Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

Kale is the ugly step duckling of the vegetable world. It quite literally looks ugly, given the bumpy look of the leaf. It also had a terrible reputation until people seemed to learn how to prepare it, starting in about 2014. Over the years, kale has made great strides, and we are pleased to see it on more and more menus. When prepared right, it has great texture and incredible health benefits.

For this recipe, our key ingredient is: Kale. What are the health benefits of kale?

Here’s why we care about this recipe:

  • Kale has the highest amount of lutein, dubbed “the eye vitamin”, of all vegetables. It naturally protects our eyes against harmful blue light, and protects against damage that may harm our retinas from light.
  • Kale is a great blend of water and fiber, which means healthy digestion. We won’t bore you with the details of our digestion issues, but this means kale has a special place in our hearts. It promotes regularity and keeps our digestion in check.
  • Kale is a great source of Vitamin C as well. One cup has 134% of our daily recommended intake of Vitamin C! This is actually more than an entire orange, which are always associated with the vitamin.
  • Kale can help prevent stomach ulcers, from bacteria related to H-pylori, which can cause erosion or ulceration of the stomach walls. H-pylori is a bacteria that enters our body and lives in our digestive tract for years until an ulcer can eventually form… If that does not want to make you down a big bowl of kale, nothing will.

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Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

For Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 15 ounces chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika

For Vegan Caesar Dressing:

  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the Salad:

  • 2 large bunches kale (approximately 8-10 cups)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas then transfer them to a medium bowl. Top with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer chickpeas to a baking sheet and roast for 40 – 45 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, shaking the pan every 15 minutes times to avoid burning.*
  3. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a container and set aside.
  4. For the salad, wash the kale leaves thoroughly, then remove all the stems. Chop the leaves into smaller pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
  5. When ready to assemble the salad, pour the dressing over the kale and begin to massage it with your hands until the leaves begin to soften. Transfer to serving dishes and top with chickpeas.

 

NUTRITION INFORMATION Yield: 6 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250, Total Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 1.8g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 384mg, Total Carbohydrates: 29.8g, Dietary Fiber: 5.7g, Total Sugars: 0.6g, Protein: 8.9g

Are you a kale lovin’ gal? Tell us, in the comments.

XO,

Amanda and Christina

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