This chickpea kale salad with blood oranges and pistachio nuts makes a delicious and healthy lunch. It's suitable for vegans and can be enjoyed on its own or served with bread, dips and more salads for a healthy plant-based spread.
This chickpea, kale and blood orange salad is one of my favourite recipes
I've made a few different vegan kale salads over the years but this one is the one I keep coming back to.
I love to make it in winter, when blood oranges are in season here in the UK. Winter food can so often be bland.
But that's certainly not the case with this bright and colourful salad. I love how vibrant this dish is with the bright green kale and the reds and oranges of the blood orange.
However, if you can't find blood oranges, don't worry - regular oranges work perfectly well too.
Crunch and texture
As well as bright colours, this dish is also full of crunch and texture. When I first became vegan I found adding different textures to my food really helped me to not miss the things I was used to eating.
Crunchy savoury nuts, for example, are a great match with the sweet, soft oranges.
Chickpeas add substance and protein, and help to make the salad more filling.
How to prepare kale
We all know that kale is good for you - but really how many of us actually enjoy eating it?
Before I learnt how to prepare it properly I wasn't keen. It just seemed a little bit too chewy.
But then I discovered how easy it is to make raw kale taste delicious.
Pair kale with citrus
Use a citrus dressing with your kale salad to make the leaves easier to chew.
The citrus juice helps to break down the fibres in the leaves and not only make them taste better but makes it softer to eat.
The longer you massage the dressing in to the leaves with your hands the better the results.
Cut out the thick stem
It's also important that you cut out the thick central stem in your kale.
This can be woody and not particularly pleasant to eat.
If you have whole kale leaves then fold the leaves in half and using a large sharp knife you can cut the stem right out.
If the kale has been pre-chopped I prefer to pull the stem out by hand while I'm mixing the dressing in.
Kale is a good vegan source of iron. Plant-based iron can be harder for the body to absorb. Pairing foods that are high in vitamin C - like oranges for example - can help the body to absorb iron.
More vegan kale recipes
If you like this you might like one of these other kale recipes:
- Chickpea kale pasta salad with orzo
- Kale and sweet potato salad with lentils
- How to make kale crisps
- Chocolate kale muffins
- Butternut squash and kale risotto
- Sautéed kale with miso and mushrooms
Read more about how to cook with kale.
To make this salad you'll need:
- kale - I used curly kale
- olive oil
- blood oranges - regular oranges can be used if blood oranges not available
- pistachio nuts
How to make chickpea kale salad with blood orange and pistachio
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Kale, chickpea and blood orange salad
- 150 g curly kale chopped and with the thick central stem removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 blood oranges regular oranges can be used if blood oranges are not available
- 50 g pistachio nuts
- 240 g tinned* chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Salt to taste
- Make the dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons olive oil with the juice of half a blood orange.
- Pour the dressing over 150g prepared kale and, using your hands, rub it into the leaves. The citrus will help to make the leaves softer.
- De-segment the remaining two and a half blood oranges, removing as much of the pith and membrane as possible. Slice each segment in half.
- Add the orange segments, 50g pistachio nuts and the rinsed chickpeas to the kale leaves and mix well (best done with your hands).
- For best results serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
- 240g tinned chickpeas = 1 regular 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
- Not suitable for freezing.
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