Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas, Veggies, and a Mustard & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

 

If you don't like a kale salad, then I don't like you... Kidding, but obviously my blog name is Kale Me Maybe, so I'm clearly a huge fan of the green. Kale has a reputation for being healthy, but it definitely can get a bad rap when it comes to taste. However, I've met quite a few people who say they don't like kale, but when they eat it prepared the right way, they fully admit to loving the dish, despite their distaste for the cruciferous vegetable. 

Here are a few tips to make kale enjoyable, if you're not a weirdo like me who considers it one of their favorite foods. First off, I would suggest massaging it. Yes, please get super intimate with your kale. Just drizzle some olive oil on the leaves along with a sprinkle of salt, and rub the leaves between your hands until the leaves become wilted and soft. Oh la la. This helps breaks down the fiber of the leaves, making the taste less bitter and the texture softer. 

Next, I suggest loading your kale salad with a lot of other tasty goodies to help enhance the flavor. Many non-kale-believers have loved my Vegan Kale Caesar Salad, and I think this is because the taste of kale is slightly masked by the overwhelming flavors of a delicious dressing. Not to say you should dump a heavy dressing on your kale, but you can load it up with other toppings you actually do like so you don't have to feel overpowered by kale's distinct flavor.

These tips should make it easier to enjoy this antioxidant-rich green, but I would love to hear your feedback on how you best enjoy your kale salads. Here's a recipe to begin with if you need a starter idea:

Ingredients

  • 3 large stalks of lacinato kale
  • 4-5 large cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 can chickpeas
  • A handful of assorted microgreens
  • 1/4 chopped red onion
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • For dressing
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain, rinse, and dry chickpeas and spread them on a tinfoil-covered baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with a a few dashes of cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crispy. 

2. Rip your kale leaves off the stalk and place into a large bowl (if you're using precut kale, you can obviously skip this step). Massage your kale by drizzling olive oil and salt and rubbing the leaves together with your hands until they soften.

3. Top kale with onions, tomatoes, microgreens and chickpeas. To make dressing, just mix mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and lemon. If your dressing is too thin, add a little bit more mustard. If it's too thick, add more vinegar or lemon. Toss and enjoy!