Kale and Chickpea Salad

October 01, 2014

Kale and Chickpea Salad

I saw a beautiful Chinese proverb on a friend’s Facebook page the other day.  It said: “One who plants a garden plants happiness.”

I’ve recently become a gardener.  I have a 4 metre by 2 metre garden patch in my backyard with parsley, basil, kale, snowpeas, tomatoes and marigolds.  In the past I have pretty much killed most of the edible plants I have tried to grow, so the fact that my garden has gone gangbusters through a little bit of care, love and good weather is giving me great happiness.

I was really pleased when I realised that the kale was ready for picking.  Kale is a vegetable that I use every week.  I love kale because it’s a powerhouse of nutrition – it’s high in fibre, high in calcium, high in iron, and filled with powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

When I first heard of kale some time ago, I really didn’t know what to do with it.  There is certainly more information on the web now about the benefits of kale and the best ways of cooking it.  In the spirit of uncovering some of the uncertainty about kale and how to eat it, here is one clean salad recipe that I hope you will enjoy.

Kale and Chickpea Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • One small bunch of kale, stems removed and shredded
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 a red capsicum, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • Large handful of fresh parsley, finely diced
  • Handful of fresh basil, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • Good pinch of Himalayan salt

This dressing is really different from your standard olive oil and lemon dressing (which you can certainly use instead if you don’t have all of these ingredients).  The nutritional yeast (or savoury yeast as it is also referred to) gives the dressing a slightly cheesy flavour, giving it an interesting creaminess.

Method

  1. Toast your sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.  Heat a small frypan over low-medium heat and let the seeds toast in the pan for 5-10 minutes or until they are slightly browned.  Set aside to cool once toasted.
  2. Make your dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisking or shaking until well combined.
  3. Place your shredded kale in a salad bowl.  Pour half of the dressing over the kale and massage it well with your fingers for a minute.  This will make the kale much easier to eat.
  4. Place all of the other ingredients in the salad bowl and pour over the remaining dressing.  Toss carefully until all of the salad vegetables are well coated.  I like to garnish the salad with a few sesame seeds and sunflower seeds that I have reserved once they have been toasted.



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