kale and carrot salad

Kale and carrot salad

The kale and carrot salad is always a summer and fall favorite in our home.  The dressing is a mayo base with the flavors coming from fresh ginger and garlic, a little pop from the wasabi powder and peppercorns  and a nice balance of acidity and saltiness from the rice vinegar and soy sauce. 

A 16 oz jar of mayonnaise yields a batch that will fill most of a quart mason jar and will keep for some time in the fridge.  We find this to be enough dressing for a couple of salads large enough to feed 6-8.  Usually it’s one decent size salad and the rest right out of the jar as veggie dip, topping on eggs, etc.

The salad itself is a nice balance of bitterness from the kale and sweetness from the carrots.  The toasted sunflower seeds add a wonderful layer of flavor and a complementary texture.

Although we’ve tried it with several varieties of kale, we’ve found that curly kale seems to be the best variety for the salad as it tends to hold the dressing better and provides a more consistent texture after mixing.


  • 16 oz mayo           
  • ¼* cup  Rice wine vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbl Soy sauce or tamari 
  • 1-2* Tbl black peppercorns
  • 4-8* cloves garlic
  • 2-4* thumb sized pieces of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 Tbl wasabi powder here’s our favorite! 

instructions for dressing

The dressing can be made days in advance, and I suggest making it at least a night before serving to let it refrigerate overnight.  

Use a sturdy blender or a powerful immersion blender to chop up the peppercorns, garlic and ginger.  Once they’re mixed a bit, add the mayonnaise and blend for 20-30 seconds to incorporate.

Add soy sauce, vinegar and wasabi powder to taste.  *I have some to rely more on the color than taste to be a good indicator of the right balance of soy sauce.

Taste it frequently to get the heat/pungency/acid/salt balance for you.

Blend until well mixed, scraping the walls of the blender carafe to ensure even mixing

Here’s a look at the ingredients in the dressing.  Other than the wasabi powder, all were purchased at the local supermarket.



  • Kale, destemmed, washed, dried and torn into 1” – 1.5” pieces  (another favorite for that part)
  • Carrots, peeled and shredded
  • Raw sunflower seeds, pan toasted and cooled

Here’s a quick video on disassembling kale

Instructions for salad

In a large mixing bowl:

Start with about a 5 to 1 ratio of kale to carrots (by volume) and adjust to your preference. 

Add about half the volume of sunflower seeds* as compared to carrots.

*helpful hint:  Buying them already roasted will do, but freshly toasted in a skillet is a great trick for making your home smell wonderful and adds another “layer” of flavor to the salad.  Once toasted, they store well in a mason jar for transportation or storage.



 Add dressing to salad and use tongs to mix thoroughly.  Dressing should coat all ingredients, but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.  

A salad to serve 6 adults takes about 5 cups of kale, 1 cup of  shredded carrots, 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds and about 2/3 cup of dressing.  

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me or Patrick to ask!


~Mark Reinke

They’ve given me the title Personal Training Director, but I really just love to help acac members and give my team the tools they need to do the same.  I graduated with a B.S. in Human Physiology and Biology from the University of Oregon and M.A. in teaching from Willamette University. I have over 15 years experience personal training and have also taught anatomy, physiology and biology. I love spending time outdoors with my family and growing, cooking and eating great food.  Learn more about me and read more of my blogs on our website

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About Mark

I am a busy guy; husband, father, coach, mentor, gardener, outdoors man and cook are the primary hats I wear. To be the best of these I can be, I stay physically prepared for all those pursuits, and feed myself in a way that allows me to keep up the pace. I can help you to take the next manageable step in fitness and wellness to get you closer to your ideal self.