Breakfast Kale Salad is all the goodness of a breakfast sandwich without the bread. Instead, it’s all piled into a big, beautiful bowl.
So here’s a toddler pickiness phase I would never have anticipated: my kid doesn’t like bread. Well, that’s not totally true. He likes a piece of toast on weekday mornings, but if we are talking about sandwiches, he just dissects them, leaving the bread behind. This Breakfast Kale Salad is a take on his favorite breakfast sandwich, veganized and bowlified.
On the weekends, we like to hit Dulce Vegan for brunch at least once, and Darrol Henry loves to order their breakfast sandwiches. He asks for an English muffin with kale, tempeh bacon, avocado, and vegan cheese. Every time. And every time, the poor English muffin gets tossed callously aside. After watching him waste half of his brunch for weeks, I decided to order him a breakfast sandwich without the bread. Here’s what they brought him:
Y’all, he loved it. I helped him eat some of the kale, but this was a total clean plate club situation. It also got me thinking that I could probably come up with a proper Breakfast Kale Salad that felt more intentional than what we cobbled together from toppings on the fly.
To be honest, I’m not crazy about bread, either. I’ll take a bowl over a sandwich any day. Without the bread, all of the salty, savory, creamy goodness of those breakfast sandwich ingredients can shine, undiluted. It is seriously a party in your mouth, as my sister-in-law, Liz, likes to say.
To research the best toppings for loading up my homemade Breakfast Kale Salad, I asked some friends for their favorite loaded breakfast sandwich. There were a lot of common themes, and I sort of cherry-picked to create this recipe.
You begin with a base of simple, massaged kale, then pile on avocado, vegan bacon, tomato, and scrambled tofu. Then drizzle on a slightly modified version of my creamy, homemade Cashew Carrot Sauce. Check out a video to see how easy it is to make the Cashew Carrot sauce, and get the written recipes for the Breakfast Kale Salad and the sauce below!
Breakfast Kale Salad
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 block extra firm tofu, cubed
- 1 6 ounce package tempeh bacon, chopped into 1″ pieces
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
- 4 cups kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 cup green onion, green and white parts, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Haas avocado, chopped
- 1 batch Creamy Cashew Sauce (recipe below)
- In a medium bowl, toss together the tofu cubes with the bacon, soy sauce, turmeric, onion powder, and garlic powder. Set aside to marinate.
- In a large bowl, toss together the kale, lemon juice, salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Massage the kale until it wilts, then toss in the tomato and green onion. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- In a large frying pan, heat the other tablespoon of oil on medium high. Add the tofu mixture and any marinade from the bowl, and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the bacon gets crispy edges, about 7 minutes. As you stir, you can use the spoon to break up the tofu, if you prefer it more crumbled than cubed. You’ll need to stir more frequently toward the end of cooking time. That tempeh loves to stick when the pan starts getting dry!
- Pull the kale salad out of the fridge, top with the cooked tofu mixture and avocado and drizzle on the Creamy Cashew Sauce. Add more green onions, if you like, and serve.
Creamy Cashew Carrot Sauce
Yield: about 1 cup
- 1 large carrot, chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 cup cashew butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic
- extra water, as needed
- salt and white pepper, to taste – You’ll need more salt if your cashew butter is unsalted.
- Steam the carrots for 5-7 minutes. You want them fork-tender.
- Combine the carrots, cashew butter, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic in your blender. Puree until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time, as needed to reach a creamy consistency. With a high speed blender, I haven’t needed extra water, but with a regular blender, you might need a little bit of extra liquid to get things moving smoothly.
- Stir in salt and pepper, to taste.