Mexican Goddess Kale Salad

Do you ever have those lunches that you just love to splurge on? There are a lot of times I bring lunch to work only to change my mind and venture out for my favorite kale salad. My guilty pleasure is Chop’t – one of those chain salad joints where they toss an insane amount of vegetables into a bowl, chop it all up for you, and charge about $10-12 per salad. Try that 5 times a week and the wallet starts to feel a bit thinner. With my new deal with myself about bringing lunch to work to offset my gym membership, I really had to try to make my own version of my favorite salad. And I have to say – I was quite surprised with how it turned out!

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While I was trying to recreate a salad, I was doing it with what I had on hand. So really, the main star of this post is the salad dressing. I am obsessed with the Chop’t version of a spicy, cilantro-y, lime-y dressing they call “Mexican Goddess” (fingers crossed that’s not trademarked or something). It’s amazing. What I came up with had the perfect kick – just like the Mexican Goddess – but was a bit creamier than the original, which I actually thought was even better. Tangy, a bit spicy, and extra creamy, this dressing is so good I have literally found every excuse to eat it. On salad? Done. On chopped veggies? Done. Even a little bit on some toast when I got real desperate. (I know, we might have to stage an intervention soon).

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While the salad itself could use a bit more fancying up to compete with Chop’t, the dressing was spot on and more than made up for lack of ingredients in the salad.

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What you’ll need: (dressing)Β 

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 clove roasted garlic (if you have it on hand – a raw clove would also work)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • salt to taste

What you’ll need: (salad – 1 serving)

  • 1 1/2 cups kale
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatos
  • 2 teaspoons flax seeds
  • (it would be even better with some corn, maybe some crunched up tortilla chips, and even some marinated tofu – that’s how I order it at Chop’t)

This is maybe my favorite part about this dressing. It is pretty much as easy as it gets. The hardest part was seeding the jalapeno and then forgetting to wash Β my hands and touching my face…whoops! Add all the ingredients, except salt, to a food processor and process until smooth. Then add a pinch of salt, blend again, and taste test until you get the flavor just right.

IMG_3470 IMG_3471 IMG_3472 IMG_3473 IMG_3474All of the lime juice not only helps to make the dressing extra-tangy, but it keeps the avocado from turning brown. Days later, the dressing still looked great and fresh. I don’t know how long it will keep in the fridge…mine was gone within 3 days.

IMG_3477 IMG_3500I added a small amount of dressing to the salad ingredients, mixed it up well, and placed a few extra cilantro leaves on top for good measure. The dressing was nice and thick, but didn’t weigh the kale down, making it perfect for packing at lunch. This one is definitely on my go-to list now. It’s great even in this cold weather, and I bet it will be even better when summer rolls around again.

IMG_3480 IMG_3481Don’t forget! Today is the LAST DAY to sign up for the vegan slow-cooker cookbook giveaway! The winner will be announced on Tuesday – sign up before it’s too late!

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18 responses to “Mexican Goddess Kale Salad

  1. This looks fab. I’ve always stayed away from Goddess dressing because it’s primarily mayo, and the thought of drenching a fresh salad in mayo just seemed wrong. This version looks great and much healthier, packed with flavor!

    • Thank you, Lisa. This is definitely packed with flavor and much healthier than mayo-based dressings. I’m glad you found my little blog – let me know if you try the dressing and how it turned out. Thanks for coming by! πŸ™‚

  2. I’m making this dressing now to take to work for my salads all week. I don’t have a jalapeno, but you know how wimpy I am when it comes to hot stuff anyway!! I’m sure I’ll like it anyway. I think I’ll just add some fresh ground pepper. That’ll be spicy enough for me!

      • It’s FABULOUS!! I may have gotten a little over zealous with the garlic, you know I never measure anything, but it’s amazing. I thought about a little cayenne, but the pepper seems to have been enough. I made it in my ninja, and then just brought it to work in the container. I wish it made more!

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  6. Love this! I’ve been obsessing over this dressing, but for $12 a salad, I’m trying to cut back the habit. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to make it at home.

    • Glad you found it! And I agree – the $12 salad, while delicious, is hard to justify on a regular basis. Hope you like the dressing – it’s by far one of my favorites. πŸ™‚

  7. This is also my favorite dressing from chop’d and the main reason I dish out $10 several days a week for lunch!! I miss that soy marinated tofu and have been going with egg whites instead (sadly!). Thanks for recreating the dressing I can’t wait to make it!

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