Tahini & Tofu Kale Salad – with a creamy tahini dressing and lots of baked za'atar tofu – is the BEST kale salad you'll find! It's hearty enough to be a meal on it’s own, but it also makes an excellent side dish for lunch or dinner. This easy massaged kale salad will make a kale lover out of the biggest skeptics! It's vegan and gluten-free
A lot of people believe that vegans eat nothing but salad, which, of course, is far from the truth. I eat a huge variety of foods, including pasta, pizza, and tacos. But I do eat a big salad for lunch every day. I actually like salad, and I find myself craving it if I’ve gone too long without one.
When Lisa went vegetarian on The Simpsons, Homer and Bart danced around singing, “You don’t win friend with salad! You don’t win friend with salad!” I DO win friends with salad, though. I make my salads hearty and filling, and top them with creamy, crave-worthy dressings.
In order to keep things interesting, I mix up what I put in my salad. Sometimes I use romaine, sometimes I use kale or arugula. Sometimes I use tahini dressing, sometimes I use Green Goddess or Ranch. I always add some hearty protein, such as tofu or beans, and I love to add nuts or seeds for a little crunch.
This recipe is one of the simpler salads that I like to make. It has a base of kale, cabbage and carrots with Za’atar Tofu and pumpkin seeds tossed in. I’ve used Tahini Dressing, because there’s something magical that happen when kale, tahini, and za’atar come together.
What You Need
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
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 Tahini & Tofu Kale Salad
This salad couldn't be easier to make!
- First you massage your kale using the tahini dressing.
- Then you add the rest of the ingredients!
Customizing Your Salad
When I make this salad, I never measure the ingredients. What I have here are approximate measurements. Your salad will taste just as good if you use more than two carrots or less than 1 cup of cabbage. Feel free to add any additional ingredients that you might strike your fancy.
I love tahini dressing on kale salads. If you don't have time to make it you, can use a store-bought tahini-based dressing, such as Annie's Goddess Dressing. You can use other nondairy dressings, if you're not a fan of tahini. Maple Mustard and Green Goddess Dressing would taste delish, too.
Tahini & Tofu Kale Salad
- Place the kale in a large bowl and pour the tahini on it. Wash your hands and roll up your sleeves, and then massage the tahini into the kale until it begins to wilt and soften. Be careful not to over massage it.
- Toss in the rest of the ingredients, and serve!