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Basil and Kale Pesto Salad

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raw vegan Basil and Kale Pesto Salad served in a white bowl

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

I was quite happy with the outcome of this pesto sauce.  The basil and kale play so well together.  At first, though I wasn’t so sure how this was going to come out.  After pulsing the kale down to small bits, I turned the machine off and stuck my nose in the food processor bowl and took a big whiff. Instantly, I was lost in my childhood years of mowing the lawn.

I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply and in the far distance I could hear the hum of the lawnmower, my heart started pumping quickly as the excitement of mowing the lawn for the first time on my own came into memory.  The sun was beating down on my back, the smell of fresh-cut grass permeated my nose, looking down I found my new white sneakers, stained green, and soon my hands had gone numb from the vibration of the motor.

After what seemed to be hours, I cut the engine on the lawn mower and took a step back to admire my work.   I was smiling from ear to ear. Mom came out with a tall glass of Kool-aid in hand to reward me for my hard work.  We walked to the far edge of the yard so we could take it all in… my mother broke into laughter at first glance.

Apparently, NOBODY explained to me that you are to go up and down, up and down, up and down the lawn, making nice straight lines of cuts.  Well, that is just boring! I for one had a different idea. Psychedelic patterns!  I was quite proud of my “art project” and couldn’t wait until the next time the lawn needed a trim.

Back to reality here… After inhaling the aroma of grass cuttings (kale) from the food processor, I realized that… I had to eat this stuff! Lol  Was it good that the food I was about to partake of, reminded me of mowing the yard?!  I scampered off to the fridge to find another ingredient that would tame down the “greenness.”  That is when the basil and spinach came into play.  Fresh basil has an initial subtle peppery flavor with a tiny, slightly sweet anise flavor.  This really seemed to marry well with the kale.  And let’s not forget to mention that adding fresh basil to your meals can also give your diet an antioxidant boost.

I then decided to bring in the third green, spinach.  This was to soften the bite of the kale, mellowing it out some.   This salad is packed full of vibrant colors and layers of wonderful nutrients.


Pesto: yields 2 1/2 cups sauce

Salad makings:


  1. Create the zucchini noodles.  This can be done in several ways.  Please see the following link for ideas.  Click here.
  2. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the zucchini and set aside.
  3. Wash, dry, remove stems and tear the kale into pieces.  Place two cups worth at a time to the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, along with the basil and spinach.  Break each batch of greens down till it all fits and spins around freely.
  4. Once all the greens are broken down, add the garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, red pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Process together.
  5. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil.  Stop occasionally to scrape the sides down. Process till it reaches the desired texture.
  6. Add the pecans and pulse 3-4 times till broken down and mixed.  Leave small bits for taste and texture.
  7. Coat the noodles and tomatoes with the pesto.  Serve with almond parmesan and salt/pepper.  Enjoy!
  8. Pesto should last 3-5 days in the fridge.

7 thoughts on “Basil and Kale Pesto Salad

  1. Pam says:

    First attempt at a raw dinner meal. Served to my vegetarian daughter, meat eating son and 1/2 & 1/2 husband :) It was delicious! The men also went back for seconds.

    We were all pleasantly surprised.

  2. ben says:

    Quick note to say I’ve been reading all your new recipes and continue to be amazed at your creativity!

    I’m having a busy work spell, and hence have restricted meal preparation to tried & true recipes–which include many of yours (cheese nip crackers, bread). But I’d love to try some of your latest creations.

    Good to see these new savory dishes. Raw sweets are astonishing and there’s the temptation to load up on them. I’m cutting back on sweets in general, so these savory recipes will come in handy.

    Thank you.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh Ben…. so good to hear from you. I was wondering if everything was ok. I understand how crazy life can get. I have been working on more savory dishes so I hope to give you some good options. Have a blessed weekend and I hope you get some rest. amie sue

      • ben says:

        Thanks, Amie-Sue! Please always assume I’m in over my head with work if you don’t see my comments for a stretch–but I do appreciate your kind thoughts. Regardless of how busy I am, I always make sure I check out your emails on new creations, and they only confirm my belief that you are one of the finest brains in row food preparation. We are lucky to have you.

        • ben says:

          “row food”? Typo. I meant “raw food.”

          • amie-sue says:

            hehe I understand typos all to well. :) It was just good to know that you are ok Ben. I take note when I don’t hear much from those who roam my site often. Keep in touch as time permits and thank you for the kind words. I hope you have a well rested weekend! amie sue

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