The crowd pleaser salad gets its name not only for obvious reasons, but because there’s literally an ingredient in it for everyone— and every taste bud for that matter. There’s crunchiness from the chopped kale and the cucumber, there’s sweetness from the dates, there’s substance from the chickpeas and quinoa, and a kick from the peppers. This salad is next-level delicious and I am so happy to share the recipe with you guys. I literally CRAVE this salad all the time. And who doesn’t want to crave a salad? I’m here for it. I like to have it for lunch and keep the leftovers in my fridge to snack on throughout the day.
I can’t take the credit for this salad though. I discovered it from one of my favorite healthy lunch spots in Laguna Beach– Active Culture. With some minor tweaks I made it extra delicious, a little more healthy, and packed with tons of nutrients.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 to 5 stems of kale
- 1/2 cup chickpeas /garbanzo beans (I buy them in the can)
- 3 to 4 Medjool dates, pitted
- 5 sprigs of fresh mint, take the leaves off of each stem
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 of a yellow or red bell pepper
- 1/2 of a padron pepper (we grow these in our backyard, but if you can’t find them in the store go for another medium-heat pepper)
- 1/3 of a cucumber, peeled
- small handful of roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 of a lemon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic dressing (I use a balsamic dijon dressing from Sir Kensington’s)
- salt + pepper
Start by de-stemming the kale, and chop finely. Add to a large mixing bowl. Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, mint leaves, dates, peanuts, and padron pepper into small pieces and add to the kale. Add quinoa and chickpeas.
In a small mixing bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic dressing, and salt and pepper. Whisk together, and pour over the salad mixture. Toss and serve! Since kale is very stiff, you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 24 hrs!