Crispy Chickpea Kale Salad

Crispy Chickpea Kale Salad is so fresh, crunchy, delicious and seriously addictive. It is one of my favourite creations because it is a great way to turn kale skeptics into kale lovers. The textures in this kale salad are awesome – from the creamy salad dressing and avocado to the crispy crunchy chickpeas and seeds.

Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

I’m sure you have heard a lot about kale lately and you are probably wondering why it’s so good. It is a wonderful veggie because it is a rich source of antioxidants, including Vitamin C and A, which lower the risk of of cancer. Vitamin A is great for vision and vitamin C supports the immune system. Kale contains carotenoids that act like sunglasses by filtering UV light and preventing damage to the eyes (Mateljan, 2007).  Kale is also suspected to have anti-inflammatory properties because of its high Omega-3 and Vitamin K content.  Kale is a great detoxifier due to the isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from kale’s glucosinolates which have been shown to help regulate detox activities in our cells (WHFoods).

Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

Don’t be scared away by the long ingredient list; this kale salad is really easy to make and is very adaptable to what you have in your pantry. First preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.

Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas ingredients chickpeas, kale, avocado, spices, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, sesame seeds- Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

Drain, rinse and pat the chickpeas dry (the drier they are, the crispier they will get). Mix them in a large bowl with 3 Tbsp sesame seeds, 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds, 3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp coriander, ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp turmeric and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper.

Crispy Chickpeas with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut oil and spices - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

Spread the chickpea and seeds mixture on the baking sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10min. The smaller seed will get quite dark; just make sure they don’t burn.

Crispy Chickpeas with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut oil and spices - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

While the chickpeas are getting crispy, wash the kale, remove the stems and tear or chop it into bite size pieces. It is important to remove the stems because they are very tough, I like to save them for juicing.

Crispy Chickpeas dressing - tahini, cashews, pepper, garlic, miso, coconut oil, tamari, apple cider vinegar, nooch - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

To make the kale salad dressing, place the cashews and garlic in a food processor and pulse until minced. Alternatively, if you want to make this dressing nut free, substitute the cashews for sesame seeds. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. The dressing will be much thicker than regular salad dressing.

Crispy Chickpeas dressing - tahini, cashews, pepper, garlic, miso, coconut oil, tamari, apple cider vinegar, nooch - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

In a large bowl massage the dressing into the kale. I like to do this with my hands because its fun and it really is the best way to make sure the dressing is evenly distributed. I’m also obsessed with this dressing so I love licking it off my fingers!

Kale covered in Crispy Chickpeas dressing - tahini, cashews, pepper, garlic, miso, coconut oil, tamari, apple cider vinegar, nooch - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

If you are bringing this kale salad to a potluck, stop here. The kale can be stored sealed in the fridge and the crispy chickpea mixture can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature. When you are ready to enjoy the salad, top with the diced avocado and sprinkle with the crispy chickpea seed mixture.

Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas - Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

Prep time: 20min

Cook time: 30-40min

Serving size: 4 large sides

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp coriander, whole
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 large head kale, stems removed and chopped/torn into bit sized pieces
  • 2 avocados, diced

Dressing

  • ¾ cups raw cashews or ¾cup sesame seeds for a nut free version
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of ¼ a lemon (1 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl mix the chickpeas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil, cumin, garlic powder, coriander, pepper, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet and cook for 30-40min, stirring every 10min.
  3. Place the cashews (or sesame seeds) and garlic in a food processor and pulse until minced. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. The dressing will be much thicker than regular salad dressing.
  4. In a large bowl massage dressing into the kale. Top with the avocado and sprinkle with the crispy chickpea and seed mixture.

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16 Responses to “Crispy Chickpea Kale Salad”

  1. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 2, 2012 4:46 pm #

    What a beautiful and flavorful looking salad! This would be so delicious for a light lunch, I bet. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

    • Jesse March 2, 2012 6:35 pm #

      Thanks Georgia, let me know if you try it

  2. Jenna March 5, 2012 10:27 am #

    I am trying this salada tonight and I’m pretty excited. Curious: How long do you think the dressing is good for?

    Thanks!

    • Jesse March 5, 2012 11:25 am #

      Hi Jenna,
      I’m so happy you are trying the salad, let me know what you think. The dressing should last 4 days in the fridge in a sealed container. Once the dressing is mixed with the kale, it should last a day or two before the kale starts to turn.
      Enjoy,
      Jesse

  3. Jenna March 5, 2012 9:15 pm #

    Absolutely loved it! A lot of work but worth it!

    Trying to figure out the best way to take it to work tomorrow. With a dessert of mint gum! haha!

    Thanks, Jesse!
    Keep ‘em coming!

    • Jesse March 6, 2012 8:38 am #

      It takes some time to make the crispy chickpeas/seeds and the dressing but I think its totally worth it! The best way to bring it to work is to keep the crispy chickpeas/seeds in one container and the kale on another and mix them just before you dig in. The avocado will also start to go brown so you can either cut it up in the morning and add it to the kale or bring it to work whole and cut it up there. Sounds like you have a delicious lunch planned and a yummy dessert.

  4. Brenda Taylor March 18, 2012 5:00 pm #

    Hi! I made this salad and the dressing was pretty thick. Mine ended up more like a thick paste rather than resemble the moister version shown in your picture. I followed the directions exactly. I ended up adding more water. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • Jesse March 19, 2012 9:13 am #

      Hi Brenda,

      The dressing is thicker than most dressings, that is why I like to massage it into the kale with my hands. The coconut oil should be melted but it will harden when it gets cold so if any of the other ingredients are coming straight out of the fridge it will harden and make the dressing thicker. The tahini could have changed the consistency as well depending on how oily it is, by the time you get to the bottom of the jar there is not much oil left. The power of your blender may contribute as well, I make the sauce in a Cuisinart mini chop.

  5. Jeana April 11, 2012 10:27 pm #

    Great salad! Am I the only one who ended up with an huge amount of dressing? I only ended up using 1/4 of it and had to put the remainder in the fridge. I am wondering if I can use it for any other recipes? Suggestions?

    • Jesse April 11, 2012 10:45 pm #

      Hi Jeana,

      The amount of dressing you need depends on the size of the head of kale that you are using; however, I LOVE dressing and sauce so I usually double the amount normal recipes call for. The extra dressing will thicken in the fridge, you can use it for a veggie dip or sandwich spread. You could also blend it into chickpeas or any type of light bean to create a yummy humus or bean dip. Hope this helps!

  6. Jesse April 17, 2012 3:53 pm #

    I just entered this recipe in the YumUniverse Kale Recipe Contest! If you like it please go to the YumUniverse Facebook page and “like” my entry! http://www.facebook.com/YumUniverse or comment on the post! http://www.yumuniverse.com/2012/04/17/kale-contest-entry-jesses-crispy-chickpea-kale-salad/

  7. Sarah Carere August 17, 2012 8:41 pm #

    This is such a great recipe Jesse! I just thought I would comment since I am currently making it for an “on-the-road” lunch tomorrow. I love how you can put the dressing on the kale and then it’s still good to eat a few hours later. YUM!!!!

    • Jesse August 19, 2012 5:58 pm #

      Thanks so much Sarah, I’m so happy you like it! I haven’t made it in a while and your post inspired me to make it for dinner tonight.

  8. Celina September 17, 2012 10:37 am #

    Hiya! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Cheers!

    • Jesse September 17, 2012 11:57 am #

      Hi Celina, I’m happy my blog looks good on you phone because I haven’t done anything to make it mobile friendly.I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. You may need to look into installing a mobile theme for your website but I’m not sure how that works.

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