6 August 2016

Cavolo Nero & Roasted Chickpea Salad

Approaching my final year of my undergrad degree I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do once I graduate, my answer is still unknown, but I have learnt that I love to cook food like this, food that excites my taste buds, whilst also being balanced and healthy too. I've learnt that I love sharing the experience of food with others, through my readers, cooking for my friends and having the opportunity to educate others with nutritional knowledge. And whilst it's pretty scary that I'm graduating in a year and I'm not sure exactly what I want to do, I know what I love to do and I trust that to lead me in the right direction. So, my little piece of advice today, is no matter where you are in your life, find that thing that excites you and in whatever way possible, integrate it into your life.

Every so often I cook something that I just think I could probably live off of for week and not get sick of it, this next recipe is one of them. Cavolo Nero, Black Kale, Tuscan Kale, Lacinato Kale...or my personal favourite name - Dinosaur Kale, is the base and star of of this dish, sauteed in garlic and lemon juice, layered with smokey roasted chickpeas, crispy croutons, cherry tomatoes and a creamy sunflower seed dressing. 

Whilst being packed with flavour this salad is also packed with nutrients; the kale contributing vitamins A, C, K and minerals calcium, manganese and iron, the chickpeas high in protein, iron, fibre and vitamin B9, the tomatoes bringing vitamin A and C and the sunflower seed dressing, high in polyunsaturated fat and the important fat soluble vitamin and antioxidant vitamin E, vitamin B1 and  the mineral copper. This salad is a whole cocktail of many of the micro and macro nutrients that we need to thrive and will leave you and your taste buds feeling euphoric!

Cavolo Nero & Roasted Chickpea Salad | Serves: 2 | Time: 30 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Blender/food processor
  • Large frying pan
  • 2x baking trays
  • Grease-proof paper
  • Mixing bowl



  • 10 cavolo nero leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes

  • 2 slices ciabatta bread
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayene peppper
  • Pinch salt

Sunflower Seed Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C and line two baking trays with grease-proof paper.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then mix with the maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and a pinch of salt, spread out on the baking tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. To make the croutons, chop the bread into small cubes, toss together with a coating of olive oil and a pinch of salt, spread out on the baking tray and cook for 15-20 minutes, until crisp and slightly golden brown.
  4. Then mince two cloves of garlic and fry on a low heat with a splash of olive oil whilst you prep the kale. Wash the kale, remove from the middle stalk and slice into strips, add to the pan along with the lemon juice and salt and saute for 10 minutes. 
  5. Add the sunflower seeds, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder and salt to the blender and blitz until smooth.
  6. Finally dice the tomatoes into quarters. Then assemble the salad, kale first, then the chickpeas, croutons, tomatoes and top with the dressing. The salad is best served warm and immediately. Enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

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