THE BEST KALE SALAD
If you know me personally, you know I am a huge kale salad girl! From making huge kale caesars for family events to throwing together whatever I have to take for lunch at work, kale is just my favorite salad green! It is amazing for many reasons, first being that it holds very well in the fridge once it is prepared and does not wilt or get soggy for multiple days. It is also a nutrition powerhouse as it is a part of the "cruciferous" veggie family. This means that it contains the phytonutrient "sulforaphane" that can help protect against various cancers. Kale is also a great source of vitamins A, C, and K (providing more than 100% of your daily needs of each in 100g) and contains moderate amounts of iron as well (about 20% of your daily needs). So basically, if you aren't eating kale... you should start!
The three major components that make up this delicious salad:
The Kale Mix
The Crispy Chickpeas
The Lemon Tahini Dressing
For Optimal Storage: Keep these 3 components separate and assemble right before serving
My Number 1 Tip for Kale Salad Success: Chop your kale thin/ small and remove the large spines! Large pieces can be difficult to chew and getting a large chewy spine is a real mood ruiner!
The base of this kale salad is the perfect combination of crunchy, bitter, and sweet to give this salad some depth. I find the tiny bits of apple are definitely my favorite part. For the shredded cabbage I have found using pickled red cabbage with beets from WildBrine to be a new favorite. If you do this I recommend draining out any excess liquid. If not regular thinly sliced red cabbage will work great here.
Then of course there are the crispy chickpeas. These are a great way to get some protein and even more fiber into your salad. They also act as a mock crouton providing a salty crunch. While you can find these pre-made in bags at the grocery store I find making them myself to be much cheaper and better tasting as the ones at the store can get very hard!
Now what is a salad without a good dressing?! I have pretty much two go to dressings in my life and this is one of them. It is super easy, oil & dairy free, and soooo creamy! Perfect to keep in the fridge for the week.
THE BEST KALE SALAD RECIPE
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
for the kale base
1 bunch of curly or lacinato kale, de-ribbed & thinly sliced ~10-15 leaves
1 cup of thinly sliced red cabbage, pickled or raw
1 large honey crisp apple, sliced into 1 inch match sticks
1 large carrot, shredded
2 tbsp of lemon juice
for the crispy chickpeas
1 1/2 cups of chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
for the lemon tahini dressing
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, or pine nuts, or pepita seeds
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Prep the chickpeas by adding them to a bowl with the remaining ingredients, toss till they are all well coated. Add to a baking sheet and bake for 16 min, giving the tray a shake halfway through.
Next prep the salad base starting by adding the kale to a large bowl with the lemon juice. Using your hands massage the kale, breaking it down for about a minute. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Set Aside.
For the dressing simply combine all ingredients into a bowl and whisk till well combined. I like to then transfer to a jar or bottle and place in the fridge.
If you are ready to serve toss kale mix with the dressing and top with crispy chickpeas and any toasted nuts/ seeds you will be using. If you are preparing for later then simply store each component in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-4 days.