Kale Salad with Chickpea “Croutons” (Vegan & Gluten-free)
Kale is a superfood, because it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, containing high amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C, as well as, some Vitamin B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium. Kale is also loaded with antioxidants and minerals, and has been said to help lower cholesterol and help fight cancer. So, we get that kale is healthy, but how do you prepare it? I love ordering kale salads when I am out to eat, but until recently was intimidated to make one at home myself. I’ve found the most important thing to remember when working with kale is you need to de-stem it, and MASSAGE the leaves! Massaging kale softens it, and takes away the bitter taste. Massage the leaves until they just start to wilt- don’t over-massage the kale to make it mushy, you still want some crispness.
If you plan to make this recipe as part of a meal prep, and don’t plan to eat it right away- then you don’t need to massage the kale. Dress the kale and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it, and by then the leaves will have softened. Another tip is to store the chickpeas in a separate container from the kale salad, so you can re-toast them a bit before you eat it, since they will lose their crispiness while in the fridge.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Total Time: 45 min
- 1 15.5 oz can of organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 10 oz bag of organic kale (or one large bunch)
- 1/4 cup raw cashew butter
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- Dash of Himalayan pink salt
- Dash of black pepper
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 of a red onion
- Make the chickpea "croutons" first. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and drain 1 can of chickpeas and let the chickpeas air dry for a few minutes and then pat them dry with a towel.
- Toss the chickpeas in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake on single layer on baking sheet for about 35 minutes until crispy, shifting the chickpeas around about halfway through. You don't need to line baking sheet but you can use a silicon mat if you have it.
- While the chickpeas bake, prepare the salad dressing. In a bowl with a fork, whisk together the cashew butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, Himalayan pink salt, black pepper, nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, Dijon mustard and water.
- Prepare the veggies. Chop the red onion. De-stem the kale. Place the de-stemmed kale in a large bowl and with your hands massage the kale for a minute or two until the kale softens. Then add in the red onion and dressing and thoroughly coat the kale. Place the bowl in the fridge to marinate while you wait for the chickpeas to be done.
- Once the chickpeas are crispy to your liking, remove from oven, empty them into a bowl and toss with ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, and smoked paprika. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before adding to salad.
- Top your kale salad with the crispy chickpea "croutons" and enjoy!