A quick, healthy, and flavorful kale salad with protein-packed chickpeas, fresh basil, and crunchy almonds. Perfect for a light summer dinner! Vegan and gluten-free!
If Columbus had a beach, I would surely bring it this salad.
I would pack it up in the cutest beachy Tupperware and place it oh-so-neatly atop a red checkered tablecloth in a white wicker basket. Since there would likely be extra space in the picnic basket, I would perhaps pack a bottle of red vino as well. And maybe some crispy crackers with hummus. Because what’s a beach party (or any party for that matter) without wine and hummus?
I’m the weird friend that brings a snack and/or meal with me on all my adventures. When I went to Europe last summer, I was known for whipping out a baggie (from my way over-full purse) full of smooshed, melted no-bake bites. They looked like poo. They tasted like heaven. My friends made fun of me, but I think they were just a little jeally.
So a summer adventure to my fantasy Ohio beach is no different. This salad is perfect for summer soirées because it hits each taste bud in just the right spot and has every exciting flavor and texture known to womankind. First we’ve got our super nutrient-dense kale (which is pretty much there for color and nutrition and pretty meh in the texture department), our sweet, chewy dried cranberries, crisp red onion, creamy avocado, crunchy almonds, and fresh basil.
I think fresh basil is one of my favorite things about summer besides ice cream and cherries and pools and hotness. It has an unparalleled fresh flavor that pairs magically with so many different things. It’s not just for fresh mozz, my friends! Toss a handful in a salad, in vegan lasagna, or even in your H20 with some sliced cucumber. Nom.
Plus, since it’s a salad, you’ll still feel super cute in your bikini after scarfing down three servings. Perf!
So what if my summer adventure means going to a pool full of children rather than riding the waves in an exotic wonderland? As long as I’ve got good food in my belly and good friends to laugh with, I’m a happy Hummusapien.
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1½ bunches kale, stems removed and chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chopped basil
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup diced red onion
- ½ cup Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed (optional)
- Place the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Place chopped kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Massage salt into leaves until kale softens and turns a bit darker in color.
- In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, basil, cranberries, red onion, almonds, and avocado. Toss to combine. Dump mixture into bowl with chopped kale.
- Add dressing and stir to combine. Serve with additional almonds on top.