A healthy, flavor packed salad made with kale, chickpeas, avocado, and a garlicky, lemony tahini caesar dressing. The perfect, healthy meatless Monday meal!
Happy Monday friends!
I had an amazing weekend with some great girl friends. We indulged on a lot of delicious food. Pizza. Donuts. Burgers. We were bad!
I’m a firm believer that the weekends are the time to splurge a little and indulge your cravings.
But on the week days, I try to keep it healthy and clean.
So today, I need a good, healthy salad.
And this garlicky, lemony kale Caesar salad will do the trick.
Let’s get to cooking.
Like any good week night meal should be, this salad is quick and easy to assemble.
We will start by making the dressing.
I used tahini in the dressing instead of mayo or greek yogurt to keep the dressing dairy free. Tahini has this wonderful bitter bite that pairs well with the huge garlic flavor. This dressing is BOLD.
In a mixing bowl, add the tahini and lemon juice. The mixture will sort of seize and become a thick paste. Don’t panic. This is a normal reaction when tahini and lemon are combined. Add a little water to help smooth it out and make it creamy.
Add the remaining dressing ingredients: garlic, garlic powder, dijon, maple, and Worcestershire to create a beautiful, smooth dressing. At this point, you can add more water if you prefer a thinner dressing.
I add maple to help tame the bitter bite from the tahini. I also added garlic and garlic powder to really amp up the garlic flavor. If you don’t want too much garlic, you can omit the garlic powder. It will still be very flavorful.
Next, prepare the salad. Since kale is a tough lettuce, it is best if you massage it with lemon and olive oil to help soften it. I know it sounds funny that you are giving your dinner sort of a back rub. But this step is a must! You just need to add a little olive oil and lemon juice to the fresh kale and use your fingers to gently rub the liquid into the kale. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes so the juices can work their magic.
I also highly recommend removing the stems from the kale and only using the leaves. The stems are tough and fibrous, so very unpleasant to eat.
Add in the chickpeas, shaved parmesan, avocado and dressing to the kale and toss until well combined. I added shaved parmesan because I think it is a must in a Caesar salad and hard cheeses like parm do not upset my stomach. You can certainly omit that if you cannot have any dairy at all.
Time to dig in. This salad is packed with so much flavor and texture. The dressing has a nice bite from the garlic and a fresh citrus pop from the lemon. The salad has great texture from the kale lettuce and chickpeas, a little creaminess added by the avocado, and a salty bite from the parm. It’s all around a delicious well-balanced meal.
Kale Tahini Caesar Salad
Tahini Caesar Dressing
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- 2 teaspoons dijon
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 4 cups fresh kale
- 1 avocado cut into chunks
- 1/3 cup shaved parmesan more or less to taste
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine the tahini and lemon juice. It will become a thick paste. Thin it out with the water until it becomes a creamy consistency.
Add in remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
You can add more water if you want it a thinner consistency.
For the salad, add the kale, juice of half of a lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a dash of salt. Gently massage the lemon juice and olive oil into the kale so it slightly softens. Let the kale sit for 5 minutes.
Add chickpeas, avocado, and dressing to the kale. Toss until all the ingredients are combined.
Serve and enjoy!
The dressing will store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
The salad can be made entirely dairy free and vegan if shaved parmesan is omitted.