Sometimes, you need a go-to lunch that is a little gourmet, a lot delicious, and perfect as a meal for one or to serve to guests. This Kale Caesar Salad does it all. First, there's the nutrient-packed kale, the current darling of the culinary world and one of the healthiest foods we can consume. Then, there's roasted chickpea croutons (if cooking up garbanzo beans with sea salt, lemon, and spices is a first for you, you're in for a real treat). Finally, I finish things off with sliced avocado, spiralized carrots, and the pièce de résistance—a homemade creamy, garlicky Caesar dressing that's actually good for you (no egg or anchovy paste necessary).
But there's another secret to this stellar salad bowl. To make the raw kale soft and sweet, a rubdown is in order. Massaging your greens may be foreign territory—believe me, I wanted nothing to do with it until I actually did a kitchen test of a kale salad made with massaged greens versus one made without. The kale that got some love not only tasted better, but had superior texture and color. Think of it as a little meditative moment in your day and enjoy the process.
As with all of my recipes on Healthy Vegan, this meal is chock-full of flavor and nutrition. Here are a few standouts:
Kale: This cruciferous, protein-packed vegetable has 1,000-percent
more vitamin C than spinach
Avocado: This fiber-rich, beloved fruit is a great source of healthy fat and
can help lower cholesterol
Chickpeas: High in iron and protein, this legume has been shown to decrease
the risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis
Carrots: A powerful protector against cardiovascular disease, the
beta-carotene-rich root vegetable can slow aging and prevent strokes
Cashews: High in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, cashews are
brimming with essential minerals like manganese and potassium
Here's to meals that are healthy, loaded with nutrition, and taste great. Hail kale!
What you need:
- 3 cups chopped, destemmed kale
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Healthy Caesar Dressing
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- 1/2 cup spiralized or shredded carrots
What you do:
- In a bowl, place kale, lemon juice, and salt. Massage with
hands for one minute.
- Add Healthy Caesar Dressing and toss gently.
- Top with avocado, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, and carrots.
- >> If you need a heartier meal, serve on a bed of warm quinoa.
- >> By roasting up a batch of chickpeas and preparing the Healthy Caesar Dressing in advance, this salad can be made in minutes.
>> A true superfood, there are dozens of varieties of kale. I use Lacinato kale in this recipe, as I find it to be sweeter and more delicate
than other types.