Hurry Up Vegan: Smashed Avocado, Kelp Noodle, and Lemon Bowl


As soon as I made this dish, I wondered why I hadn’t made it sooner.

I eat kelp noodles all the time—with pad thai sauce, with cheesy red pepper and hemp sauce, with black beans and smoky Southwestern sauce—but it hadn’t really occurred to me to treat them more like salad than noodle dish. Last week, torn between a craving for raw kale and kelp noodles, I decided not to choose. I shredded the raw kale, combined it with the kelp noodles, and smashed half an avocado into them, along with some lemon and sea salt. It was the most delicious lunch I’d had in a while, and the easiest by far.

This speedy dish demonstrates that you don’t need a fancy sauce or set of ingredients to make a tasty and nutritious meal. Though I love all of the kelp noodle dishes I’ve made with tasteful dressings, the truth is that a little avocado and lemon is enough to make nearly any salad dish sing. Whenever I’m in a rush, smashing some avocado, lemon, and salt into greens is my default salad base. What fun to realize that this method works beautifully for kelp noodles, too!


Smashed Avocado, Kelp Noodle, and Lemon Bowl (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 1-2

1/2 large avocado
12 oz kelp noodles
3 cups thinly sliced raw kale (lacinato or curly)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: whatever veggies you’d like to add to the bowl

Mix the kelp noodles, parsley and raw kale thoroughly. Smash the avocado and lemon into the bowl with a fork, then use your hands to “massage” it all together.


Season to taste and serve.

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If smashed avocado on greens is my salad fix-in-a-pinch, chickpeas tossed with a little bit of macadamia, hemp, or flax oil, sea salt, and pepper is my protein fix-in-a-pinch. I would serve—and did serve—this with a cup of chickpeas prepared just so. But it would also be fine to toss some lentils into this dish, to serve it with a cup of soup, some sprouted grain toast, or some tasty raw crackers.



Hope this dish inspires you all to throw together something this simple, this nourishing, and this rewarding for your lunch soon. By the way, the 12 oz. I recommend is exactly one bag of Sea Tangle kelp noodles. It’s four times the recommended serving, but I find that it’s very easy for me to eat that much; kelp noodles aren’t very filling! As always, use your intuition about how much you need.

Hope you all had great weekends, and are looking ahead to a new week.


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Categories: Side Dishes
Ingredients: Kale
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Vegan

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  1. Absolutely delicious!! I added extra avocado and threw in garbonzo beans and sweet chilli peppers. Will be a staple in my house. Thank you!!

  2. Made this delicious recipe and added raw corn kernels for sweetness. To the dressing i added lemon zest, chopped garlic, and a little ground japanese pepper!

  3. This is fantastic travel food! I prepped everything in the morning except the avocado – I added that when I was ready to eat it for dinner. So yummy and filling!

  4. I made this for dinner tonight – very simple and delicious! Thanks so much for sharing this delightful dish.

  5. Perfect timing. I’ve been wondering what to do with the kelp noodles I just bought. I knew I wanted to try them, just didn’t know how!

  6. I’m about to receive my first ever delivery of kelp noodles – which recipe do you reckon I should start with? xx

    • I reckon you use that intuition and choose the one that sounds most delicious to you! 😉

      • WOW, just did a search and you have quite a few! Hmmm best not use a whole packet as one serving so I can try a few types but they all look so good xx

  7. Beautiful salad! I love adding kelp noodles to my salads because it adds more texture and it goes with just about anything.

  8. The first man to comment on this article? I was actually looking for some avocado recipes and I came across this great idea. I am not a raw food eater, but this dish seems to be tasty and it’s done in no time. Looks like I’ve found an alternative to my favorite avocado spread (avocado, yoghurt, garlic, salt, lemon). Thanks

  9. I’ve never heard of kelp noodles, I’m intrigued. This looks like a delicious dish and I would most likely eat more than one serving as well!

  10. I may have said this before yet i will again- i LOVE and truly appreciate the “balance your plate” addition to your recipes!!
    I often refer omni friends to your site and previous feedback was “oh i would never make that -fill in the blank gorgeous raw vegetable recipe- because i would still be hungry, thats why i could never be a vegetarian/vegan”
    I also love that i shouldnt expect the recipe to be as a meal in and of itself and the suggested additions are also often combinations i would not have itinially chosen since i get stuck in my own ruts of food favorites.
    I have been reading your site for about two years and must say it has only gotten better and better!

  11. I’m DEFINITELY making this – wow. Love the mix of flavors and ingredients. Thank you for sharing another great recipe, Gena!

  12. Now I know what to do with those intimidating kelp noodles. I’ve wanted to try them before but had no idea what to do with them! I love how you can find a way to add kale to almost anything…

  13. This looks very simple and amazing, adding kelp noodles to my shopping list now!

  14. I love how you say smashed avocado! It adds a dimension of fun and humor to this already deliciously simple salad/noodle bowl. I’ll definitely be trying this soon and with spaghetti squash for the kelp noodles as a variation.

  15. Gena – I’m a little confused re. the whole iodine intake issue. I’m much more sodium conscious in general than are you, but I was on board with sprinkling some kelp on my salads periodically – until I read Dr. Gregor’s recommendation to avoid kelp as it is excessively high in iodine. I haven’t researched the issue thoroughly, but this recipe piqued my interest. (Kale with smooshed avocado. is def. my idea of comfort food…yum.)

    • Karen,

      I watched Dr. Greger’s video, but I’d have to read more studies to give you a complete answer (I’ll do that soon!). Kombu has been part of Japanese diets for hundreds and hundreds of years, so I find it hard to believe that it’s dangerous in moderation. (I know I said I eat kelp noodles “all the time,” but by that I mean once every few weeks, as they’re not always cheap.) But it’s definitely worth looking into.


      • Good point (and iodine heavy sea veggies are abundant in macrobiotics, but then again, there’s no shortage of sodium in either of those diets – and I agree with the health recommendation to be mindful of overall sodium intake regardless of one’s personal health status.)

        • I agree about mindfulness of sodium. Of course, one’s definition of mindfulness is variable. I definitely think that processed foods (soups, regular vegetable broths, frozen meals) offer much too much of it and should be largely avoided on those grounds, but I think it’s fine to use moderately in cooking, and also to sprinkle herbamare or sea salt lightly on food if one is taking care to avoid heavy doses of salt elsewhere.

          I don’t tend to believe that any indigenous diet is “right” or has all the answers, so pointing to macrobiotics is not to say that that way of eating is ideal. But I do think that, if kelp were so inherently toxic/harmful that we should avoid it altogether, then it would not be a sustainable part of any traditional diet. Ginny Messina and Jack Norris suggest no more than 3-4 servings of sea vegetables that are higher in iodine per week, and to vary the kind of sea vegetable one eats. That sounds like reasonable advice to me. The vegan in the one study Dr. Greger mentions may well have been eating kelp every single day in large amounts, possibly along with a supplement of some sort or other very iodine rich foods, which might account for the toxicity levels.

          Hope this is helpful!

          • Thanks for fleshing out the recommendation a bit for me, Gena. I totally agree that a balanced/moderate intake of iodine rich foods should be healthful and it’s not necessary to avoid kelp all together. That goes for salt too – I’m with you on adding a dash of salt or herbamare to recipes as a flavor enhancer, but I tend to only add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. for an entire four portion recipe. (In any event, I bought a pack of those kelp noodles you showcased, so I’m excited to try your concoction!)

            • Karen,

              It’s funny you say that, because lately I’ve been trying to use 1/4 – 1/2 for four portion servings myself; recipes often call for a whole teaspoon, so that is often what I’ve used, but I’m finding that a half or quarter teaspoon is definitely enough to enhance taste while also not being crazy salty. I’ll still use a lot of salt in things that naturally call for it — a miso dressing, for example, which one would use lightly anyway — but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use less than what one might see in a cookbook.


  16. I’ve never had kelp noodles, but this looks so good that I may have to seek some out. Or, you know, sub in the noodles I actually have. 🙂 Avocado, kale, and lemon sound like a vibrant combination for January!

  17. i make this same dish with spaghetti squash! i”ve never tried a kelp noodle–i know that if you have hashimotos or suffer from hyperthyroidism the entire bag might be a little taxing to your system but i guess everyone can figure out what is working for them. i don’t suffer from either of these but try not to O.D. on my iodine intake. i definitely think it’s beneficial but i try from week to week to switch things up while also avoiding a food rut. love the ease of simple, comforting meals with few ingredients!

  18. Greens with avocado and lemon sounds absolutely dreamy. Perfect blend of flavor and texture.

  19. I’ve never tried kelp noodles, but given that the rest of this dish is perfectly up my ally, I’m sure I would love this! I’ll have to find kelp noodles and try this soon.

  20. Ohhhhh, what a great idea! I have a bag of kelp noodles in my pantry and have resisted using them. Now I have no excuse:).

  21. That just looks so fresh! I’ll eat anything doused in lemon, avocado and sea salt. Thanks Gena!

  22. totally inspiring! thank you! i never thought to put my favourites together like that before, either!

  23. YUM! This looks ah-mazing and I can’t wait to try it. It seems like it would be really tasty with Bragg’s liquid aminos as well. Thanks for the recipe, Gena!