Kale Salad with Fennel and Radicchio in a Creamy “Buttermilk” Dressing

Kale Salad with Fennel and Radicchio in a Creamy “Buttermilk” Dressing is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free,  yeast-free, low glycemic and suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet (use cranberry variation for Stage one).

Grain-free, Anti Candida Diet Kale and Fennel Salad on rickiheller.com

If you follow me on Instagram, you have may noticed that in recent weeks (since I returned from the Hippocrates Health Institute) my daily meals have transformed a bit as I continue to refine the diet that works best for my body, and promotes the greatest healing.

No, don’t worry–I haven’t suddenly started cooking bone broth in huge cauldrons. I’m not about to bring liver into my diet, or cut out all grains forever. And yes, all my meals are still anti-candida diet friendly.

But you will see a lot more color and crunch in the foods I share. I was determined to preserve a modicum of the magic I experienced at the detox retreat; and even though my life here isn’t quite the same as it was during those three idyllic weeks (it’s a little tough to eschew all electronic devices when you have a job, home and spouse; and unfortunately, I don’t live on 50 acres of pristine, chemical-free land), I’ve nevertheless managed to keep up with my daily wheatgrass and green juice intake. I’ve also continued to incorporate a lot more raw foods into my regular diet (though my aim is not to switch to 100% raw, as I know it’s not the most beneficial for me personally).

And hey, isn’t summer the perfect time for more raw foods on everyone’s plate?

Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free Kale & Fennel Salad with "Buttermilk" Dressing on rickiheller.com

Like someone who’s learned a new word and then suddenly notices it in every piece of writing, I’m much more aware of all the naturally raw dishes available as I peruse restaurant menus for meals I can comfortably eat. In fact, today’s recipe is actually a revision of a salad that the HH ordered a while back at one of our favorite bistros. On that night, I ended up with simple arugula and pasta, but I was intrigued by the nightly special with its combination of lacinato kale, fennel and radicchio with a tart, creamy dressing and dried cranberries. I substituted goji berries for this version and created a “buttermilk” with natural probiotics to deliver a similar tang to the original dressing.

We both enjoyed this salad so much that we ended up eating it on its own for dinner one night. It was so satisfying that even the HH didn’t feel the need for meat as a centerpiece on his plate. Who knows? Maybe I’ll convince him to start eating more raw foods along with me this summer, too.

Anti-Candida Kale & Fennel Salad with "Buttermilk" Dressing on rickiheller.com

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“Excuse me, but did somebody say, ‘BONE broth’???”

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  1. This salad is right up my alley! I made a similar dressing over Memorial Day weekend, only I used avocado instead of nuts/seeds for creaminess and olives instead of brine…but the thought totally crossed my mind to use sauerkraut brine. So smart, Ricki! Can’t wait to try this beauty. 🙂

    • One of these days, we will cook a meal together. . . and we’ll both love every single dish!! 😀 Thanks, Hallie. It was indeed a beauty and so delish!

  2. love the buttermilk dressing – am still uncertain about kale, fennel and radicchio so I think if I was going to love this salad it would be the dressing that would get me through it – but it is not salad season even though it is unseasonably warm (I think we had something crazy like 12 days in a row over 20 C over the last few weeks)

    • I’m so sad that you don’t like kale! (Though from what I understand, you can’t get curly kale down under–so maybe you just haven’t been converted yet). 😉 And I think that your winter is warmer than our summer this year!! Gah!! (PS–yes, the dressing is lovely. Try it on something else and tell me what you think). 🙂

  3. How funny! When I was in the bookshop browsing the cookbooks yesterday…as you do…I came across a recipe with a buttermilk dressing and was pondering how to veganize it! Hemp seeds and cashews are I’m sure a great stand-in for the dairy here.
    A lovely creamy counterpoint to the crunchy veg too.

  4. Gorgeous, can’t wait to try this Ricki! I have some Russian kale in the garden, so lunch today!

    • Hope you enjoy it, Tessa! If you don’t have sauerkraut, I bet you could use some apple cider vinegar in the dressing instead. We loved it! 🙂

      • If you use the apple cider, does that mean you will not benefit from the natural probiotics from the sauerkraut? I have never eaten sauerkraut before and I keep thinking that it will have the same effect on me as a dill pickle does to a baby that pops one in its mouth for the first time.

        • Connie, thanks for your comment! 🙂 I find that the sauerkraut brine, when mixed in this dressing, provides just a hint of a tang that is really lovely and reminds me of buttermilk. That said, if you don’t eat sauerkraut and don’t want to buy it just for dressing (!!), I think the apple cider vinegar will work well, too. If you buy raw apple cider vinegar (with the “mother” in it), that has natural probiotics, too. I’d start with just one tablespoon (15 ml) of the vinegar, though, then taste and see how you like it–it may be too tart if you use both tablespoons of vinegar. If you do try it, I’d love to know how it turns out!

          • Hi there, I just made this salad dressing , but used the cider vinegar as you suggested. It was really creamy and the taste was really good, too. I don’t think my blender was high speed enough, though, to get it really smooth , but still really good. I used stevia the fist time, but then used coconut sugar the next time and liked it even more. Definitely going to be using this one a lot ! tx for sharing BTW just received your Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free cookbook. Already making my shopping list so that I can get started! one by one 🙂

          • Glad you liked it, Connie! Did you try blending the cashews first with the liquids and then adding the other ingredients? That might lead to a smoother result. And thrilled that you got the book–hope you enjoy! Let me know how the baking adventures turn out, too! 😀

  5. Hi! This salad has all the vegetables that I love, kale, fennel, and radicchio!! The vegan dressing sounds very interesting, too. It t looks so creamy!


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