Kale Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
Kale Em with Kindness 🙂
I hope you’re a fan of kale if you have found yourself here! But if not I understand, it took me 18 years to finally realize how much I love kale so trust me when I say you’re not alone if you’re not a fan. I have to say I was not a fan for the longest time, it was just too bitter, tough and just plain unappealing to me.
Why you should eat this leafy Green!
Fortunately though, after a lot of experimenting and trial and error in the kitchen I have come to love this green super food and not just because it is so beneficial to my health but because I now genuinely enjoy eating it in almost every form. From salads to smoothies to pancakes and muffins I have tried kale in almost everything now and can honestly say it’s how you prepare it that makes all the difference. Raw kale is loaded with vitamin C, K, A, and fiber and has a good amount of protein as well, but eating this leafy green plain and raw is not my favorite way at all to enjoy it’s powerful benefits.
Ways to make Kale taste better!
I have found that eating raw kale is much more enjoyable once you have massaged it with olive or avocado oil, a bit of salt and some other flavor additions if you choose. Massaging the kale helps break down the tough fibers in the plant leaving a softer more tender texture that is easier to digest. This is important because if you are someone who experiences certain digestives issues and are sensitive to raw vegetables, especially high in fiber like kale, this technique is a quick tip that might allow you to enjoy those raw greens a little more often. The olive oil and salt aid in the breakdown of the cells hard outer exterior which give the kale a more tender texture as well. The healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil also help absorb the the fat soluble vitamins found in kale (vitamin A and K) which promotes a better absorption into the body.
So if you choose (and I highly recommend) , the first thing to do to prepare the kale is to detach the leaves from the stems, place them in a large mixing bowl and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the leaves. Then add a pinch of salt and massage the leaves until they start to become more tender, brighter green and soft in texture. Let the kale leaves sit for a while you work on the rest of the salad.
You can set aside the kale now and start prepping the butternut squash and chickpeas.
For the butternut squash you will want to cut it in half length wise and de-seed the squash. Then use a vegetable peeler and peel the skin off. Once the skin is off cube the squash and put it in a large mixing bowl.
Next, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add the chickpeas to the butternut squash bowl and season with a little olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper and place them on a baking sheet and in the oven at 400 F for 20-30 minutes.
While those are roasting in the oven chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl of kale.
Prepare the dressing in the jar or bowl and mix well.
For the dressing it is a simple mixture of
- Olive oil
- lemon juice
- Maple syrup
After the butternut squash and chickpeas are done roasting add them to the bowl of kale and pour the dressing over the mixture.
Toss the salad until well combined and let it sit for a few minutes or over night to let the kale, chickpeas and butternut squash take on the flavor of the dressing.
Enjoy cold from the fridge or warmed up.
I personally enjoyed this salad by itself as it was filling enough for me with the chickpeas and squash but if you are looking to add a little more protein try adding in some tofu or chicken to make it more of a hardier meal.
Kale Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
For the Salad
- 1 bunch kale stem removed
- 1/2 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
- Prepare the kale by cutting out the stem of the kale. Thinly slice the kale into ribbons and add to a large bowl. Add the chopped cilantro and toss to combine.
- Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil to the kale mixture and massage until the kale is tender and completely coated in the olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the diced butternut squash and rinsed chickpeas to a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until the squash and chickpeas are well coated.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender and chickpeas are lightly browned.
- Meanwhile add the dressing ingredients to a small mason jar. Shake to mix. Adjust seasoning if you desire.
- Transfer the butternut squash and chickpeas to the bowl of kale. Add the tahini dressing. Toss to coat.