Kale Salad with Pecan "Cheese" & Berries

inspired meals salads Nov 29, 2021

Did you overdo it on Thanksgiving? Are you feeling a bit guilty?

Guilt is a useless emotion, so please leave it outside of your mind just like a dirty pair of shoes. What I'm offering here is not a form of punishment for indulging in your favorite holiday foods, but rather a delicious meal to bring balance back to your body...your beautiful temple.

Greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. As a side salad, main salad (like this one), folded in my Sunday omelet, or added to my morning smoothie, I find a way to get them in every day. And you should too! 

There’s something special about Lacinato kale (also known as “dinosaur” or "Tuscan" kale). Its dark blue-green leaves have an “embossed” texture, similar to the look of dinosaur skin. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste compared to curly kale. Lacinato kale also holds up really well, so even if you prepare and dress this salad the night before, it will still have plenty of texture for lunch the next day. 

The pecan “cheese” in this recipe is a unique blend of toasted pecans, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and nutritional yeast.

Unlike baker’s yeast, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast consumed for its nutritional content. Full of b-vitamins, minerals and protein (8 grams per 1 1/2 tablespoons), nutritional yeast is a wonderful addition to a vegan diet. Because of its cheesy flavor, it makes a perfect dairy-free replacement for cheese. I love the Bragg brand!

Even though it's super scrumptious and I think you'll totally love it, if you're really not feeling the pecan "cheese"/nutritional yeast thing, skip it and substitute with crumbled goat or feta cheese.


Kale Salad with Pecan "Cheese" & Berries

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1 large bunch Lacinato kale (washed and patted dry); stems removed and leaves chopped very fine
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4  tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1 tbsp. Bragg nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  1. To make the dressing, add garlic to a mini food processor and process until minced. Add lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and pulse until blended. You can also mince garlic by hand and whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl if you don't have a mini food processor.

  2. In a large bowl, add dressing to chopped kale and massage in with your clean hands for a minute or so. Mix in fresh berries and set aside.

  3. To make pecan "cheese", wash and dry food processor and add toasted pecans. Pulse until chopped into tiny pea-size pieces (or chop by hand and mix with rest of ingredients if no food processor). Add nutritional yeast, olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt, and pulse a few times until crumbly. Be careful not to over-process.

  4. Add pecan "cheese" to salad and toss until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so until kale is softened a bit. Serve with a side of leftover turkey, seared salmon, a plant-based burger, or a scoop of beans or lentils! 



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