28 June 2020

Turmeric Chickpea & Millet Salad

Roasted turmeric chickpea salad, with kale, millet, smoky coconut flakes and a creamy, dreamy sunflower seed dressing. Layered with textures and flavours this salad is a great addition to your summer menu!

This salad is also super customisable - you could use your favourite greens, another grain like quinoa or brown rice, flaked almonds instead of coconut. The stars of the show are really the seasonings - the turmeric coating on the roasted chickpeas, the smoky coconut marinade and the incredible dressing, too! So don't worry if you have all the ingredients, get a little creative and make it your own with what you do have! 

I'm a big fan of salads that really are a whole meal - with plenty of protein, carbs and healthy fats, as well as fibre to keep you feeling full and energised! With protein from the chickpeas and kale for keeping your muscles healthy and allowing growth and repair, as well as iron for healthy blood cells and vitamin K needed for blood clotting and a whole range of other nutrients essential for wellbeing.

This dish is also full of vitamin C from the kale and tomatoes and healthy fats from the sunflower seeds, as well as fat-soluble vitamin e; antioxidants protecting our cells from free radical damage, by keeping a good balance within our bodies. Free radicals are extra molecules in our bodies that have an unpaired electron (hello school science lessons!) - commonly a split oxygen molecule, produced as a byproduct of energy generation in our cells. They're caused both internally through metabolic processes and externally from pollutants like smoke [1]. We need a certain level of free radicals for cell responses and immune function, but too much can cause oxidative damage, which can lead to chronic and degenerative diseases [2]. As well as vitamins E and C, other sources of antioxidants include beta carotene - vitamin A - found in orange foods, anthocyanins  - found in dark purple foods, selenium - found in wholegrains, just to name a few [3]. Different antioxidants all have different effects on the cells, which is why a varied diet full of lots of different plant-based foods, including wholegrains, fruits, veg, nuts, seeds and legumes is key!

Turmeric Chickpea & Millet Salad | Serves: 4 | Time: 35 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • 2x baking tray & greaseproof paper (I have reusable)
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Sieve
  • Slotted spoon / tongs
  • Mixing bowl x2
  • Small bowl
  • High-powered blender (I use a Nutribullet)
  • Spatula
  • Serving platter


  • 100g cavlo nero or kale
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup hulled millet, dried
Turmeric chickpeas:
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • Good pinch salt
Smoky coconut:
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried chives or 2 tsp chopped fresh chives


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C fan and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. 
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the kale leaves to the water for a minute then using a slotted spoon or tongs remove the kale from the water and place in the mixing bowl and set to one side. Add the millet to the pan, and simmer for 20-25 minutes stirring often so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Once tender, drain well.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and add to a mixing bowl with the onion and garlic powder, turmeric and salt, spread out on a lined baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, until golden and slightly crisp. 
  4. To make the smoky coconut, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, liquid smoke and smoked paprika in a small bowl, then toss in the coconut flakes until evenly coated. Roast the flakes for 3-5 minutes until the marinade has dried, ensuring they don't burn. Then place to one side and allow to cool.
  5. For the dressing, add the ingredients from the sunflower seeds down to the salt to the blender and blitz until smooth, then stir through the chives. 
  6. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into chunks and thinly slice the onion
  7. To assemble the salad, toss the kale in half the dressing, then arrange on the platter, then arrange the roasted chickpeas, cooked millet and chopped veg. Top with the coconut flakes, pomegranate seeds and dollops of the dressing. Serve up and enjoy!
Cassidy xx