It dawned on me recently that it’s been since August since I last posted a recipe with ‘salad’ in the title. AUGUST. Guys. Who AM I? As someone who gets irritable on a day without vegetables, I don’t know how I let this happen. What kind of healthy food blogger goes months without posting salads?!
I like to be dramatic. Can you tell?
In fairness, there have been plenty of bowls (which are sort of like cooked salads) appearing here as of late, but I think it’s time we bring back some proper greens, don’t you? And by proper, I mean kale.
I mentioned last week that I went to a potluck dinner with a bunch of nutritionist friends. I know some will be rolling their eyes, and that’s fine because we dined like queens. Not surprisingly it was quite the whole foods feast – both in the sense that most people’s ingredients probably came from Whole Foods, and in the sense that there were loads of beautiful bits of produce in most of the dishes. We had at least 3 different types of hummus, chickpea salad, vegan kale caesar salad, seedy homemade crackers, lentil soup, chocolate sweet treats and so much more. Oh, and of course the company was awesome too. ?
One of my go-to potluck dishes is summer rolls, or rice paper wraps stuffed with all sorts of rainbow veggie fillings. Depending on the crowd, I’ll either use shrimp, smoked salmon, marinated tofu or tempeh (or all veggie if I have lots to play with), and serve them with some variation of almond butter dipping sauce. But as much as they always seem to be a hit, summer rolls didn’t feel very seasonal with the downpour of rain we were experiencing outside. The fact that I was wearing my winter jacket over a sweater to this occasion also convinced me that it wasn’t quite right.
Having been at Whole Foods the day prior for a standard perusal of the produce section, I finally decided on an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-style kale slaw – one packed with tons of colours, textures and nutritional goodness. There have been many variations of kale slaw here on this blog but sometimes just tweaking a couple of ingredients creates a totally different result.
The two stand-out ingredients for me in this slaw: the Granny Smith apple and the fresh herbs. I used to eat a Granny Smith apple every night before going to bed in my childhood (maybe even more than that), to the point where I became allergic and had to stay off them for a while. It was tragic, I tell ya. They’re fair game these days though, and I love how they add a crunchy, unexpected sweet-yet-tart taste to the mix.
As for the herbs, they do an amazing job at punching up the flavour of just about anything. But promise me right now you won’t swap them for dried ones, mmkay? Even if you don’t have basil, mint and parsley, just one or two would be fine. Seriously, you will get at least 3,563,654,962 times more enjoyment out of this recipe if you go fresh. I measured. Maybe.
Oh, and the chickpeas! Ok, maybe a third stand-out ingredient because we can’t forget about these little beauts. You may have seen my recipe for salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas on Instagram over the weekend, and these aren’t those but they’re actually easier. Who the heck wants to eat stale bread croutons when you can have crispy, crackly chickpeas and season them up with whatever you like?
Not us, that’s who. #chickpeas4lyfe.
Lemon Tahini Kale Slaw with Crispy Chickpeas
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Ingredients (about 14 cups)
- 1 bunch lacinato kale (about 150g), tough stems removed, chopped into very small pieces
- 1 large carrot, julienne cut or shredded
- 1 cup finely shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup shaved raw Brussels sprouts
- 1 cup thinly chopped or julienne cut radishes
- 1/2 cored Granny Smith apple, julienne cut
- 3 tbsp raw cashew halves
- 2 tbsp each minced fresh basil, mint and parsley
- 1 tbsp each sesame seeds and hemp seeds
- 1/2 small avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
For the chickpeas:
- 200g can drained cooked chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 tsp avocado or coconut oil
- sea salt and black pepper
For the dressing (you may have some leftover):
- 3 tbsp each tahini and lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- sea salt + black pepper, to taste
Make the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the chickpeas dry with a cloth, then toss them in a bowl to coat with avocado oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with generous pinches of sea salt and pepper, then scatter them out on the baking sheet. Roast for 40 mins, stirring every 10-15 mins for even cooking.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Shake all ingredients vigorously in a jar until combined, adding a little water if needed. Set aside.
Prepare all ingredients for the kale salad. Toss everything except for the diced avocado into a large bowl.
Pour some of the dressing on top of the salad and massage it well with your hands, aiming to break down some of the fibre in the kale.
Stir in the roasted chickpeas once cooled, and carefully mix in the avocado pieces. Let the slaw sit for about 10-15 mins to allow the flavours to develop, then serve.
So tell me… what sort of salads are you eating these days? Kale? Noodles? Zoodles? If you’d like some more inspo, be sure to check out my Salad Inspiration board on Pinterest. You’ll find endless lunch ideas there (and I’ll happily come taste test with you.)