. But knowing how good it is for you I decided to try it again and made a delicious salad and have been hooked ever since! I love raw kale and this salad looks great!
    I hear you about Hawaii, I was actually just there at the beginning of March! We must have just missed each other. It’s an amazing place and the whales were incredible!

    [Reply]

    Mandy Jo     at 1:15 pm

    P.S. would sesame seeds work in place of hemp seeds?

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I can’t say for sure, haven’t tried it with sesame. I know sesame can be blended as well (into tahini) but I’m not sure it would be as creamy.

    [Reply]

    Haley     at 1:44 pm

    Looks easy and DELICIOUS! Thanks :)

    [Reply]

    Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife     at 1:55 pm

    I’ve never tried hemp seeds before but they sound awesome! I love creamy salad dressings but it so hard to find healthy ones! Thanks for sharing this.

    [Reply]

    Samantha     at 2:07 pm

    Kale and avocado: two of my favorite things! :) And the dressing looks great.

    As someone born and raised here…this weather stint has been painful!

    Hopefully you have made progress finding a childcare gym option so you can get a workout inside (but leave the house).

    [Reply]

    Anna @ On Anna's Plate     at 3:34 pm

    My husband’s family lives in Seattle– it sounds like y’all have had a gloomy week indeed :-( I hope you get some sun soon!

    Salad looks great– I used to sprinkle hemp seeds on sandwiches and wraps, and it was very tasty! I need to stock up again.

    [Reply]

    Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!     at 7:03 pm

    The dressing and salad sound fantastic! My lunch just got a spruce up for next week! :)

    [Reply]

    Angela     at 8:11 pm

    I’ve never tried kale raw, but that looks great! I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

    [Reply]

    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 8:48 pm

    Looks simple and delicious! Two of my requirements for cooking. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Amber K     at 9:35 pm

    I keep trying kale because I just can’t seem to figure out how so many people can find it palatable. The worst thing I ever made with it was kale chips. BLECH! And yet, I will try yet again because I know it can take multiple times to like something. And I’m determined to get it’s nutritional benefits!

    Great tip about hemp seeds for the dressing. I never would have thought to do that with them!

    [Reply]

    Whitney     at 5:49 am

    Come to sunny North Carolina! We are having 80 degree days! Salad looks awesome..must try :)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:33 am

    Yum! Your salad looks amazing! I love the reicpe for the dressing.

    [Reply]

    Christina     at 7:46 am

    This is something I will definitely have to try.

    I tried another salad dressing of yours last week and am basically obsessed with it. It’s the one with grapeseed oil and nutritional yeast. Not only is it great on salads but it makes a phenomenal marinade for fish.

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I love that one too! Good idea on the marinade.

    [Reply]

    Sarah G     at 11:18 am

    I’ve never tried hemp seeds, so I’ll keep an eye out. I’ve been craving greens like mad and am so happy to have a new thing to do with kale. I’d really like to try this dressing/salad. I look forward to an update of how you maintain healthy eating habits while caring for Cullen. I depend on you for tips, as I have a baby 5 weeks younger than Cullen as well as a 3-year-old, so life gets so busy! Although I’m so grateful to have your blog and recipes, I do hope that you find time to rest enough. You seem very busy for a new mom. Take care :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Thanks Sarah! I try to give myself a break when I feel like I need one. :)

    [Reply]

    Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac     at 11:34 am

    I’ve only tried chia seeds, hemp will have to be next! The salad looks wonderful, and so green, perfect for spring! Thanks Emily!

    [Reply]

    Heather     at 4:09 pm

    wow I just got hemp seeds today and I LOVED them. I just happen to buy every ingredient in the salad and on chance came across your blog for the first time-(love it too!) I am so making this tomorrow for lunch!

    [Reply]

    Kristen     at 5:20 pm

    Looks & sounds delicious! Kale is always in my house, I’ll be sure to whip this one up this week… can’t wait!

    I loved reading about your trip to Maui! It was nice reliving the days I used to live there and farm – Paia is my all time favorite! Flatbread’s followed by gelato or soft-serve from Mana Foods was a must :)

    [Reply]

    Sierra @ Posh Meets Pavement     at 5:38 pm

    I love that you called hemp “the ultimate hippie food”. I married such a non-hippie and he woud not even try anything made with hemp. Kale is questionable to him. I just got him to try almond milk!

    [Reply]

    Laura Nugent     at 8:39 pm

    I made this salad tonight and it was a big hit. The dressing is fantastic. I love having another way to use hemp seeds. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Glad you liked it – thanks for letting me know!

    [Reply]

    Hillary     at 11:17 pm

    I just hopped around on old Daily Garnish posts because I miss your blog! It was fun to reread some of your old shenanigans. I hope things slow down for you soon! Looking forward to the latest Cullen update :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I like re-reading the old shenanigans too. :)

    [Reply]

    Adrienne     at 8:28 am

    Yum! What a fabulous, simple to make, delicious and healthy appetizer! Definitely something I want to make.

    [Reply]

    Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf     at 2:45 pm

    Wow! That dressing looks really good! I’ve found that having a tasty dressing available in my fridge certainly helps me eat more salad. I’m just going to have to try a hemp seed-type dressing and store it in the fridge for easy use!

    [Reply]

    Full-Flavored Life     at 4:22 pm

    I have an avocado obsession!! This looks so tasty!

    [Reply]

    Rachael     at 8:00 pm

    I just made this for dinner, and it was delicious! I tried Lactino Kale, and it turned a lovely bright green color when I tossed it with the dressing.

    Thank you for your creative, healthy, and refreshingly simple to make recipes!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    So glad you liked it!

    [Reply]

    Emily (Edible Psychology)     at 6:19 am

    This salad looks outstanding, and I have never tried making anything with hemp seeds so that may have to change.

    I also love the Cullen update and pictures – he gets cuter every time!

    ~Emily~

    [Reply]

    Jen     at 10:58 am

    why a blender and not a food processor? thanks!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    You can try a food processor but I’m not sure it would get it smooth enough!

    [Reply]

    melissa     at 2:19 pm

    I was just in Maui last week and made a point of seeking out Choice after your previous post! Oh my goodness it was honestly the best meal I had when I was there! I had an amazing Kale salad with a creamy garlic-y dressing that I have to attempt to re-create!

    Thanks so much for the great recommendation! :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    YUMMMMM. So glad you made it there!

    [Reply]

    Jen     at 6:02 am

    emily- this salad was incredible! i’ve had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner over the past couple of days. i want the dressing to have a little more punch though and i am not very experienced in the kitchen. what would you recommend trying to increase? miso? lemon juice? an additional ingredient? let me know your expertise and thank you so much again!!! :)

    [Reply]

    Brittany     at 2:53 pm

    I just made this and I am currently inhaling it. Oh, my goodness this is good.

    (I omitted the cabbage, and added tomatoes).

    YUM!!

    [Reply]

    Amateur Mommy     at 11:42 am

    Is there anything that I can sub in for the miso? I can’t find white miso anywhere :( I’ve even looked at our local health food store. I wanted to make your miso pasta as well but am missing this one ingredient!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Doesn’t have to be white miso – try whatever you can find!

    [Reply]

    Sylvs     at 3:13 pm

    Hi Emily, I’m trying to add kale to my diet but find it hard to decide on dressings that will enhance the flavor, I was wondering if I can opt out of using the miso paste, what else can I use instead? Or can I leave it out? Curious to know what kind of flavor it provides?

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Hmm miso is such a unique flavor. It’s hard to replace. Maybe sub in some tahini and extra salt? That’s a tough one.

    [Reply]

    Jessica     at 7:41 am

    Hi Emily-

    You’ve had a couple recipes now where you call for a “bunch” of kale, but the kale I buy comes in a large bag (TJs). I am not sure how much a “bunch” is, but I tried weighing out 10oz and it seemed like a lot (someone guessed 10oz when I wondered aloud…) anyway, can you specify for me the volume or weight you are referring to when you use the word “bunch?” thanks!

    [Reply]

    Summer     at 1:09 pm

    I love the dressing recipe… I’ve also used in pasta salad and it was SO YUMMY. Great blog, keep it up! :)

    [Reply]

    Suezie     at 6:19 pm

    This dressing is fantastic!!! thank you for the recipe! This is one I know I will be making often!!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    So glad you like it!

    [Reply]

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