My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


« 10 things worth noting // ed. 4 | Main | Curry Spiced Lentil Rice Veggie Burger »

Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective 

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective 

Early morning phone calls always make me jump.  Why would someone be calling my phone at 6am?  The light vibrating of the phone on my desk woke me from a room away.  I’m in a daze trying to figure out what’s going on.  The phone stops and then the vibrating immediately starts again.  Chris’s phone is next to start vibrating on the kitchen table.  I’m fully awake, as if I just slammed 3 shots of espresso and am now running to the phone.  A few missed text messages and a voicemail were flashing on the screen.  I called my mom back and heard her choked up voice telling me grandma only has a little time left.  “What?  Seriously?  An hour or two?”  Unfortunately, yes.  Tears streamed down my face as I tried to actually absorb what my mom was saying. 

My grandma was 88 years old and in a nursing home for the past 2 1/2 years with [some form of] dementia.  It started slowly years ago but she held her own for quite some time.  While a nursing home was the best option for her care, she was always pretty dang healthy.  Sure, she was old but she wasn’t sick.  And how could it happen that fast?  I mean, like overnight fast!  My uncle was just with her the night before and said she was her adorable, sweet self and seemed totally fine.

It was a blur for my mom and uncle as well because at first her only symptom was that she was non-responsive.  They said her vitals were that of a 20 year old.  While they were scared they had no idea just a few hours later the doctor would tell them there was nothing that could be done.  For some reason her body decided it was time and was quickly shutting down.

And that is the point that the phone buzzed on my desk.  I’m grateful my mom called me before she passed and was able to hold the phone up to my grandma’s ear for me to say a few final words.  I told her I loved her.  I told her she was amazing.  I thanked her…for everything.  I told her she was the best. 

And then about an hour later my mom called again.  The entire immediate family was there when it happened [minus myself].  She went peacefully and without pain.  And she went nearly a year to the day from when her husband, my grandpa passed. 

Gosh, am I going to miss that sweet, smiling face.  But there are so many memories to fill my heart with happiness during this hard time.

If there were three things my grandma wanted in life it was for her family to be happy, healthy, and well-fed.  More than anything she loved getting together to eat as a family.  While I’m not sure what she’d think of a giant kale salad—she was more of an iceburg lettuce gal—she would be thrilled to know how much I also enjoy sharing food with friends and family. 

We love you, gram, and miss you dearly…already.



Print this!

Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing gluten-free, vegan // yields ~2 servings

for the dressing:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hemp oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
  1. Place the peanut butter, vinegar, oil, maple syrup, and tamari in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Whisk in the orange zest, ginger, and garlic and then let sit for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to come together. 
  3. Taste and adjust if needed.  Add more peanut butter for a thicker dressing and vinegar [or a splash of water] to thin out.  Store dressing for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge.

for the salad:

  • 1 head lacinato/dinosaur kale, stemmed + chopped
  • 1 cup shelled edamame beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • bean sprouts
  1. Place the kale in a large bowl and massage desired amount of dressing into the kale until evenly distributed.
  2. Add the beans, pepper, and carrot and toss to coat.
  3. Plate salads and top with peanuts and bean sprouts.

thai kale salad and peanut dressing // edible perspective

Reader Comments (58)

So sorry to hear of your loss! Thanks for sharing this personal time with the blog world. Hopefully you found some comfort in writing this post.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I am sending you love and virtual hugs Ashley---this post made me cry---and then I remembered when my own sweet Grammy died when I was 12 (after also being in a home for some sort of dementia prior) I spent my childhood going back and forth to my Grammy's house because I was always sick and my divorced mom had to work so Grammy would take care of me. BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES EVER came from her kitchen--and she always burned them. To this date I purposely burn toast when I am going to peanut-butter it.
Very cool that you did get to say good bye to her---I never did. She is smiling down on you now and knowing you are keeping us all well fed. Thanks Dianne
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDianne
Chills and tears as I read this. I'm so sorry...I wish I could give you a big fat hug and sit across from this kale salad with you and listen to stories about your grandma for hours. Love, love, love.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I'm so sorry for your loss Ashley. I lost my grandmother this past November. I was her first grandchild and I was born on her birthday. We shared a very special bond. I miss her dearly. I was also grateful for the opportunity to say goodbye. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Oh Ashley, I could have written this word for word. I'm so sorry for your loss but I'm glad you have those happy memories to comfort you at this time. Thinking of you and your family xo
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
Awww, Ashley, what a sweet tribute to your grandma and I am so sorry to hear about her passing. :( My thoughts are with you. You are definitely continuing her legacy of being happy, healthy, and well-fed - and keeping your readers inspired to be the same.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonya
Sorry for your loss, Ashley. I lost my Grandpa in January; it's tough. Glad you can be with your family...

salad is stunning. Thanks for the colorful recipe inspiration.
I am so sorry sweet Ashley, but so thankful that you have such sweet memories of your beautiful grandmother!

Also, I'm pinning this and probably making it today. Just sayin' :)
Oh Ashley, I'm so sorry for your loss. This post made me cry - I think so many of us can relate to losing a grandmother or grandfather so suddenly. I know exactly what you mean about early morning calls. I've had a few of those myself over the years and it's absolutely terrifying. I hope you are able to be with your family this week and I'm sure your grandmother is smiling down at you loving this post.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
So sorry to hear about your sweet Gram, Ashley.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrista
So sorry for your loss. This post had me in tears in seconds. So glad you got to say goodbye. My gma is in a similar stage and I dread 'that' phone call.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCandice
I hate to keep mentioning my own loss, as if it would make you feel better about yours, but a few months ago I had the same early morning phone call- it was my dad (who had been up for hours, but waited until he thought I might be awake) telling me that my papa had passed away, suddenly, just hours earlier.
That call still haunts me to this day, but the tears have since subsided. The best we can do is to remember and celebrate the memory of our grandparents, as you have done so beautifully here. She may not have liked kale, but I'm sure she would be so happy that you share her love for food and feeding others :) I'm so sorry for your loss. <3
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
So sorry about your grandma, Ashley . I had a similar situation with my grandpa passing recently, and he was in a nursing home as well. I'm sure she loves this beautiful post, though :) Sending lots of love!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis @ Hummusapien
I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandma, Ashley.This is such a beautiful salad though - I'm sure she'd love it, and I know I'm certainly inspired to make more interesting salads now, too.
I'm so sorry for your loss, Ashley.
I'll send positive thoughts your way.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany Long
This looks SO GOOD! I'm pinning this so I remember to make it!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
I am so sorry to hear about your grandma, they are so special! Glad you have such sweet memories!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramanda
Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry about your grandma! I scrolled through the post just looking at the recipe and then I saw everyone's comments. I am truly sorry. Losing grandparents is really hard.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
I'm so sorry for your loss.
A few years ago when I was living in Alaska my grandfather passed away in Upstate New York with my family by his side, so I know how tough it can be to be absent at such an emotional time. I'm glad you were able to talk to her and say goodbye though!

P.S. I can't wait to make this salad! I'm in love with all things peanut butter.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLyddie
So sorry for your loss Ashley, it's such a blessing that you were able to talk to her one last time. My heart goes out to you!
I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother, but so happy to hear you got to talk to her before she passed. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. :(
I follow you so faithfully.....and, so, your pain is somehow mine. As the only one left in my direct line, I will simply remind you that memories are what YOU make make good ones and hold them close. Sometimes, every minute (or hour) counts like you have no idea... She has "passed the torch" and would be so proud of you now! You will always "find her" as you go about your life...and you will smile when it happens. Or, like me, you may find yourself actually 'talking back' once in a while! One thing for sure: Life is short; eat great food every day. ............all the best from Indiana
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchris
Ashley, my dear, I am so very sorry for your loss. May your fond memories of your grandmother and the legacy she has left behind be a comfort to you as you grieve her loss.

My deepest sympathy.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
Ashley, I am so sorry for your loss. This post brought tears to my eyes, remembering my own Grandma who passed away just this past August. My heart goes out to you and your family during this time of mourning, but I am glad to hear that you are reflecting on the sweet memories you have of her. Sending you a hug!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey @ Pas de Deux
Such simple & fresh looking photography- it makes this post look so appealing! Yum!!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess
your pictures make me happy : ) as does this salad. MUST try soon : )
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana
I'm so sorry for your loss. This exact thing happened exactly a month ago with my 66 year old grandma. She lost her battle with cancer. It sounds like your grandma was a wonderful, wonderful lady. You have so many happy memories to cherish. That makes it all worthwhile. It's never easy, but at least you were able to say goodbye. Hopefully we can all live to be such healthy old ladies.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
So so sorry for your loss, Ashley. At times like this, we turn to our memories with loved ones to seek comfort. And thank you for sharing it with us.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiran @
so, so sorry ash!! thinking about you this week!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternatalie
Sending peace and love your way! This was a beautifully written post! I will be making this salad in the near future in your grandma's honor. :)
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Page
I am so sorry for you loss. Your grandma sounds like and awesome women! Try and enjoy this time with you family and seriously you should probably make them this salad! Anything thai I will eat!! This look so delicious!!
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
I just came across your blog and noticed at first your beautiful pictures. Then I read your blog, and I want to send you my condolences also. It is very sad to lose someone that is precious to you. Take care.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnneli
I'm so sorry for your loss, Ashley. My grandmas have set wonderful examples for me and have shown me a lot of love through their cooking (among countless other things). I'm sure your grandma is extremely proud of all the knowledge and passion you share with so many dedicated readers, not to mention all of your family and friends!
This looks absolutely fabulous!!
Ashley I am so sorry for your loss, but I know your grandparents are together again and I hope you find comfort in that.
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Hi Ashley, I'm a regular reader but almost never comment. Your post today moved me. I'm so sorry to hear about your Gram. She sounds like my Gram, who's nearly 88, also with some form of dementia, and just moved in with me and my family. She's a witty, cantankerous, selfless, wonderful old lady who's always saying things like "I'm healthier than all you guys." Today, you reminded me to enjoy these (often frustrating) times while she is still with us because things can literally change overnight.

Hugs to you and your family Ashley. Thank you for all that you do - you, too, are appreciated.
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin
So so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Sending lots of hugs and good thoughts your way.
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCara
Hi love. I hope you're having fun with your family. I'm thinking about you!! This dish was delish! Thanks so much for being so generous. Please tell your family hello and they are in my thoughts!
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey
xoxo my friend. thinking of you and your family this week.
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Malone
I'm so sorry for your loss, Ashley. I just got back from my grandpa's funeral services today. He had dementia as well. He was ok until 3 weeks ago when he wandered on my grandma at 2am and then got put in the hospital. It's almost like he gave up at that point and knew his time had come because the dementia took over immediately and he quit eating. The hospital couldn't keep him any longer because there was nothing medically wrong with him so he got put in the nursing home where we had to watch him die the last two weeks. It's been really hard, but he was 86 years old and like you said, we still have our memories. Don't forget that grief is stressful so make sure you get to relax and heaven gained a few angels this past week :-)
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
It is especially hard when unexpected. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. But dang, this salad looks fabulous. :-)
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjanet @ the taste space
Ashley, I am so sorry to hear of your Gram's passing. It sounds like she was a beautiful, kind-hearted woman that lived a great life! I'm sure she just adored you as much as we all do here on Edible Perspective. :) I am obsessed w/ kale. I have been making mine with a light poppyseed dressing that I make w/ a touch of Greek yogurt. I have also been addicted to this "creamy garlic kale" that they have at my WF salad bar. I have tried to recreate the dressing a zillion times: its lemon juice, tamari, olive oil, and garlic but I can't seem to get the flavor combo right. The salad also has strips of sun dried tomatoes I think somehow get infused into the dressing/soaking of the kale. Oh lawd! Anyhoo, this is a great take on a kale salad and b/c im a member of peanut butter addicts anonymous I feel that it is definitely within my therapeutic limits to try this asap! ;)
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermisschels
Your grandma's legacy is you living a beautiful life -- you sound like an amazing granddaughter. I will make this salad and think of the love you both shared. Peace to you.
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
I am so sorry for your loss.
Grandmas truly are the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful beings in this world. Your tribute is so sweet and heart-warming. I'm glad you had a moment to say goodbye. She will cherish those words forever. xoxo
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I remember getting the same call a few years ago. Luckily I was a two hour drive away and was able to make it home in time for my Nana's passing. She hung on days longer than we expected, so my whole family was able to see her. She held on until it was just my mom and dad left at our house (we were able to bring her home from hospice to pass). I am so sorry for your loss, but glad you got to say goodbye over the phone. Hearing is the last sense people lose, so I am sure she heard your kind words. Your grandma seemed like a very special person, and I am glad you have so many cherished memories to bring you some comfort. I wish you the best during such a difficult time.
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Oh sweetie! I am so sorry for your loss! My great-grandmother left this earth in a very similar way. Not long after my great-grandfather died, she was diagnosed with dementia. She was transferred to a nursing home after the SECOND time she was found wandering the neighborhood in her night gown. She stayed in the nursing home for about five years, slowly forgetting us all. She was always very healthy (farm work will do that for ya) but one day, it just...happened. When I attended her funeral, I thought I wouldn't cry. I mean, with her declining mind, it felt as if she had left me years before, but once I was there, surrounded by my family, sharing stories about how she would jump up the instant someone walked through the door and have a plate of food ready for them in no time, I couldn't hold it back! She was all about showing love through her cooking. If she could have, I'm sure she would have gladly fed the entire neighborhood! I still miss Sunday afternoons at her house...we would all gather there after church and she, along with my mom and my aunts, would crowd into her teeny tiny kitchen never fail to produce a delicious meal! I only hope that that can be me one day! :)
Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe and this heartwarming tribute to your grandmother. I am truly sorry for your loss.
So sorry to hear about her passing :( I'm so glad you got to tell her those things even if you weren't there with her! I want to make this kale salad in her honor!
March 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchar eats greens
My heart goes out to you and your family. I am so sorry.
March 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKel

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.