Salad Booster

Nutrient-dense and delicious, use this salad booster as a healthful seasoning for greens, vegetables, and so much more!

Salad Booster

I often carry a small vial of this spiced kale and nori medley in my purse, refilling it every few days. I got the idea years back when I saw the words salad booster on a jar in the spice section of one of the natural foods stores I frequent. The seasoning was a blend of a few types of seaweed, sprouted seeds, and the like. Nutrient-dense and delicious, you'd use it as a healthful seasoning for salad, vegetables, stir-fries - whatever you like. The idea stuck with me and I started making my own, usually using a toasted nori and kale base. From there, adding nuts and/or seeds, and whatever spices I was craving at the time.
kale, seaweed, sunflowers and spices - ingredients to make salad booster

Go Big!

The key here is to embrace this seasoning enthusiastically. You don't want to skimp. A pinch isn't really the spirit. Instead, really go for it. Use a couple teaspoons on a rice bowl, same goes for a good-sized salad or stir-fry. Shower your favorite soups with it!

kale, seaweed, sunflowers and spices - ingredients to make salad booster

Make some, gift some! Keep in mind this is a nice little treat to hand off to friend. You can find little glass containers online, and make cute labels for them. And feel free to tweak the ratios of ingredients as you go. I’ll include my base recipe down below, but really, think of it as a jumping off point.
kale, seaweed, sunflowers and spices - ingredients to make salad booster

More Spice Blends

If you like these sorts of seasonings and spice blends, heads up. I mined my notebooks from the past few years to create a collection of favorite spice blends, seasonings, sprinkles and the like. The blends are bold, flavor-packed, and meant to be delicious and fun. They’re the ones I use regularly, the ones in my notebooks with lots of stars and hearts next to them. The collection (Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest) is specifically for the members of my site. *Note: if you're already a member (thank you!) the PDF will be in the downloads section of your account. For example, take a look at this...

Ingredients to make Toasted Coconut Pepper spice blend including coconut and black pepper, sesame seeds, and red chile flakes

This is another example of a recipe in Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest, one of my favorites - Toasted Coconut Pepper. With black peppercorns, sesame seeds, toasted coconut flakes, lime, dried garlic or onions, and grated cheese to finish, this seasoning blend is good on everything. You can’t go wrong keeping a little container front and center in your kitchen. Work this combo generously into butter for a fantastic compound butter perfect on roasted sweet potatoes. Or, sprinkle it across your favorite grain bowls.

In the meantime, give the salad booster a try, the recipe is posted down below. Enjoy!

More Homemade Spice Blends

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Salad Booster

5 from 1 vote

  • 2 sheets nori seaweed
  • 2 oz kale (8-10 leaves), stems & center ribs removed
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Wildcards: nutritional yeast, smoked salt to taste, a bit of smoked paprika, dried herbs
  1. Heat the oven to 300°F / 150°C with racks in the top and bottom third. Wash the kale well, and pat dry thoroughly with a clean dish towel. Arrange the kale in a single layer on one parchment-lined baking sheet, and the nori, sunflower seeds, and lemon zest on another. I often tear the nori into pieces so it’s easier to arrange.
  2. Place both sheets in the oven until everything is nicely toasted. Remove the sunflower seeds, lemon zest, and nori after about 20 minutes (keep a close eye on things). And remove the kale after that, it typically takes about 5 minutes longer. Let all the ingredients cool and crisp.
  3. Crumble the nori and kale into a large mortar and pestle along with 1 tablespoon of the sunflower seeds. Pound until finely ground. Alternately, you can pulse in a food processor. Work in the dried lemon zest, red pepper flakes, any wild cards you might add, and the remaining sunflower seeds. Blend until the seeds are broken up just a bit.

Makes 2/3 cup.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment


What a lovely idea. I can't wait to try it soon.


What a great concept - and what original taste. Love the idea of dropping some off as a treat for a friend - very personal and unique!

Dan from Platter Talk

This looks amazing, I can't wait to try making some :) I am in LOVE with the flavor of nori. I will definitely need a toothbrush or mirror and toothpick after this though...


Reminds me of Shichimi Togarashi 1 tbsp. of Szichuan peppercorns 1 ½ tsp. of dried orange peel 1 ½ tsp. of ground dried red chile (use a chile appropriate to your heat tolerance) 1 tsp. of crushed, flaked nori 1 tsp. of black sesame seeds 1 tsp. of white poppy seeds 1 tsp. of granulated garlic And this came with a recipe for fried udon noodles.


What a wonderful idea to make my own ... I've purchased versions of pre-made spice blends like this (can't recall the brand name, but it included dried seaweeds, black sesame seeds and other herbs), but would love to try making my own ... Do you think arame seaweed or dulce would work ... ? I have a big bag of both that I've been meaning to find a use for ... Or is there something special about the nori seaweed sheets? Thanks for sharing!


What I've always wondered, is if there is any actual nutrient value left in kale (and nori for that matter) after it is toasted? I mean - it may taste good, but if it is mostly empty of actual goodness, that would be kind of sad. Does anyone know for sure?


Thanks, Heidi! Cannot wait to make this a permanent addition to my salad arsenal!


Ok girl. You are starting to sound like my mom.... who pulls out a mini bottle of local maple syrup at pancake breakfasts. ;)


What a unique idea! You're awesome. I can totally see this with some toasted sesame seeds and even some dehydrated nettle. Any excuse to sprinkle nori on anything is fine by me. I'll be giving this a try!

Nourish Your Roots

What a great idea! And how satisfying to use that beautiful mortar and pestle... Where can I get one as beautiful and white and smooth as that one?

Anna kay

I love this idea Heidi! Can't wait to try it when I get back from my trip to San Francisco. So excited to visit your home town and I am very appreciative of the list of restaurants and other treasures you have posted on your blog. I will be using it for sure.


That looks like "furikake" for rice in Japan! Maybe ok to try on rice, I wonder.


What an interesting idea! I can totally see this with some toasted sesame seeds and even some dehydrated nettles added to the nori mixture. I'm all for anything with nori sprinkled over it...just fantastic!

Nourish Your Roots

I love the name, 'Salad Booster'. Sometimes salads could definitely use a little boost :) Great idea!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

the idea of you carrying around this booster in your purse is so nice:)


We've been using dried, powdered kale in everything, but it never occurred to me to add these great flavors. What an excellent idea to add additional flavors to what was originally intended to be just a nutrition boost. As always, thanks, Heidi.


my favorite discovery this year has been using japanese blends of toasted nori, sesame seeds, a bit of salt, and often bonito, as a "dip" for raw veg. Carrots, cucumbers, red peppers are all lovely, damp enough to get a good, gritty coating. But radishes are my absolute favorite, their peppery bite a brilliant contrast to the salty, umami-rich, savory "crunch". I've been meaning to mix up my own batch for months. Thanks for the nudge.


How would you describe the flavor?


What a great concept - and what original taste. Love the idea of dropping some off as a treat for a friend - very personal and unique!

Dan from Platter Talk

I love kale salads, absolutely cannot wait to try this salad booster recipe!


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