Is there anything more “vegan” than a kale and edamame salad? Don’t let the cliché nature of this recipe fool you though! This crave-worthy salad is delicious and it's perfect for lunch or a light dinner. This easy recipe only takes a few minutes to make. It's vegan and gluten-free.
Trader Joe's Kale and Edamame Bistro Salad
I've admitted my love of Trader Joe’s prepared foods a few times now. When life gets busy, I like to stock up on their ready-made salads, spring rolls, and vegan wraps. Life is a little bit slower these days, thankfully, but I still find myself with a hankering for the Trader Joe’s foods I love. Their Kale and Edamame Bistro Salad is one of them. Rather than head out to the store, I decided to make my own at home.
Homemade Kale and Edamame Salad
This recipe is my own take my favorite Trader Joe's salad. It's loaded with edamame, almonds, tomatoes, and cranberries, which all complement each other nicely. The premade is made with chopped kale, stems and all. I always find myself digging around in the package removing to remove the stems, because I can’t stand them. (Which is the reason why I don’t like to buy prepackaged chopped kale.) I’ve removed them here, and I’ve massaged the dressing into the greens, since raw kale can be a little tough to chew.
Lemon Herb Dressing
The star of this salad is the Lemon Herb Dressing. The store-bough version is made with vegan mayo, but I’ve made mine with cashews. Cashews are more nutritious than mayonnaise, and since they blend up smooth and creamy, they lend themselves well to salad dressings.
Make sure your cashews are raw—unroasted and unsalted. Soak them in water for about 2 hours before you're planning on making the salad. If you forget, you can soak them in boiling water for about 20 minutes. If you have a high-speed blender, you might not need to soak your cashews as long. I have a Blendtec, but I still soak my nuts ahead of time.
How to Massage Kale
Kale is easier to chew when it's "massaged." No, you don't need to put on soft music and lower the lights, you just need to rub a little dressing into it to make it easier to chew. Massaging the kale will help make it softer. Be careful not to over massage it, or it will wilt.
The best way to soften kale is with an acid The lemon juice in this salad dressing is acidic, so it will help to break down the kale’s tough fibers. Just pour on about half of the dressing, wash your hands, roll up your sleeves, and get massaging!
How to Make Kale and Edamame Salad
This salad is super easy to make!
- First, you blend all of the dressing ingredients together.
- Then, you massage about half of the dressing into the kale.
- Next, you toss the kale together with the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Finally, you drizzle on the rest of the dressing!
It's easy to customize the dressing ingredients to suit your tastes. Add a little avocado or chopped cucumber, if you like! You can swap the almonds for just about any other nut. Dried cherries or blueberries can be used instead of cranberries.
Kale and Edamame Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked for two hours, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 bunch kale stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
- ½ cup edamame fresh or thawed frozen
- ¼ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- In a food processor or high speed blender, mix together the cashews, lemon juice, water, garlic, apple cider vinegar, mustard, onion powder, and sea salt until smooth and creamy. Pulse in the parsley and thyme.
- Place the kale in a large bowl and pour the dressing over it. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale until the kale begins to soften. Don’t over-massage it, or it will become too mushy.
- Add the sliced scallions, grape tomatoes, edamame, cranberries, and almonds to the bowl, and gently toss to combine.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Other kale salads you might enjoy include:
- Tahini Kale Salad with Garlicky Chickpeas
- Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
- Tahini and Tofu Kale Salad
- Holiday Kale Salad