Garlicky Kale Salad + Blackened Salmon

Updated: Sep 28

Growing up going to Soul Vegetarian (aka Soul Veg) , along with our BBQ tofu, mac-n-cheese, greens, and cornbread came this side salad. It was a simple salad...just lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But let me tell y’all...this salad was so special because of this lil 2oz dressing that came with it. We’d drown the salad in it and then lick the remnants until the container and lid were clean. That’s how good it was *laughs*. While I have retired from my soul-veg days, that salad still holds such a special place in my heart. Here’s my recreation of that bomb ass dressing, but done Zaza’s Kitchen style with kale, of course. I paired it with blackened salmon, because as Tabby says, that’s my business! If you don’t eat fish, the salmon can be replaced by chicken, or no meat is perfectly fine too. It’s so good, that the flavor is there even without the salmon. Once you make this one, you’ll never look at salad the same...Enjoy!

Author: Zaza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Kale Salad:


  • Blender

  • Salad spinner or kitchen towel/paper towels

  • Colander (optional)

  • Cutting board

  • Knife

  • 1 large bowl

  • 1 medium bowl

  • Tongs

  • Measuring spoons

  • Measuring cup


  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • ⅓ c water

  • ¾ c nutritional yeast

  • 1/8 c neutral oil (grapeseed, avocado, safflower,etc.)

  • 1/4 c olive oil

  • 3-4 garlic cloves

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

  • Curly kale (¼ of pre-bagged kale or ½ bunch)

  • 1-2 large carrots or about 10 baby carrots

  • ½ medium-large cucumber

  • 1 avocado

  • 1 c grape or baby cherry tomatoes

  • 2/3 c water

1. Prep: Remove stems from kale, wash, then cut or tear into bite-sized pieces (You could also shred kale in food processor). Place kale into large bowl. Then, dry kale or spin in a salad spinner. Next, wash, dry then thinly slice ½ of a cucumber. For the carrot, wash and dry it, then peel the outer layer. Once outer layer is removed, use vegetable peeler to shave carrot into ribbons. Finally, wash tomatoes. Place other veggies into another bowl.

2. Make dressing: Add garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, water, olive oil, neutral oil, pinch of cayenne pepper, and soy sauce to blender. Blend until smooth.

3. Plate: Add about 1 cup of dressing to kale and toss with tongs until kale is coated. Transfer kale to dinner bowls. Next, add cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots on top of kale. Finally, slice avocado and add ½ to each bowl.

Blackened Salmon:


  • Cutting board or plate

  • Non-stick pan

  • Spatula or fish spatula


  • 2 salmon filets

  • Salt (Pink Himalayan preferred)

  • Black pepper

  • Garlic powder

  • Low sodium all-purpose or cajun seasoning of choice

  • ½ lemon

  • Cooking oil of choice (with a high burning point, like grapeseed, cold-pressed olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)

Preheat: Preheat oven to 400° F.

Prep and season: Wash and pat salmon dry. Next, season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Then, sprinkle garlic powder and cajun or all-purpose seasoning (Don’t use too much if the seasoning has salt in it)

Sear: In a lightly greased pan on medium-high heat, add salmon presentation side down. After about 5 minutes or when salmon starts to blacken, flip. Sear for another 2 minutes, then transfer to baking sheet.

Bake: Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until salmon begins to ‘milk’ (when white liquid begins to ooze out of salmon). After you remove it from heat squeeze fresh lemon juice onto filets then transfer to salad.

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