Green Goddess Kale Slaw

May 28th, 2013 at 6:06 am

Every meal is made better with the addition of kale in my view. If I allowed myself, you’d be getting a new kale recipe every week from me…but I try to throw in some variety so that I don’t kale you out.

That said, you can expect to see a little more kale around here now that we’re heading into the summer months. It’s truly one of the most versatile and nutrient-packed greens that you’ll see all summer long at the farmers’ market. I’ll try not to slam you with too much kale, but if I’m being honest, it makes a near daily appearance in my diet these days. Salads, smoothies, stir-fries, omelets…everywhere!

Here’s a new twist on coleslaw that pairs perfectly with just about anything off the grill: Green Goddess Kale Slaw! (If you’re a guy and you want to make this recipe a little more manly, just call it Green Giant Kale Slaw and you’ll be good to go.)

Instead of using mayonnaise or dairy to make the dressing thick and creamy, I opted for an avocado-based dressing. Kale, because of its prickly texture and sturdy leaves, holds up well under thick dressings…so don’t be afraid of tossing this super thick dressing with the salad ingredients. It makes for a tasty and deliciously creamy side dish!

Since my digestion has healed so much since the early days of my gluten- and dairy-free life, I have been able to add dairy back in small amounts here and there. Goat’s milk yogurt and grass-fed butter have made a few appearances in my diet in recent months, and I’ve been able to tolerate them well. That said, I still feel my very best when I eat a dairy-free diet. Although my digestion doesn’t seem to be phased by a little dairy now and then, I can definitely tell that I become more congested and less energized with dairy in my diet. So for now I think it will be one of those rare special occasion foods that I enjoy once a month or so.

This salad is perfect for those on dairy-free and egg-free diets. You won’t miss the richness of yogurt or mayonnaise because the avocado is such a fantastic stand-in!

Pack up this kale slaw and take it with you on your next picnic. If you want an all-in-one meal, bulk it up with some grilled chicken for extra protein (or chickpeas for a vegan option) and you’ll be all set.

With picnics and barbecues on the schedule a lot more these days, don’t fall prey to the junk food that so often tempts us when we’re dining in the summer spirit. (Chips, buns, processed meats, salty condiments, sugary desserts and beverages…you know what I’m talking about!) My friends Ali and Tom from Whole Life Nutrition (and the blog Nourishing Meals) have put together a series of cooking videos showing you how to make some amazing GMO-free recipes that are perfect for potlucks. Check them out here. With a picnic spread like theirs, I highly doubt anyone will miss the junk food!


Green Goddess Kale Slaw

Yield: Serves 4

This creamy kale salad is the perfect side dish to any summer meal. Avocado lends creaminess to the dressing, eliminating the need for mayonnaise.


For the salad:

5 cups chopped kale

2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets

3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

Handful of sprouts

Handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

1/2 medium ripe avocado, pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use homemade almond milk)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, combine the kale, broccoli, scallions, and carrot. Reserve the sprouts and pumpkin seeds for garnish.

Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard. Puree until smooth. The dressing will be thick, with the consistency of mayonnaise. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat everything thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish plates of the salad with the sprouts and pumpkin seeds.


  1. Love this salad!

  2. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Brilliant. Did I mention Gorgeous?? I SO am making this salad this week to go with some grilled shrimp! My Kale is going crazy in the garden right now! I am off to share this beauty. Love it! :D

  3. Nancy Morgan said on May 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    This looks and sounds WONDERFUL. Need to go to the grocery store and buy ingredients…

  4. Many of my favorite ingredients in one spot! Yum! Can’t wait to try this soon.

  5. Beautiful! That dressing is really calling my name, I can see it being used on all sorts of salads this season! Pefect.

  6. Hallie, this salad sounds completely delicious.

    I have not experimented with using avocados as a dressing base. That sounds like a great option to me.

    What a way to add flavor as well as being a better alternative to other cream based dressings.

    Have you tried thinning the avocado and mixing with spices to make any dressings to top a traditional green salad? How long does the dressing base stay good in the fridge?

    I want to make this salad very soon, add some grilled chicken and makes this a meal. I can’t wait to try it. My mouth is watering already!

    • Elle: Thank you! Yes, you can thin the dressing out with water/olive oil to make it lighter for other salads, or decrease the avocado to 1/4 instead of 1/2. Because it is avocado based, it doesn’t hold up all that well once prepared since it oxidizes and darkens in color. But usually it’s good for at least 24 hours in the fridge (and once it’s tossed with the salad you can’t really tell the color change). Enjoy! :)

      • This salad is AMAZING! Giving the broccoli a light steam and letting it chill worked great. I had a little cilantro to use up so added it to the dressing just for fun and it was good! Thank you for the great recipe Hallie! It was a great healthy side dish for our New Year’s day Jambalaya meal (GF of course). Hugs!

  7. Ajsoares said on May 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    This salad is to die for! I have never used avocado (or for that matter almond milk) in a dressing before – In fact I am not a fan of either creamy dressings OR coleslaw and I loved this…. Used this over a nice head of kale, some roasted asparagus, toasted sunflower seeds and golden berries….. (since I had no carrots, sprouts, pumpkin seeds or broccoli, but happened to have the rest on hand…)

    I feel so energized now! Can’t wait to share this recipe with my mom – she will love it too :)

  8. I made this tonight and it is as delicious as it looks. My husband, knowing nothing about the recipe, observed that the dressing tastes banana-like. Tasting it again, I can totally see that perspective!

    Great recipe.

  9. Asoares said on May 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Oh – and this salad tipped me over the edge to buy you kale book…. just downloaded it now. Looks beautiful!

  10. I don’t even know how I found your page; I came across it the other day, clicking from food link to food link – and I am grateful that I did!

    I made this slaw, with some modifications, and it turned out great. I used sour cream in place of the almond milk, because I did not have any non-dairy, and I did have some sour cream that needed to get used. This won’t work for dairy free people, and it does add calories and fat. Next time I may try Greek yogurt.

    I also added some yellow raisins, which were a great addition.

    All this is said to truly thank you for challenging me to make something that I almost never would – but that I did with what I had on hand and to my family’s taste. Thanks!

  11. You are the kale queen Hallie! Avocado makes an amazing goddess dressing – love all of the fresh green on green! So happy to hear that your digestion has improved that much, too!

  12. Hi Hallie! I was wondering what your take on eating raw broccoli vs. steamed was. I have read that steamed is easier on the digestion and makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients. Is this true? This salad looks delicious and I will be making it for my family this week for sure! To steam or not to steam is the question. Thanks for your insight.

    • Kathy: I go either way. Many people have a hard time digesting cruciferous veggies raw, so steaming for 2-3 minutes is a great option. I like it raw in salads where its chopped up like this. The lemon juice and vinegar in the dressing help break down the fibers really nicely. Enjoy!

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