by: Victoria Frosini, MS, CPT

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She earned her Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2013, where she conducted extensive research in weight loss, social support and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Kicked Up Kale Salad with Spicy Poblano Ranch Dressing

Kicked up kale salad bowls are the perfect mix of fresh veggies, leafy greens, and deliciously baked crunchy toppings. This main course salad is perfectly satisfying for a warm summer evening or BBQ side dish.

Salad Bowls

Main course veggie bowls pack a powerful nutrient punch. This plant based meal features dinosaur kale, sweet cherry tomatoes, radish coins, baby corn, crunchy + crisp chickpeas and roasted green beans. As the summer bounty continues to yield delicious produce, you can swap out and mix and match your favorite seasonal vegetables.

Research shows that whole food consumption rich in nutrient density is superior to calorie control or specialized diets. If you haven’t checked out the latest science on the benefits of whole food consumption, catch up here & here!


Kale salad with sweet potato, radish, green beans, baby corn, and tomato

The showstopper ingredient to this recipe is a spicy poblano ranch dressing. In an effort to make a refreshing dairy free dressing, I swapped traditional buttermilk with homemade cashew milk as the base. Roasted poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, and garlic develop a slightly smokey note. A squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt add just the right amount of acidity.

Massaging Kale

Massaging kale is the most important step to the base of this salad. I like to prewash the kale and chop it finely. After washing the kale, I massage the greens with lemon juice, Celtic sea salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Finally, let the kale sit for thirty minutes before preparing the salad.


This recipe is a produce powerhouse packed with nutrient density and fiber. Building a nutritionally balanced bowl begins with dark leafy greens, and a mix of freshly chopped vegetables. Add in healthy carbohydrates from sweet potato chips and baby corn. Chickpeas double as a hearty protein source and a drizzle of our poblano ranch dressing delivers the perfect amount of fat for vitamin and nutrient absorption. The mix of fresh vegetables, legumes, and dark leafy greens add enough soluble and insoluble fiber and micronutrients to round out your daily needs!

While this recipe is written as plant based option, feel free to add a lean protein source such as seasonally fresh wild salmon or grilled chicken breast.  


Smart Tip:

Homemade cashew milk is simple and easy to prepare. You can prepare the cashew milk the night before by soaking cashews overnight.


In a glass mason jar or bowl measure out 1 cup of raw cashews. Add two cups filtered water to the cashews and allow to sit for 24 hours. After an overnight soak, puree the cashew mixture with filtered water in a powerful blender. Add a touch of sea salt and refrigerate until ready to use.


To make this recipe in under 20 minutes you can batch cook the crunchy toppings and roasted vegetables ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the sweet potato into rounds and lightly brush with olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Season the green beans and baby corn with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake on 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Kicked Up Kale Salad with Spicy Poblano Ranch Dressing



  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup french green beans
  • 1 can rinsed, drained, and dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bunches of dinosaur kale
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of rainbow radishes
  • 1 cup cherry bomb tomatoes
  • 1 cup baby corn
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons chives or dill (optional)
  • sea salt
  • pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Batch season chopped sweet potato rounds, green beans, and baby corn with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • On separate baking sheets roast the vegetables for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Season poblano & jalepeno peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Crush 3 garlic cloves and add to the baking sheet.
  • Roast the peppers and garlic for 20 minutes until the peppers are slightly charred.
  • Remove peppers from baking and peel the outer skin and remove seeds.
  • Add the roasted poblano, jalepeno pepper and garlic to the homemade cashew milk.
  • Puree the peppers and cashew mixture on high speed until thick and creamy.
  • Add the juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper and chopped chives or dill.
  • While the veggies roast, clean and remove stems from the kale and finely chop into small pieces.
  • Massage the kale with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice.
  • While the kale sits, heat a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Gently toast the chickpeas, tossing frequently until golden and crunchy (10-12 minutes).
  • Chop cherry tomatoes, slice radishes into coins, and chop additional herbs.
  • Layer the salad to your liking and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons spicy poblano ranch.

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