Serve this vegan massaged kale salad with roasted chickpeas as a light lunch that's great on the go! Massaging the kale brings out flavour and tenderness, perfect together with a tangy dressing and mixed seeds on top. Gluten-free and oil-free.
Kale doesn't have the best reputation to say the least. And I understand why. After all, just by itself, it has a bitter flavour and a very tough, almost inedible texture. Thus I don't blame anyone who doesn't like leafy greens in general for not giving it the benefit of the doubt.
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But just like with tofu, the trick is always in the preparation! Since my first time trying massaged kale, I definitely haven't looked back, even as a long-term leafy green enthusiast. Add on top of that some flavourful, oven-baked chickpeas and you've got a lunch that may revolutionise your whole outlook on stereotypically 'healthy' food!
Vegan massaged kale salad with roasted chickpeas
Who would've thought that massaging kale can turn it from 'meh' to a dream come true sort of situation?! Massaging helps break down the tough fibres and really softens up the leafs. The kale therefore becomes tender and perfect for absorbing the flavours of whatever dressing you choose for it.
I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible. After all, there's no need at all to overcomplicate salads - I don't know about you, but sometimes I just want to feel like a #healthyqueen without sourcing ingredients from a different dimension, given that a tasty salad really doesn't have to be that difficult!
The dressing is made of just peanut butter (adds some amazing creaminess), apple cider vinegar, tamari, garlic, and lemon juice. Incredibly simple, but it creates a wonderful flavour profile! Think tangy, with hints of garlicky goodness and umami too from the tamari. This massaged kale salad genuinely makes me want to eat bucketfuls of kale!
Simple roasted chickpeas
I just looove roasting chickpeas and throwing them in everything! Lunchboxes, pasta dishes, salads, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Roasted chickpeas are a great way to add extra texture and a hint of earthy sweetness to a massaged kale salad like this. They also bring in plant based protein, making the dish much more filling and substantial. If you have any left over, store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days and use in other recipes, or eat by themselves as a healthy snack!
Massaged kale salad ingredients
- Chickpeas. Either use canned for convenience, or cook your own.
- Maple syrup.
- Garlic granules.
- Kale, de-stemmed and chopped. Use any variety of your choice.
- Peanut butter. This helps add a generous amount of creaminess. If you want to, you can replace each tbsp with ½ a mashed avocado, or tahini.
- Apple cider vinegar.
- Tamari. Can be replaced with soy sauce if not avoiding gluten, or coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
- Lemon juice. Lime juice works too.
- Green olives, to serve.
- Seeds, or nuts, of your choice, to serve.
How to make the best kale salad with chickpeas
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 F. Add the chickpeas to a mixing bowl together with the maple syrup, salt, turmeric, cumin and garlic granules, and stir together well.
STEP 2: Transfer the chickpeas to a sheet of greaseproof baking paper over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy.
STEP 3: While the chickpeas are in the oven, prepare the rest of the salad. Massage the kale leaves thoroughly for 1-2 minutes, then add the peanut butter and massage for a minute or so more.
STEP 4: Add the apple cider vinegar, tamari, garlic and lemon juice. Toss together the ingredients, and add in the olives before serving.
STEP 5: Plate the salad with the roasted chickpeas and seeds/nuts on top.
Tips and tricks
- The massaged kale salad lasts for up to 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container, and can be even tastier the next day when the flavours have been given time to absorb!
- This is a very versatile recipe. Feel free to add other vegetables to it if you fancy.
You will love this vegan kale salad!
It is ...
- Nourishing and full of plant based goodness.
- Super easy to make.
- Ready in under 30 minutes.
- Great for meal prep and lunchboxes.
- Wonderful as a side dish too!
- Made with simple ingredients.
- An amazing way to eat more leafy greens!
Other vegan salad recipes you'll love ...
- Potato salad with smoky tempeh
- Falafel salad with tahini dressing
- Black bean salad with rice and kale
- Cold spaghetti salad with balsamic tofu
Let me know in the comments: how do you prepare your leafy greens? If you give this vegan massaged kale with roasted chickpeas a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below!
- Conventional oven
- Mixing bowl
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 F. Add the chickpeas to a mixing bowl together with the maple syrup, salt, turmeric, cumin and garlic granules, and stir together well.
- Transfer the chickpeas to a sheet of greaseproof baking paper over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy.
- While the chickpeas are in the oven, prepare the rest of the salad. Massage the kale leaves thoroughly for 1-2 minutes, then add the peanut butter and massage for a minute or so more.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, tamari, garlic and lemon juice. Toss together the ingredients, and add in the olives before serving.
- Plate the salad with the roasted chickpeas and seeds/nuts on top.