Hail kale!

A homemade Caesar dressing takes kale to a whole new level.


Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

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! 

Serves 1

What you need:

What you do:

  1. In a bowl, place kale, lemon juice, and salt. Massage with
    hands for one minute.
  2. Add Healthy Caesar Dressing and toss gently.
  3. Top with avocado, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, and carrots.

Healthy hints:

  • >> 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.