Pumpkin Seed and Herb Salad


Have you ever ordered a restaurant salad with high hopes of chowing down on a huge bowl of greens and instead, get a measly amount of veggies swimming in a pool of dressing? How they think this is appealing is beyond me.

Well, this salad is the complete opposite to that.

It’s loaded with greens, it’s packed with nutrients, and you don’t need a rubber dinghy to make your way across your plate. It’s the Queen of all salads, The Mack Daddy of them all.

But you’re thinking, ‘Leanne, it’s just a salad… what makes this one so special?’

Pumpkin Seed Lemon Dressing (28)

I wondered the same thing when I had it for the first time at One Lucky Duck in New York – a restaurant that goes against the dainty restaurant salad crowd. It was like magic on my taste buds – the lemon, healthy oils, fresh herbs… the… mint? Mint in a salad? Weird. Who else is totally boggled by this concept? I know that I was! But it works so perfectly here, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This salad also introduced me to pumpkin seed oil. Have you heard of it? I did a bit of research and learned that pumpkin seed oil has loads of nutrients and has a high content of omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids. The best part is that it’s half the price of flax and hemp oils. Whoop! I like that :)

And, remember the vegan shaved Parmesan that we made earlier this week? Throw it on this baby and you’ll find it hard to stock up on kale fast enough.


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5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Seed and Herb Salad
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
A healthy greens salad made with pumpkin seed oil - an oil with an impressive amount of nutrients and essential fatty acids, and a slew of other good-for-you greens and herbs!
Pumpkin Seed and Herb Salad:
Pumpkin Seed and Lemon Salad Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon raw pumpkin seed oil
  • ¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. For the salad, rinse the kale under hot water for 30 seconds or so to soften up and make it easier on digestion. Chop fresh herbs and add all salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. For the dressing, add all ingredients to a jar, shake and pour over your salad.
This recipe is for 1 serving of salad. Feel free to double, triple or quadruple up if needed (I highly recommend it!) If you cannot find kale, any green will work. If you cannot find pumpkin seed oil, choose another omega-rich oil like flax seed oil or hemp seed oil. Alternatively, you could use a high quality olive oil. Hemp seeds can be replaced with any seed you'd like - pumpkin, sunflower, etc.
If you do not want to make the Parmesan, just sub out with 2-3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes added right to the salad.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)

A bit of information about kale that I thought would share (and why I recommended running it under hot water as opposed to massaging it with oil)…

The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, making it easier to digest.


I like to begin by making the dressing and setting it aside for the flavors to develop. This dressing just gets better with age.


Cilantro (great for cleansing), parsley (antioxidants), mint (benefits your digestion) have major super power abilities, so don’t skimp on the fresh herbs here. Load ‘er up!

Pumpkin Seed and Herb Salad (18)

Betcha can’t eat just one ;)

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  2. Oooh, this sounds divine!! I’m definitely not a dainty salad eater. I usually make my salad in a serving bowl and eat the whole thing! I’m off to find that Vegan Parm recipe!

  3. I actually LOVE mint in salads. I have been doing that for a while now. My favorite flavors are that of the Mediterannean, so I love the mint, lemon, and garlic combination. I also currently have parsley, cilantro and mint that are growing uncontrollably (except the cilantro) to use fresh. The ginger sounds heavenly. Cannot wait to try this.

    • Wow, sounds like you were made to try this salad, Susan!

      • So I made this today and absolutely LOVED it! I didn’t do the “Parmesan cheese” but did everyone else. I used raw sunflower seeds instead of hemp. It was excellent and my husband loved the dressing and herbs. Thanks for another great recipe!

        • Awesome. So happy that you liked it! Next time, just sprinkle the nutritional yeast over top. That’s what I’ve started doing and it’s out of the world amazing!

  4. As far as taking salad dressings to restaurants, what works really well is a cleaned-out spice bottle with your dressing of choice snuck in your purse. I’m always recycling little bottles to reuse for stuff like that – the capers bottles are a good size too. Also good if you’re taking a salad to a party or pot luck and don’t want to add the dressing until ready to serve, so if you leave it there or want to toss it, no big deal.

  5. Just came across this blog courtesy of Raechel at Rebel Grrrl’s Friday 5! That salad looks amazing and I’m dying to try the topper to help jazz up my salad routine! Looking forward to reading more!


    • Hey Laura – thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. I’m so happy that you found me and my salad topper!