This chickpea apple kale salad with avocado and beets has it all: protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nutritious and delicious!
This colorful kale salad is sweet, tangy, creamy, and crispy! The ingredients compliment each other both in terms of flavor and texture, making for an interesting bite each time. The burst of flavors also mask any bitterness the kale might have. The sweetness of the steamed beets, crispiness of fresh green apples and creaminess of the avocado balance each other nicely.
Why massage kale?
Kale has a tough and chewy texture. Massaging the kale with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and salt before preparing the kale salad is a way to help this leafy green tenderize and digest better.
How to get bitterness out of kale?
Kale is notorious for its slightly bitter taste. Washing and rinsing the kale after massaging it with olive oil, lemon juice and salt makes it more palatable. Or you can simply cook your kale by either steaming, blanching or sautéing. However, keep in mind that the bitterness comes from all the nutrients packed inside the kale leaves. Removing the bitterness of the leafy greens will not be as health beneficial as to keeping them.
Ingredients for Kale Salad
- Tuscan Kale - AKA: Dinosaur Kale or Lacinato. Curly Kale is also a good substitute.
- Carrots - Store-bought shredded carrots. You can julienne cut or grate from a whole carrot as well.
- Purple Cabbage - Store-bought shredded cabbage. You can chop from a whole purple cabbage too.
- Beet - Whole beetroot steamed in preparation. To skip the cooking process, store-bought, pre-cooked beets will do great as well.
- Apple - Green apples to add tang. But any apple will be tasty.
- Chickpea - Canned chickpeas, washed and drained. You can use the chickpea juice to make Vegan Garlic Aioli.
- Fried Onions - Store-bought from Trader Joe's.
- Olive Oil - Extra Virgin, organic and cold pressed.
- Lemon Juice - Freshly squeezed.
- Salt and Pepper - To season the kale salad.
How to make kale salad? (Step by Step Instructions)
- Peel, wash and slice beetroot. Then steam for 25 to 30 minutes over boiling water.
- To remove the green leaves from the stem, tightly hold the bottom of the stem and run your fingers upwards along the stem removing the leave.
- Massage the kale in a small mixing bowl with a drizzle of oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Toss in the remaining salad ingredients into the mixing bowl with the massaged kale (sliced apples, canned chickpeas, shredded carrots and purple cabbage, tender steamed beets, salt and pepper).
- Transfer into a serving dish topped with slices of avocado and garnish with fried onions.
Quantity details are in the recipe card.
Dressing For Kale Salad
This kale salad is already loaded with wholesome flavors, but it only feels complete with a side of dressing. Some suggestions to dress this kale salad are Sweet Balsamic Glaze or Vegan Garlic Aioli. My favorite, especially served during the Fall or holiday seasons, is Maple Dijon Vinaigrette. Store-bought Tahini dressing is another great option.
Customize Your Kale Salad
Get creative and don't limit yourself to using what's in your frig or pantry. Salads are world's most versatile dish. Some great add-ons to this kale salad would be vegan feta cheese crumbles or parmesan. Toss in some healthy grains like cooked quinoa. Dried fruits and nuts are always a tasteful addition to any salad, like dried cranberries. And of course, substitute any ingredient per your preference.
Main Equipment Used
- Covered Pot - About 3 quarts.
- Steam Basket - To steam beets.
- Vegetable Peeler - To peel the beets.
- Sharp knife - To slice the the beets and chop kale.
- Mixing bowl - To massage and toss the salad in.
More Healthy Salads
- Pickled Beet Salad with Clementine Orange
- Watermelon Cucumber Basil Salad with Feta
- Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
Chickpea Apple Kale Salad with Avocado & Beet
- Steam basket To cook the sliced beets.
- Mixing Bowl To massage kale and toss the salad in.
- Kitchen Knife To chop the vegetables and fruits.
- 4 cups kale de-stemmed, chopped
- ⅓ cup carrots shredded
- ⅓ cup purple cabbage shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 whole beet
- 1 whole green apple sliced
- 15 ½ oz chickpeas canned (washed and drained)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 whole avocado sliced
- 2 tablespoon fried onions (store bought) or croutons
- a pinch crushed black peppercorn
- Peel, wash and slice beets using a sharp knife. Then steam them for 25 to 30 minutes over boiling water (I like to use a steam basket).
- To remove the kale leaves from the stem, tightly hold the bottom of the stem and run your fingers upwards along the stem removing the leave. Then chop kale leaves using a kitchen knife. (Discard the stems)
- Place chopped kale in a mixing bowl and drizzle it with oil, lemon juice and salt. Wash your hands properly and then massage the kale (gently squeezing and tossing using your fingers) until it softens. Massage for at least 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the rest of the salad ingredients minus the avocado into the mixing bowl with the massaged kale and toss together (carrots, cabbage, steamed beets, chickpeas).
- Drizzle over some suggested dressings: Balsamic Glaze, Garlic Aioli, or Maple Dijon Vinaigrette. You can also go with your own favorite dressing. Toss again till evenly coated. (You can also serve the dressing on the side, if you prefer)
- Top with fried onion crisps, avocado slices, and crushed black pepper.
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