Dark Days: Soul Veg Inspired Kale Salad
I’m not in a rut–I’m just addicted to kale salads! Some beast awakened within me that yells “more kale” every day–and thankfully I can satisfy it with the locally grown stuff. The latest most-addicting kale salad since last week is this simple one inspired by Soul Veg, a vegan soul food restaurant in Atlanta (and other locations) that serves up the most craveable vegan mac n’ cheese, bbq rib-things (kalebone–i.e. seitan), and a simple salad with a dressing that will make you come back for more and more and more. I love the place so much that I went there with a ton of friends for my 21st birthday–even though they don’t sell alcohol. I love that place more than words can say.
But more than loving it, I miss it dearly–Roanoke has nothing on Soul Veg (and by nothing I mean nothing, there’s no semblance of vegan soul food here, just that hippy-granola-healthy stuff, which is good…but you know…) Back in the day there used to be a cookbook based off their recipes and one of my friends managed to get a copy–I’ve never seen or heard of another one out there, so who knows the story. In it was detailed the infamous salad dressing. I copied it down but then lost it in the move to Roanoke, and after moving to Roanoke, I promptly went into repression mode in order to forget the goodness that is Soul Veg.
And it worked, until a couple of days ago when I went to the kitchen to make a lovely kale salad with this dressing. But the blog was down and no bit of Googling was hitting the right note for me. Then I remembered–Soul Veg dressing. But how to make it? I could remember bits and pieces of the recipe, like that it required mostly nooch, but the majority of it was blank in my mind. Some more Googling ensued. And then I found it, the blog post I’d completely forgotten about, Lori’s 2007 conquest of the Soul Veg dressing as recorded on her fabulous blog, Pleasantly Plump Vegan, which I miss oh-so-much. Hope she’s doing well these days. Well hot damn, this kale salad party is bumpin!
The dressing is delightfully indescribable–it’s creamy and extremely garlicky, but tempered by the nutritional yeast which lends a rather cheesy but decidedly not cheese flavor. It’s got a bit, but it’s mellow. It needs to be poured on everything. Maybe even my breasts. (I don’t think G would like that, on second thoughts…) See, indescribable. The very definition. All I know is that it’s the most addictive salad dressing I’ve ever eaten and Lori’s recipe is spot-on–I felt like I was back in Soul Veg with the Atlanta folks I love mowing down on some kalebone and collards. Can I go back now?
Soul Veg Inspired Kale Salad
Adapted from Pleasantly Plump Vegan
1-2 handfuls kale, washed & deribbed, chopped into small pieces
1 carrot, peeled & shredded
1 handful sunflower seeds
1 c nutritional yeast
2/3 c water
2 tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
2 tsp granulated garlic
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c neutral oil (vegetable, canola, safflower, etc.)
In a bowl, combine the prepared kale and carrots. Set aside.
Place all dressing ingredients in a the bowl of a mixer or food processor. Process until completely smooth and creamy.
Pour ~1/4 cup (to sight/feel) dressing over the salad and use your hands to mix the salad with the dressing, massaging the kale a little to break it down.
Plate the salad or eat straight from the bowl and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top for crunch.
(Makes 1.5 c dressing)