I’m warming up to Caesar salads. I’ve never been a huge fan, partly because I was a bit anchovy averse, and because the dressing is often so caloric. Somewhere I read that a Caesar with big yummy croutons, creamy dressing, and shaved cheese is just as unhealthy as eating a burger. For me, that’s all the evidence I needed to close the case on Caesar salad. Burger wins. Every time.
As I was searching for new ways to enjoy my favorite hearty greens, I came upon a few recipes for Kale Caesar salads. I began investigating recipes for lighter Caesar dressings and last week, I bought my first tin of anchovies! Time to give the Caesar a chance. The recipe I used includes eggs and no cream. If you want to skip the eggs and enjoy a creamier texture, try this one from SkinnyTaste.
I need protein to make my salad a meal, so I brainstormed hearty toppings for the Caesar base. I’m always working on increasing my vegetarian meal repertoire so beans came to mind. Like Caesar salads, I’ve always been a bit lukewarm on garbanzo beans. Black beans are my pantry go-to but the combo didn’t feel right with this dressing. I remembered a Pinterest post I’d seen some time ago that included roasted garbanzo beans (otherwise known as chick peas) on top of a salad. I assumed that you had to start with fresh beans but I learned you can use canned beans.
To spice my beans, I used this favorite spice blend from my officemates at Urban Accents called Mesa Rosa Chipotle. Tandoori spice mix or curry would also be good. If you don’t have any spice blends and like a southwestern flavor, try using a healthy dose of salt with a little sprinkle of ancho and/or chipotle chili powder.
Here is the most important part of this post: Roasting canned garbanzo beans is a total game changer! They went from mushy and a little boring to textured, flavorful and enticing. Those poor, bland beans right out of the can goup just need a little T.L.C. to become the star of the show.
healthy kale and brussel sprout salad with Caesar dressing and spiced garbanzo beans
My excitement grew as I made my way through this bowl of salad. It reminded me that new favorite recipes and flavors are just a slightly altered mindset away. This recipes hits all the right buttons: super healthy, easy to prepare, easy to store in the fridge for leftovers, full of texture and flavor.
Try experimenting with your own spice mixes on the garbanzo beans!
Kale & Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad with Spiced Garbanzo Beans
(with light Caesar Salad dressing)
serves 2 dinner-size salads
1/2 bunch kale (about 6 large leaves)
4 large or 8 small Brussel sprouts
- 1/2 bunch kale (about 6 large leaves)
- 1 can garbanzo beans