This Mexican Kale Salad is a delicious plant based meal topped with a creamy chili lime cashew dressing, black beans, quinoa, tomatoes, and guacamole! It’s super satisfying and vegan too!
Mexican food will forever be in my top, well, if not my FAVORITE type of food. I hate saying favorite, because I have so many “favorites”..cue eye roll. I really just LOVE so many things. I’m serious about the Mexican food though. I could eat tacos, taco salads, fajitas, enchiladas, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, chips and guac, and margaritas for seriously every meal and never get sick of them. This meal is a healthy version of one of my favorite things..a taco salad!
I always make my taco salads pretty healthy. Seasoned lean ground beef or chicken breast, romaine or greens, black beans, salsa, guac, and lots of cilantro and green onion. You really don’t need dressing if you’re adding lots of salsa and guac, but with this kale, the chili lime cashew dressing pairs so well. The kale is super hearty, and the dressing is on the thicker side so it stands up to the kale and packs a flavor punch.
I’m super into pureéing cashews lately to make cheesecake and dressings, or cashew cream for oatmeal. SO good! You can do so many things with them. You just have to remember to soak them overnight! That’s the trick. I have done quick soaks before if I’m short on time. You can pour boiling over the cashews and soak them for a couple hours, and it works just as well.
To the kale I added the creamy cashew dressing, diced red onion, black beans, cute colorful cherry tomatoes, quinoa, scallions and cilantro. So much flavor!
I love how plant based this meal is and how many nutrients it contains. The dressing is made from strictly cashews, no mayo, sour cream, yogurt, or anything creamy, and it’s so delicious. This salad is filled with plant protein and grains and lots of veggies too. So, it’s super friendly for many types of diets..gluten free, vegan, dairy free, etc. You can share this with anyone!
I added a big dollop of guac on top, because everything is better with guac.
Mexican Kale Salad with Chili Lime Cashew Dressing and Guacamole
This Mexican Kale Salad is a delicious plant based meal topped with a creamy chili lime cashew dressing, black beans, quinoa, tomatoes, and guacamole! It's super satisfying and vegan too!
For the salad
- 1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/3 cp dry)
- 3/4 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For the dressing
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 3/4 cup water (plus more if you like a thinner dressing)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- zest of half a lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- pinch of cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the guacamole
- 2 avocados, pitted
- juice of half a lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- salt to taste
Begin by preparing the kale. Add kale to a large bowl and add olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Massage the kale for a few minutes until it becomes softer and reduces in volume. Set aside.
Make the dressing. Add cashews, water, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper to a high powdered blender or food processor. Purée until super smooth and creamy. If the dressing seems too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time and blend until you reach your desired thickness.
Make the guacamole. Combine avocados, garlic, chopped red onion, and cilantro in a small bowl and mash with a fork until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt to taste.
To assemble the salad, add ¼ cup of dressing to the kale and mix to coat. Add black beans, quinoa, red onion, half of the scallions, and half of the cilantro to the kale and toss. Portion into bowls and top with tomatoes and dollop of guacamole. Drizzle with extra dressing. Top with remaining cilantro and scallions and serve!