The Gena Divine


Hey all!

Glad you’re excited about Sun In Bloom! The commotion over my scrumptious Bella Divine salad, coupled with my own fond reminiscences, inspired me to take a stab at recreating it at home this weekend. Fortunately, it wasn’t difficult! It wasn’t perfect, either–in order to fully capture the perfection of Aimee’s dish, I’d need her secret sesame ginger dressing recipe. But it was close, and I’ve got to thank Aimee for giving me what I’m sure will become a regular favorite dinner salad in the Choosing Raw kitchen. I added carrots and some red cabbage (my fave salad toppers) to Aimee’s original dish, and I omitted the olives (I’m not an olive fan). You could make some adjustments of your own, of course: the nicest thing about salads is that they invite variation.

Here’s the recipe:


The Gena Divine Salad (inspired by Aimee Follette’s Bella Divine salad at Sun In Boom)

Serves 1

1/2 bunch curly kale, destemmed, washed, and finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot and red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4-1/3 cup sauerkraut
Single serving (about 7 grams) dulse
1/4 large – 1/2 small avocado
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
Bragg’s liquid aminos or nama shoyu

1) Mix the tahini, lemon, water, ginger, and a few squirts of Bragg’s (or a small drop of nama shoyu) together by hand or in a blender (I used my Tribest). You won’t need a lot of the nama shoyu — this salad gets its saltiness from the kraut and the dulse, so be wary and only use a few drops!

2) Put the kale in a large bowl and “massage” it with the dressing, till it’s soft, but still crisp.

3) Add the carrots, cabbage, and kraut.

4) Top the whole mix with thinly sliced avocado, and dig in!

Here’s the original dish:


And my rendition:


Not bad, eh? For those of you who are interested, Diana has also replicated the Bella Divine at home:


This salad really is worthy of a cult following.

For those of you who are wondering, the Kraut I used is from the lovely folks at Hawthorne Valley Farm, who make exceptional lacto-fermented veggies and sell them at the Union Square Farmer’s Market twice weekly (Weds + Sat). I happen to have my own first batch of kraut fermenting at home, but since it wasn’t quite ready for eating, I used their original flavor, and loved it.

Now you all have a chance to taste a bit of Sun In Bloom at home. But if that’s not enough, I have a special treat for my New York readers: Aimee and the folks at Sun In Bloom are offering one Choosing Raw reader a chance to have enjoy one complimentary entree dish at Sun In Bloom! To enter this giveaway, I simply ask you to go check out the Sun In Bloom menu online. Leave a comment here telling me which dish you’d love to try. For an added entry, you can tweet this giveaway or mention it on your blog, and then leave me another comment saying that you did. I’ll announce the winner a week from today. Good luck, NYC readers!

On the agenda this week:

  • My favorite hummus wrap
  • A tasty quinoa salad
  • My on again, off again love affair with coffee


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Categories: Salads
Dietary Preferences: Raw

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  1. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or advice.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read more things about it!

  2. The western burrito sounds great. I’m curious about the live Ranch dressing. I’ll be in New York April 28 – May 1 & plan to try Sun in Bloom.

  3. I just made my own version of this salad at home (mainly because I didn’t have the EXACT ingredients you used and couldn’t wait to try this… I subbed baby romaine for the kale, and didn’t have red cabbage – plus I added some crushed up raw flax bread for a kick). I can’t wait till lunchtime! It looks and smells wonderful!
    Thank you, Gena! Your recipes are very inspiring and delicious!

  4. I took the kale plunge, and with this awesome dressing, my life is changed forever. =)

  5. Do I get to enter? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Kidding. I don’t get to talk, do I? I consider myself very lucky to have this stuff at my fingertips. It’s one thing that will make it easier to come back from vacay!

  6. Looks wonderful!!! I will have to try this once I complete my 7 day raw detox…in about 4 days ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’m taking the plunge and I bought some delicious-looking organic kale. (I showed it to my little son– he poked the curly leaves and looked a little disturbed.) I’m going to try salad with it. Everyone says that kale salads are THE BEST! so I’m trusting you, Gina, and the rest of you all who comment and rave…

  8. Well, from you talking up the Bella Divine Salad so much I would have to go with that! Though I would probably stop by again to get the tempeh reuben cuz it’s something I wouldn’t make at home. Everything looks so good!

  9. i would TOTALLY have the bella divine or the rockin veggie. mmmm. i might have to try to make them at home. these are both my favorite kinds of salads.

  10. I’m a vegan who has been trying to increase raw foods and was getting a little bored with my regular salad. This looks a nice one to add to the mix. Thanks!

  11. I am borderline obsessed with avocados. Oh, who am I kidding, it is an out and out love affair. I have at least one a day, I looooove them. In fact, I’m having guacomole for dinner.

    So, I think this salad looks AMAZING! So fresh and beautiful. It really is divine!

  12. gena you have been such an inspiration to me in this new “raw journey” of mine. because of you i am having a love affair with both kale and avocado… i have shared your website with a few of my likeminded friends and they are loving your recipes!!! i really can’t say enough about how much you have inspired me to really give this lifestyle a go, and it has been wonderful. i am going to check out SIB free meal or not, but i would totally go for the bella divine salad or the rockin’ veggie perhaps… everything on their menu sounds tremendous!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    thank you for doing what you do!

  13. this is exiting. i think i’d go with the rockin’ veggie salad, since i now have the recipe to make the bella divine for myself!

  14. Oh it looks sooo good! I so miss kale salad. I love kale salad. I probably had one a day all december. The shops here in Sweden donยดt have it anymore. As far as they are concerned kale is only for christmas. Iยดll have to settle for romaine!

  15. I would totally try the Bloom Burger, but I’d like it with a side of you and Diana as my dining companions ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we need to make this happen ASAP!

  16. I totally hear you regarding the coffee. I just try not to beat myself up about it and cling to the research saying that a small amount a day is supposed to be good for you aswell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. one last question
    but because they are made from seeds is it still okay to combine them with avocados?

  18. โ™ซ It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all… โ™ซ

    Okay, IF you have the opportunity (or can steal a car and take a nice drive up the Taconic), go visit Hawthorne Valley Farm. I used to live not far from there. Biodynamic farm ร  la Rudolf Steiner method. AND, the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is right across the street. Such a cool place. You’d love exploring, Gena!

  19. I really enjoyed your review, and I’ve been enjoying your blog tremendously. I’m so excited, for I’m moving to Brooklyn in a week and Sun in Bloom will be within walking distance of my apartment!

  20. thanks for this recipe gena…i can’t WAIT to make it this week…yummers!!!

    will you be sharing your kraut recipe with us? i am really wanting to make it, and i have a few recipes, but it’s really intimidating…it’s nice to see how all the experts go about making kraut!!!!


  21. i think their granola delight looks quite amazing – and thanks for introducing me to this place – will definitely try to hit it up in the near future!

  22. indeed looks divine! i tried dulse for the first time today actually on ezekiel toast with coconut butter… it was sooo good as i am more of a savory person than a sweet-tooth person. just a quick question – i know that combining avocado + tahini is technically a miscombination. i was wondering about how much of a miscombination you are usually able to tolerate? i’ve been practising food combining for a bit now and i’m so afraid to miscombine, even if it’s just a little bit. also, do you ever combine a non-avocado starch with nuts?

    thanks gena!

    • Yes, it’s technically miscombined. I can tolerate quite a fair bit of miscombining, though when it’s in my power to combine well, I will! This recipe was an exception — I find that I can handle small bits of nuts and avocados together.

  23. I love avocado! what is the inside supposed to look like (more dark green or less?) I have such a hard time picking which ones are ripe/best to eat!

  24. I have similar coffee love/hate (mostly love), and I think carrots make all things (especially salads) better. Not going to lie; I downloaded the menu the day that you posted it and basically drooled all over my computer. No doubt I would order the Macro Bowl, since I love everything in it with a nice bowl of miso on the side if it were cold outside. YAY!

  25. Looks like my lunch and dinner for the next few days!

    Just wondering Gena, why don’t you use a lot of avocado? All the reading i have done on raw foods and avocado (which is A LOT) is you can use a whole avocado if you want once at lunch once at dinner or what ever (when properly combined). So i was just wondering why you choose that amount? Is it for the face you aren’t a huge avocado fan, the fat amount, the calories or what?

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hahaha, Oh, La. Apparently you need to read through my blog archives ๐Ÿ˜€ I eat a TON of avocado, and I’m decidedly neither a fat nor a calorie-phobe! I often enjoy them whole! But this salad gets a lot of richness and complexity from other sources (tahini, kraut, dulse) and I didn’t want to smother the flavors in a ton of avocado this time.

      • Thank you for your response, it was helpful in the confirmation that it isn’t about the fat or calories. Makes total sense about all the flavors.

  26. oh wow I got so distracted by the yumminess I totally forgot to leave my entry! I would love to try the “Morning Energizer Burrito”! I love me a good burrito ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ll also tweet ya: hilarycaroline ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. omg, that looks amazing!!
    note to self: put avocados on grocery list!
    I also have yet to try to dulse, but this salad looks like one more good reason to go and seek some out!
    Thanks for sharing Gena!

  28. (!! and while i’m at it…) as soon as you made this post i emailed my sister, who lives near by SIB, saying “we need to go out to dinner soon, it’s really important.”

    I’d like to try the bloom burger!
    Because – if you do make it to rockin’ raw – the rockin’ raw burger is my favorite thing on the menu and I’d like to have a raw-burger-off.

    and i’m tweeting it! twitter: movieve

  29. i bet you’d love the kale avocado dulse salad at Rockin’ Raw off the bedford stop in Williamsburg. in fact, you’d love the whole menu! you’ve got to go, gena!

  30. This salad looks amazing! I forgot to buy kale today at WF…darn! I will definitely be trying this in the future ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Wow. I will have to try that salad. LOVE kale, have been meaning to try it raw as in a “massaged” salad.

    That tahini dressing sounds divine.

    (I’m not a New Yorker, so don’t enter me in the giveaway!)

  32. That sounds fan-freaking-tastic! That dressing is very similar to my basic tahini dressing, now I just need some curly kale!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, hon!

  33. This salad looks incredible. I love the idea of using kale instead of regular lettuce, it really makes it look more filling.

    I wish I lived in NYC so I could try this restaurant!

  34. Wow. That looks incredible!!! I haven’t had coffee in a week b/c I’ve been under the weather….tea is okay, but I crave that morning cup o’ joe!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. ooh, that salad did look incredible! since i could try this at home, i’d probably try the western burrito or rockin veggie ๐Ÿ™‚ aand dessert of course– glad i’m planning a trip to ny soon!

  36. This is so exciting- I live pretty close to SIB and didn’t know it existed! I want to try everything, but maybe the Rockin’ Veggie salad first. Thanks!

  37. Oh man, I’d absolutely love to try Sun In Bloom out! Without a doubt, I’d have to go ahead and order the bella divine. It looks too delicious to pass up!

  38. Holy crap… must make this. I have been so into avocados recently.

    Excited to hear about your coffee love affair. I have one too. It’s been very on.

    I’d definitely try the bella divine, or the macro bowl. Heading off to Souen right now actually ๐Ÿ˜€

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