In the colder months, you can typically find me bundled in a sweater, holed up inside, hoping for spring to arrive. Now that it’s officially here (at least in the Pacific Northwest), I’m absolutely thrilled.
This is the time of year to get outside for my exercise, sit on patios, soak in the sun, and transition my diet to lighter foods instead of the hearty comfort dishes my body craves all winter.
Let’s kick off the new season with a salad, shall we?
This salad was inspired by one that I tried while we were in San Diego. Though my interpretation of it is quite different, the main elements remain: lots of ginger, super crunchy vegetables, and tons of flavor.
This recipe is simple, requiring just 30 minutes to prepare. And it’s full of good-for-you ingredients like kale, green beans, red pepper, cashews, sesame seeds, and carrots.
The dressing is cashew butter-based – a recent favorite of mine! Plus, I’ve recognized that not everyone can enjoy peanuts (sad, sad day) and it’s fun to switch it up sometimes.
The result is a super creamy dressing infused with tamari (or soy sauce), lime juice for acidity, maple syrup for sweetness, and sesame oil for a slightly nutty flavor.
I hope you all love this salad! It’s:
Easy to make
& Perfect for spring
Make this salad when you’re craving something healthy yet filling for dinner. It’s ideal for preparing ahead of time and bringing along to work or running errands (just keep the dressing separate so the greens remain crunchy and fresh). I also think it would pair well with my Thai Iced Tea and Creamy Thai Carrot Soup with Basil.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistaker on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Gingery Thai Kale Salad with Cashew Dressing
- 1 cup green beans (stems removed, steamed and chopped)
- 1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten free)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
- 2 tsp sesame oil (or grape seed oil)
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 bundles lacinato (non curly) kale (torn into bite-size pieces, large stalks removed)
- 3 medium whole carrots (chopped or ribboned*)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper (quartered and thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro or basil (optional)
- 1/3 cup roasted salted cashews (or sub peanuts)
- 1/3 cup salted cashew butter (or sub peanut butter)
- 1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten free)
- 2 tsp fresh grated (or very finely minced) ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (optional // or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake- amount as original recipe is written)
Steam green beans slightly so they still have a bite, either in a steamer basket on the stovetop, or in the microwave. Then transfer to a small mixing bowl and top with tamari, sesame oil, maple syrup, and sesame seeds (optional). Toss to combine, then transfer to refrigerator to chill.
Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add sesame oil and shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the meantime, add kale to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with a bit of lime juice and sesame oil and use your hands to massage the kale to soften and remove some of the bitterness. Set aside.
Prepare dressing in a small mixing bowl by whisking together all ingredients and thinning with a little hot water until pourable.
Add green beans, sautéed shallot, and remaining salad ingredients to kale and toss with dressing. Enjoy immediately.
If keeping for later, store dressing separately. Will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days, though best when fresh.
*Ribbon carrots with a vegetable peeler.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with dressing.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 2)
- Calories: 596
- Fat: 33.7g
- Saturated fat: 5.9g
- Sodium: 1000mg
- Carbohydrates: 63.7g
- Fiber: 11.5g
- Sugar: 16g
- Protein: 17g