I’m obsessed with this Kale Salad with Vegan Buttermilk Black Pepper Dressing. It’s a low-fat vegan copy of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant menu. Finely shredded kale, sweet golden raisins, salty roasted Marcona almonds, and tart apple batons tossed in lemon juice, all drizzled with a cool Buttermilk dressing. So damn good–even better than the original. Thank you to Susan Voisin for her brilliant Hidden Cashew Ranch Dressing. I found that adding one more Tablespoon of cashews to Susan’s dressing (bumping the cashews up to 1/3 Cup) made the dressing thicker and richer, without affecting fat and calories hardly at all. Nutritional values below.
For each individual salad, use about 2 Tablespoons chopped Marcona almonds, 2 Tablespoons golden raisins, 50 grams small, unpeeled apple batons tossed in lemon juice, and 33 grams finely shredded kale. Be sure to chiffonade your kale. Any leftover acidulated apple batons will keep in the fridge for a day or two. Notes: I like using Penzey’s Buttermilk Ranch dry seasoning and in that case, you would use 1 Tablespoon of it and omit the other seasonings in the salad dressing. Trader Joe’s has salted Marcona almonds that have been roasted with rosemary, but any will do.
VEGAN LOW-FAT BUTTERMILK BLACK PEPPER SALAD DRESSING
Makes twelve 2-Tablespoon servings
1/3 Cup cashews, soaked at least four hours, or overnight
1.25 Cups organic unsweetened soy milk (I like WestSoy)
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (adjust to your taste)
1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 2 frozen parsley cubes, thawed and drained
1-2 teaspoons finely-snipped chives (optional)
Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients except parsley and chives into blender and process on high until smooth. Add parsley and/or chives and pulse just until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Nutritional Values per 2 Tablespoons of dressing: Calories 33, Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 0.3g, Trans Fat 0, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 128, Potassium 32, Carbs 1, Fiber 1, Sugars 0.3, Protein 2g, Vitamin A 0.7%, Calcium 1.3%, Iron 2.4%.