This colorful salad with roasted chickpeas and creamy caesar dressing is the perfect way to start off the new year feeling nourished and glowing from the inside out.
The chickpeas are seasoned with a cheesy onion flavor that makes them taste like croutons. The spice paste, which makes the flavors fully coat the chickpeas, is made with the liquid from the can of chickpeas rather than oil. This makes for a much healthier option which still packs a ton of flavor. I've adapted this brilliant chickpea roasting method from this recipe by A Virtual Vegan. These chickpea croutons are perfect in a salad but they also make a great snack to enjoy on their own!
The dressing is super simple and requires no blending! It takes only 5 minutes to prepare and tastes so creamy and delicious. It's similar to a creamy caesar dressing; tangy, thick, and salty, but made almost entirely with unrefined whole food ingredients.
Store bought dressings are made to sit on a shelf for months so they are often filled with questionable preservatives and processed oils. To pour one of these dressings over an otherwise nutrient-packed healthy bowl of fresh vegetables would undo a lot of the health benefits of eating a salad in the first place. Now that I've learned how to make my own dressings, I can't imagine ever going back to store-bought, especially when they are this easy to make!
Feel free to choose any of your favorite crunchy veggies for this salad. My go-to salad ingredients lately tend to be romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, carrots, radish, and green onions or scallions. I love adding avocado to this salad bowl, but if you don't have any it's perfectly delicious without it too.
This is a great recipe to meal prep for a week of healthy salads. Double the batch of crispy chickpeas and allow them to sit inside the oven while it cools to make them stay extra crispy for longer. Then store them in a glass jar and add them to salads and whole grain bowls all week. Make sure to make an extra large batch of the creamy dressing too!