If the new year has you ready for some meal options that are as healthy as they are yummy, this vegan, sugar-free, and oil-free low-fat citrusy kale salad with roasted vegetables is just the thing for you! Juicy oranges, hearty chickpeas and walnuts, and richly flavorful peppers and onions come together in a whirlwind of taste and texture. Filling enough for a meal and pretty enough to serve, if you’re like me you’ll find yourself making this over and over – especially because it all comes together in about 30 minutes!
(available for purchase* and delivery via links below)
Raw kale – for that superfood vibrancy
Red bell peppers – for rich flavor and color
Red onion – for that je ne sais quoi – roasted onions add so very much to any dish!
Chickpeas – for substance to hold you over for hours
Tahini – a healthier alternative to oil that adds a wonderful cheesy, nutty flavor (click here for info on why to avoid oil)
Green onions – for subtle bite
Oranges – for juicy, tangy sweetness
Walnuts – for a rich crunch
Lemons – for tartness
Limes – for tartness 2.0
Salt – to enhance the natural flavors
Black pepper – for a wee bit of spice
Garlic powder – for a hint of zip
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First, you’re going to preheat your oven to 450 Fahrenheit so that it can preheat while you’re prepping your ingredients. Make sure your oven racks are evenly spaced since you will be using two baking sheets in the oven at the same time. Then line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Next, chop your peppers and onions, and transfer to one of your prepared baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle a teeny bit of tahini. Then mix to combine thoroughly and spread evenly.
After that, drain (without rinsing) a can of chickpeas (or use chickpeas you’ve cooked at home), reserving the aquafaba (chickpea liquid) for other uses later. The chickpeas do not need to be dry, and you do not need to go crazy removing every last trace of liquid. Transfer to your second prepared baking sheet, and then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss to combine thoroughly, and spread evenly on the sheet.
Set timer for 20 minutes and bake.
While your chickpeas, peppers, and onions are in the oven, start preparing the remaining ingredients. Peel your orange and cut the orange segments to the size of your preference – I prefer to use small pieces (even though they’re less aesthetic) because I like to get a little bit of everything in each bite.
Now it’s time to half your lemons and limes so they’re ready for some squeezin’ soon, and give a rough chop to your walnuts and green onions – again, cut these to your preference; I like keeping the pieces pretty small.
When it comes to the kale, trust me when I say you want this chopped really finely (see pics below for comparison). This can be done with a knife or by pulsing in your food processor (links are to the ones I love and recommend). The smaller you chop your kale, the more of it you can get in every bite. I personally love preparing kale salads like this because it totally changes the texture and flavor of the whole salad. I also find that it makes the salad less cumbersome to chew, as well as easier to get all the things you want on your fork at once! Of course if you don’t want to deal with chopping the kale this finely, you can skip that step. It will be perfectly wonderful at any size.
By now, your timer should be just about ready to go off. When it does, check your roasted veggies and chickpeas – the chickpeas should be nicely browned, and the peppers and onions should be browning or blackening slightly at the corners and edges of most pieces.
Don’t worry if your pan of chickpeas has some burned goo from the aquafaba – you won’t be using that stuff, and it won’t make a difference to your salad.
Now it’s time to assemble the salad! Place all your salad ingredients in a beautiful bowl – don’t forget to add your remaining salt and pepper and give those lemons and limes a good squeeze until every drop is in your salad! Toss to your heart’s content, then taste to make sure you don’t need to add a little more salt or lemon/lime juice.
Give a final toss and enjoy your fabulous low-fat citrusy kale salad with roasted vegetables!
Want even more green salads? Give these a try:
Low-Fat Citrusy Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- 5-6 ounces raw kale
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1/2 tablespoon tahini
- 6 green onions
- 1 medium orange
- 1/3 cup raw shelled walnuts
- Juice of 1 medium lemons may need more after initial taste
- Juice of 2 small limes may need more after initial taste
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit, ensuring oven racks are evenly spaced since you will be using two baking sheets in the oven at the same time.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Dice peppers and onions and transfer to one of your prepared baking sheets.
- Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and1/8 teaspoon pepper, then drizzle your 1/2 tablespoon tahini.
- Mix to combine thoroughly and spread evenly over baking sheet.
- Drain (without rinsing) a can of chickpeas (or use chickpeas you've cooked at home), reserving the aquafaba (chickpea liquid) for other uses. The chickpeas do not need to be dry.
- Transfer to your second prepared baking sheet, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Toss to combine thoroughly, and spread evenly.
- Set timer for 20 minutes and bake until peppers and onions are browning/lightly blackened on edges and corners and chickpeas are nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, peel your orange and cut the segments to the size of your preference - I prefer to use small pieces (even though they're less aesthetic) because I like to get a little bit of everything in each bite.
- Half your lemons and limes.
- Give a rough chop to your walnuts and green onions - size these to your preference; I like keeping the pieces pretty small.
- Chop kale finely with a knife or by pulsing in the food processor. (It's ok to leave the pieces large if you don't want to deal with chopping so finely.)
- When onions and peppers are ready, place all salad ingredients in a bowl - don't forget to add your remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to the salad, squeeze the lemon and lime juice into the salad, as well. Toss thoroughly, then taste and adjust with more lemon/lime juice if needed.
- Give a final toss and enjoy!