Kale Caeser Salad with Smoky Chickpea Croutons

Oh my goodness!  You’ve never had salad like this!

Kale has been the hot super food for a while now and I am completely on board. If you love Kale as much as I do, it’s difficult not to imagine it coated in a creamy Caesar dressing. There’s something so comforting about a classic Caesar salad but it’s even better when you have the same great taste for half the calories and double the vitamins.

Crispy. Tangy. Fresh.

Using kale instead of romaine lettuce increases the nutrients and adds texture and flavor and allows the salad to keep in your fridge without going limp. The kale actually will become more tender the longer it marinates in the dressing, which means you can make this salad in advance or have it for leftovers. Tossed with a punchy dressing that has extra lemon and garlic for a tart, zippy bite, this salad will quickly become a new favorite in your home.

And then there are the smoky chickpea croutons.

High-fiber, high-protein smoky chickpeas can be tossed on just about anything. I think they have just the right amount of crunch with a nice smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with this salad.  The seasonings can be varied  – spicy, Southwestern, Indian, smoky…whatever you’re in the mood for!

With dishes like these it’s easy to eat healthy without ever abandoning our taste buds.


Kale Caeser Salad with Smoky Chickpea Croutons

1 bunch of kale, washed, de-stemmed and sliced into 1” ribbons or 6 cups loosely packed baby kale
1/2 cup caesar dressing (below)
3/4 cup roasted chickpeas (below)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Caeser dressing

⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ tablespoons dijon mustard
½ cup raw walnuts
1 clove of garlic, minced

Spicy Chickpea Croutons

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the dressing, Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor or blender. The dressing can be stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

For the smoky chickpea croutons, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the spice seasoning by mixing the cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, and sea salt in a small dish. In a medium bowl, toss the drained garbanzo beans with olive oil and the spice mixture. Spread onto a lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven for 10 minutes to cool them down, then place them back in the oven for about another 10 minutes or until crunchy.

For the salad, Toss washed, dried kale in a bowl with ½ cup of the dressing (or more to taste). Be sure to toss it until all leaves are coated evenly. Top with smoky chickpeas and finish with freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of sea salt.

Serves 2 – 4 (depending on if you are serving this dish as a side or a main salad)

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