Cilantro Thai Kale Salad with Pickled Onions

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After being at a race track in the 90 degree heat a few Saturdays ago, I knew that something cold would be in order for putting on the table for dinner!

Because who wants hot food after being hot and sweaty all day?

Let me back up this story.

It was a fun day in which my husband and father in law literally lived a dream – driving their own race cars. We got a great deal on Groupon a few months ago for the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience and scheduled for it to take place in mid – September. Now a normal September in Michigan is cool nights, cool mornings and maybe 70 during the day. Perfect weather for racing!

This fall. Unseasonable warm 90 degree temps! Yikes! (but I am not complaining – I LOVE HOT WEATHER!)

So the night before the big event, I was prepping dinner as I knew it would be a long day and we would come in the door starving.

And for some reason, a cold kale salad just sounded like it would fit the day!
This kale salad uses the oil – free glaze from our Thai Kabobs recipe with a slight twist – using cilantro instead of basil.

See how easy it is to take what you have on hand in your kitchen and modify a recipe? Wah-la new recipe!

The salad is topped with our Smokey Black Bean Beet Burger which also contains cilantro – making this a very well made match!

Budget Bytes has a great simple Pickled Red Onion recipe which I prepped the day before. The only modification there – I didn’t have whole peppercorns (well I did…but I couldn’t get them out of the pepper grinder!) so I just used fresh ground pepper.

Mix and matching items to come up with dinner was never so easy!
If you make this Cilantro Thai Kale Salad with Pickled Onions we would love to know! Tag @badtothebowl on social media. 
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Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing

Course: Salads


Peanut Dressing

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup hot filtered water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce , tamari or Bragg's amino liquids
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce


  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro , chopped
  • Smokey black bean beet burgers
  • Pickled red onions
  • Assorted grilled vegetables


  • De-stem kale, chop and place in large bowl. The success to kale is to marinate in advance! I like to do this the day before.
  • Make dressing – found substitute 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro for the basil
  • Massage 1/2 of the dressing on your chopped kale. (save the rest for another use!) and refrigerate kale up to 24 hours.
  • If you don’t have any Smokey black bean beet burgers on hand, make these now! Find recipe .
  • If you need to make your pickled red onion. Find recipe .
  • Chop veggies, season with garlic cloves, garlic salt and whatever seasoning you like. (I love ) and then grill over med-high heat until done.
  • Assemble your bowl with kale, burger, pickled onion and grilled veggies!


I used red pepper, sweet onion, mushrooms, zucchini and summer squash

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