Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

This kale caesar salad will be your new favorite way to eat kale! For this recipe, you’ll toss kale in a homemade, dairy free Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!

kale caesar salad

Kale has become one trendy vegetable over the past decade or so. This hearty, leafy green has become the epitome of the modern wellness scene, gracing farmer’s markets, restaurant menus, and even clothing! While kale is chock full of nutrients, in its raw state, it can be a bit unappealing.

One of my favorite ways to prepare kale is in a salad. The secret to turning this fibrous green into something delicious is to massage the dressing into the kale. It sounds a little extra to massage your vegetables, but this simple step transforms kale into a tender salad you’ll be happy to eat!

kale caesar salad

One great benefit to using kale as a salad base is that it keeps very well in the fridge without getting soggy. I usually prep a big batch, then add whatever salad toppings I feel like having! For this batch, I roasted up some chickpeas and tossed them in my favorite spices. They add such a nice crunchy texture and plant-based protein to this kale caesar salad.

How to make a massaged kale salad

  • Wash and dry one bunch of kale leaves.
  • Remove the stems and discard them, or save them to throw into smoothies.
  • Chop the kale leaves into bite size pieces.
  • Place kale in a large mixing bowl and pour dressing of choice on top. You can go super simple with just olive oil + lemon juice, or get fancy with this dairy free homemade Caesar dressing!
  • Use your hands to massage the kale for 3-5 minutes, until you feel the leaves soften and become tender.
  • Top with whatever salad fixings you’d like!
roasted chickpeas

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Kale: Kale is a very nutrient-dense food! It’s filled with vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of fiber. Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These vegetables are all rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
  • Cashews: When blended with some liquid, cashews turn into a great vegan replacement for cream in recipes, thanks to their mild taste. They are also great for us! Cashews are a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain important minerals like magnesium, copper, and iron.
  • Chickpeas: I wrote about some benefits of chickpeas in this post, but I’ll say it again – they are one of the healthiest foods to add to your diet! Pulses, which include legumes, beans, lentils, and peas, are excellent sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Based on research done in the world’s Blue Zones (areas where people live much longer than average), regularly including pulses in your diet may be one contributing factor to good health and longevity.
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Avocado
kale caesar salad bowls

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Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: salad


This salad will be your new favorite way to eat kale! For this recipe, you’ll toss kale in a homemade, dairy free Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!



  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 avocado

For the Caesar dressing

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water 10 minutes, then drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a clean tea towel, thoroughly dry the chickpeas, and remove as many skins as possible.
  3. Toss the chickpeas in the avocado oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until browned and crispy.
  4. Once chickpeas are removed from the oven, toss with salt, pepper, and spices.
  5. While the chickpeas roast, prepare Caesar dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Place kale in a large mixing bowl, and pour in about half of the dressing. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to feel soft and tender. Add more dressing as desired.
  7. Divide kale into bowls, and top with chickpeas and pieces of avocado.


  • You may have leftover dressing – save it for another salad!
  • The massaged kale will keep well in the fridge, so it’s a great recipe to meal prep for the week.
  • The roasted chickpeas enjoyed fresh, and are best stored at room temperature for only 1-2 days. They begin to lose their crunch with time.

Keywords: kale caesar salad, kale, dairy free caesar dressing, homemade caesar dressing, gluten free

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kale caesar salad

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

barbeue salmon caesar salad Featured

Healthy Barbecue Salmon Caesar Salad (Dairy Free)

 This meal size salad features healthy homemade versions of not one, but two, of your favorite summertime sauces! Homemade barbecue sauce with clean ingredients and sweetened with manuka honey, plus a dairy free homemade Caesar dressing. Don’t be intimidated, this recipe is actually super easy to make. Perfect for the rising temps!

barbecue salmon caesar salad

Did you guys know May is National Barbecue Month? I’m celebrating with this easy, healthy and delicious barbecue salmon. With the slowly rising temperatures in Boston, I can’t wait to spend time outdoors with friends and grill up all my favorite seasonal foods. My favorite simple summertime meal is grilled salmon with a yummy sauce, grilled vegetables and a side salad. Caesar salad just screams summer to me, so this was the perfect pairing for barbecue salmon.

Most store-bought barbecue sauces contain preservatives, food additives and excess added sugar. One of the leading brands has high fructose corn syrup listed as the first ingredient, followed by four other types of sugar in the ingredient list, totaling 16 g of sugar in a 2 tbsp serving. This barbecue sauce recipe contains less sugar and real, whole food ingredients that taste good and will make you feel good.

Manuka Honey Benefits

Pacific Resources International (PRI) makes an amazing manuka honey that I used in this barbecue sauce recipe. Manuka honey differs from regular honey because it contains methylglyoxal, giving it much higher and more effective antibacterial properties. The FDA has even approved many manuka honey containing products as effective for wound healing. When taken orally, manuka honey’s antibacterial properties may promote good oral health and help soothe a sore throat. The methylglyoxal also withstands higher temperatures, up to 150 degrees F, than regular honey, so the antibacterial properties are not destroyed at lower temperatures like regular honey. Pacific Resources International sources high quality manuka honey from New Zealand and Australia. They work directly with the beekeepers and cool process their products to retain all the natural properties of the raw honey.

New Zealand Sea Salt

I also used PRI Fine Sea Salt from New Zealand in this recipe. Recent research has revealed that sea salt from our oceans is contaminated with microplastics. Horrifying, I know! Sea Salt from New Zealand has largely been protected from this contamination as it is sourced from very clean waters. Some of PRI’s sea salts are BioGro certified in New Zealand, which means the salt is rigorously tested for pollutants and contaminants before hitting the shelves.

barbecue salmon

The manuka honey is stirred into this barbecue sauce once it has cooled to preserve its antibacterial properties. This sauce is so easy to make – just combine everything in a saucepan and stir! The dairy free Caesar salad dressing is just as easy. Combine a few simple ingredients in a blender, and you are rewarded with a super creamy, tangy and authentic Caesar dressing. Topped with barbecue salmon and crunchy croutons, this balanced meal is packed with satisfying summer flavor.

barbeue salmon caesar salad
barbeue salmon caesar salad

Healthy Barbecue Salmon Caesar Salad (Dairy Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes


Two homemade sauces are super simple to whip up – healthy BBQ sauce and dairy free Caesar dressing! Served with seared salmon, this meal sized salad is perfect for summertime.



  • 4 salmon filets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups croutons


Homemade Barbecue Sauce

  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp Pacific Resources International manuka honey


Dairy Free Homemade Caesar Dressing

  • ¾ cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes up to overnight
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season salmon with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add salmon filets, skin side up, to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes until salmon starts to brown, then move into the oven to finish cooking for 6-10 minutes.
  3. While salmon is in the oven, prepare barbecue sauce. Combine all ingredients except manuka honey in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring until everything is combined. Remove from heat, then stir in manuka honey.
  4. To prepare the dressing, add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy.
  5. Remove salmon from oven and flip to skin side down. Brush a generous serving of barbecue sauce over each filet.
  6. Toss chopped romaine with Caesar dressing and distribute evenly into 4 large salad bowls. Top each bowl with croutons and a salmon filet.

Keywords: homemade barbecue sauce, healthy barbecue sauce, salmon, homemade caesar dressing, dairy free caesar dressing

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Thank you Pacific Resources International for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

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Mixed Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars (Gluten Free)

I’ve been wanting to make a recipe like this for a while. With the snow on Monday and lots of frozen fruit in my freezer, it seemed like the perfect day for a baking experiment! I’m so glad I went for it, because these will be such a treat to munch on all week.

I’m usually more of a chocolate person when it comes to dessert. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are irresistible to me. But, if there is a fruit based dessert with a warm, cinnamon crumble situation going on, then you’ve got some competition! I absolutely love crisps and cobblers with whatever fruit is in season.

I had an unopened bag of mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) which sounded like the perfect blend for a winter crumble. I highly recommend using this blend if you try these bars, as the cranberries add bold flavor and a little tartness. They also add a big boost of antioxidants! In addition to heart healthy oats, I used almond flour and almond butter to add healthy fats, fiber and protein to these bars. With less than ½ cup of added sugar, these bars are nutritious enough to have for breakfast or a snack, and will keep you fuller for longer than a traditional dessert bar.


  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries (I used Cape Cod Select Power Berry Blend)
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp chia seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add almond butter and use your hands to mix it into dry ingredients. Mixture should be cohesive but crumby.
  4. Add about 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish. Use your hands to press down firmly into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. While crust is baking, make the filling: heat berries in a shallow pan on medium heat until berries are soft and break to release their liquid. Stir in maple syrup and chia seeds. Heat for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally then remove from heat to thicken.
  7. Remove crust from oven and spread the chia jam in an even layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of the jam layer.
  8. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, until crumble starts to brown.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!


Zucchini Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water


  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Vegan Avocado Quesadillas

Thank you So Delicious for sponsoring this post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Happy Tuesday! I’m proposing we include #QuesadillaTuesday to be bundled with #TacoTuesday from here on out. Quesadillas are so simple, and often overlooked, but are equally as delicious. I believe that Mexican food in any form is always a good idea! I love this cuisine not only for the flavorful dishes, but also because there is an abundance of plant-based ingredients. Mexican cuisine incorporates some of the most nutritious foods on the planet, including fresh vegetables, avocados and beans. It is easy to please people with a variety of dietary needs with Mexican food, from paleo to gluten-free to vegan.

To further celebrate the beauty of a plant-based diet, I used So Delicious dairy free shreds in this recipe. The cheddar jack flavor added the perfect kick of heat to these quesadillas. These shreds look and feel like the real thing, and melt beautifully! This dairy-free cheese is an amazing alternative for those who can’t, or choose not to consume dairy products – or for anyone looking for a delicious product. I also love that these shreds are lower in saturated fat than their dairy-containing counterparts.

Following a plant-based doesn’t mean you have to eat salads for every meal. There are so many delicious alternatives out there so you can include your favorite foods. These quesadillas contain just a few simple ingredients, and you can whip up this recipe in just 10 minutes. The recipe is below, if you’d like to try!


  • 2 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup So Delicious Dairy Free Cheddar Jack Shreds
  • 1/3 cup vegetarian refried pinto beans
  • ½ an avocado, peeled and sliced
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Avocado oil spray


  1.     Preheat a skillet on medium heat.
  2.     Sprinkle cheese shreds on one half of each quesadilla. Add layers of spinach and avocado slices.
  3.     Spread refried beans onto the other half of the quesadilla, and fold each in half.
  4.     Spray skillet with avocado oil spray. Add quesadillas to skillet, cooking for about 3 minutes until tortilla is browned and crispy. Flip and cook other side until browned.
  5.     Serve immediately with hot sauce, salsa, extra avocado, etc.

Recipe makes 2 quesadillas.

I hope you guys give this quick and filling recipe a try! Tag @daisybeet and @so_delicious on Instagram 🙂