Say hellooooo to your new favorite lunch!
Kale Caesar salad with chickpea croutons to the rescue.
This is everything I want in lunch: crunchy, crispy, tangy, flavorful and ridiculously satisfying. Like, super filling! I love love love it.
Oh and pretty easy too. I need something easy since I spend the majority of any break I take for lunch losing my brain in the internet vortex. Mostly over memes of things like Neopets circa 1999. What a great freaking game.
Ya know what is so weird? Sometimes a girl just needs a hearty kale salad. There’s no explaining why; she just does. I know it makes no sense why I would craze a salad made fit for a dinosaur, but I just do. So. y’all, move out of the way and give her that kale salad. She deserves it. Especially this version that is just so dang good! That and the chocolate. Give her all of chocolate.
First, crunchy chickpeas! I mean I am so freaking obsessed with them and they are just theeee best snack. Well, actually any roasted bean (have you TRIED roasted edamame?) but I think the chickpea is definitely king. And yes, I know there are a ton of packaged options out there now but those versions kind of skeeve me out, ya feel? But seriously, they are so easy to make at home, I never find a reason to grab them… unless I’m, like, in an airport or dying of hunger and need a quick not-terrible-for-me snack!
But seriously, making roasted chickpeas from scratch could not be easier. I actually make them from dried in my Instant Pot beforehand and then roast them. Since making beans in my Instant Pot, I honestly am so so spoiled that I do not know if I can ever go back to normal, canned beans.
I know. I am the worst type of human.
But yeah, just get all up in there with the seasoning and roast those darn chickpeas until they are crispy and delicious! I am just so in love with the sound of that already.
Now, the dressing. The dressing is some delicious concoction of mine that magically takes ingredients and turns it into a vegan rift of Caesar dressing. This ish with the chickpeas and the kale is just… I’m normally not speechless, but this salad honestly leaves me speechless. Once your garlic-tahini “Caesar” dressing comes together, all that’s left to do is pour, toss, and top it with chickpeas! Then go to flavor town. My treat.
Seriously, there is nothing like a fun lunch to make you feel fancy!
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- Around 6 cups chopped kale
- 1 15-ounce can (or 2 cups) cooked chickpeas, rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon tandoori masala seasoning (or garam masala or cumin)
- salt + pepper
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lemons, juiced (~1/3 cup)
- 2-3 garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Pinch each salt + pepper
- Hot water to thin
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add drained chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil and seasonings.
Add seasoned chickpeas to a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
Add dressing ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to combine, smashing the garlic with the whisk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more lemon for brightness.
Add kale to a large mixing bowl. Before adding dressing, add 1 Tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil to the kale and massage with hands to soften the texture and lessen bitterness. Then add as much dressing as desired (some may be leftover) and mix with a spoon.
Top with chickpeas and serve.