Kale-Slaw: Dinosaur Kale and Cabbage Slaw with Creamy Cashew Hemp Dressing

by Gena on January 7, 2013

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Look up “slaw” in Merriam-Webster, and you’ll be redirected to the entry for “coleslaw.” The definition for that word is, “a salad made of raw sliced or chopped cabbage.” Though most coleslaw does involve raw cabbage, I like to think of “slaw” any salad of shredded veggies—usually with at least one crucifer involved. I adore slaws, especially at lunchtime, and have made them in all sorts of untraditional ways. My most recent favorite is my red cabbage and green apple sesame slaw! This new recipe for kale-slaw (yes, I went there) couldn’t be easier: two kinds of vegetables, and a creamy hemp and cashew dressing that mimics traditional vinegar and mayo combinations nicely.

I used lacinato—also known as dinosaur—kale for this recipe. Lacinato kale appears commonly in Tuscan dishes, and some find it a little sweeter than curly kale. I love using lacinato kale as a wrap for raw “tacos,” and (in keeping with tradition) in white bean soup. Curly kale, however, will be totally fine for this recipe if you can’t find lacinato. All you need to do is slice it thinly!

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Kale-Slaw with Hemp Cashew Dressing (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 2

3 cups thinly sliced lacinato kale
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
3/4 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours or more and drained
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 pitted dates
2 tbsp dijon mustard

1. Blend the cashews, hemp seeds, water, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, dates, and mustard in a blender till totally smooth.

2. Pour about 1/3 cup of the dressing over the kale and cabbage. Massage it in with hands. Add more dressing as needed until the slaw is creamy and evenly coated. Save remaining dressing for salads, wraps, and for veggie dipping. Serve!

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I love the look and colors of this slaw. And I love that it’s rich in healthy fats from the cashews and hemp, as well as antioxidants and vitamins from the veggies. The phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage and kale) are more likely to confer disease fighting benefits when eaten raw, so I love finding delicious, simple ways to make raw crucifers palatable. This slaw is a great place to start.

So, how to serve this slaw?

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I enjoyed the it with a sweet potato, topped with some of the almond butter sauce I featured in this quinoa breakfast bowl. It would also be great with some quinoa, rice, or farrow, or with a big helping of raw crackers.

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May you enjoy this tasty slaw sometime soon. Feel free to jazz it up with other vegetables, or to add some crunch or texture in the form of nuts or dried fruit. The possibilities abound!

xo

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Elisabeth January 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I like to make slaws, too; yours looks great, as always. This reminds me of the lacinato kale, cabbage, and carrot salad with peanut-sesame dressing I made the other day. I love how you add the balance your plate notes with suggestions for how to serve your recipes.

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BYOL January 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

This is one of the most delicious looking recipes I’ve seen in a while! I am so excited to try this!!! And what a beautiful post, many thanks!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery January 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I think you must have read my mind because I’ve really been craving some sort of creamy vegan dressing and I was just telling my mom tonight how much I love cabbage (takes me back to my childhood–Romanians eat a lot of cabbage). Thanks for sharing this, Gena!

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BYOL January 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I also think little cherry tomatoes would be a great suggestion to “jazz” it up! Wow, I’m so excited to try! thanks again!

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Galia January 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Hi , looks wonderful as usual, do I need a vitamix blender to make this salad dressing? Let me know,
Thanks
Galia

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Gena January 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

Hi Galia!

If you use agave or maple syrup in place of dates, it should blend easily enough. But you need to soak the cashews. I’d opt for using a food processor over a conventional blender.

G

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Heather J January 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I made it in a regular blender using soaked cashews and it was fine!

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Ttrockwood January 8, 2013 at 12:51 am

I can never have too many good ideas for kale and this looks so great! Thank you so much for the balance your plate ideas too- i know both new and old veg*ns can always use the suggestions :)

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Tracy January 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

Gena,
do you think I could use Chia seeds instead of Hemp in this recipe? I always have them in my house.

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Gena January 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

I wouldn’t in this recipe, Tracy: chia seeds are great for fiber and binding, but they don’t add creaminess, the way the seeds need to in this dressing.

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Herbivore Triathlete January 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

Gena,
Do you have a substitute suggestion for the hemp seeds? I don’t have them readily available at any stores nearby and find them to be quite expensive.

Thanks,
Anna

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Gena January 8, 2013 at 10:11 am

I’d just use all cashews, Anna.

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Herbivore Triathlete January 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Thanks Gena! I’m on a kale kick lately and love finding a new way of eating it.

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Ashley January 8, 2013 at 10:08 am

I want this now! The dressing sounds outstanding and I am fully obsessed with kale salads at the moment. Spinach feels like it has no life…it’s too soft! haha. :)

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purelytwins January 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

Looks amazing Gena!! Wholefoods just had a sale on kale so I stocked up ;)
kale makes the best base for salads and slaws! I will have to add this to my list to make!
Hope all is well. HUGS
Lori

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Eileen January 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

This salad sounds and looks so good for the new year! I’ve somehow never made a salad dressing with soaked cashews. Obviously this must change. :)

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Lia @ Sojourning January 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Nomm! This look so good! Again, a great creamy comforting food for winter that is fresh and wholesome. A heavier, winter-appropriate salad, the theme of my winter this year. Thanks for sharing this simple, yet wonderful combination of goodness.

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Bess January 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Any chance you could recommend an alternative to cashews for the sauce? This recipe looks delicious but my boyfriend is deathly allergic to cashews.

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Carol January 8, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I’m going to make this for lunch tomorrow :-)

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Rebecca January 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Love this idea! So typical of your recipes – using typical ingredients, but in a different way and I always say “why haven’t I tried that before?” ;) I JUST discovered lacinto kale (I am an old “dinosaur” what can I say? ;) and love it. and any way to incorporate my drug of choice (hemp !) into a dish is most welcome!
Bon appétit, my sister-in-slaw!

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Stephen@HappyHeart January 9, 2013 at 7:46 am

Delicious and so simple! We pride ourselves on our fresh daily salads in the restaurant, might just have to try this one out!

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Sophie January 9, 2013 at 9:46 am

This looks absolutely delicious!! I love your blog by the way! I was a vegan for 4 years, then experimented with meat again for a few months but I couldn’t hack it. I feel so much that animals have a right to life just as we do – it felt far too unnatural! I always get lots of comments with people asking me about getting enough protein in my diet being vegan (i lift weights so protein is a major buzz word for it!), how do you respond if someone says this to you?

Thanks!

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Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian January 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I’d love to start incorporating kale into my diet, though I doubt I’d find it at my local grocery store. They didn’t even have spaghetti squash when I went to look the other day.

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Heidi January 10, 2013 at 9:42 am

Gena,

Thank you so much for this recipe! I do a lot of Juicing and I have been thinking about what else to do with kale other than juicing and kale chips. This looks delicious. I think I am going to serve it up with some butter nut squash. Do you have any recommendations for unique but healthy ways to prepare butter nut squash (I have prepared it many times but am looking to cook out side of the box and thought you probably have some good ideas).

Thanks again!

~Heidi (Juicing Blogger @ Juicingpedia)

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Tanya @ Playful and Hungry January 12, 2013 at 8:21 am

I never heard of dinosaur kale before, but I already love that name! =)

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Bee March 25, 2013 at 7:43 am

This dressing is DELICIOUS!! Lick-the-spoon-worthy, indeed. I also loved the combo of kale and cabbage, what a pretty salad :)

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