Grilled kale and peach salad with chickpea flour croutons and fig balsamic dressing

This is my contribution to the plant powered cooking challenge which had choices of which I chose cruciferous vegetables kale and arugula, peaches, besan (chickpea flour) and figs.

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I seem to be keeping with the salad theme each week. I'm taking advantage of being able to find a good assortment of greens and vegetables. When winter comes even the imported items are not as plentiful right now and also more expensive. I don't know how this winter will be in Canada with the uncertainty of things.

It so happens that peaches are plentiful at the moment. Even though Canada has some amazing peaches in summer, I am finding only imported ones but they are fairly nice compared to other times of the year. I would never buy peaches out of season. They just aren't good.
I haven't seen many fresh figs but I know I could get them in certain stores out of my neighborhood. I just got dried ones in order to make a dressing.

Fig balsamic dressing
2 cups soaked figs
1 cup white balsamic
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Water from the soaking of figs to get the blender moving
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional sweetener (optional)

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Blend together adding olive oil at the end slowly. If you prefer a more tart dressing add lemon juice as well.

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I am a sweet and savory lover so with kale being tough and slightly bitter, I like to add some sweetness to it. I grilled the kale slightly to wilt it. The peaches were not too ripe so grilling was perfect for them.

To add a little filler to the salad I chose to make use of besan and make fried croutons. The entire salad is gluten free. I like to limit my gluten intake just to feel a little lighter. I limit but do not omit completely.

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Besan (chickpea flour croutons)

1 1/2 cup chickpea flour
2 cups water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the water then add slowly the dry mix turning off the stove. Keep whisking as you add the flour and seasoning mixture. This is very similar to making polenta.

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Pour into a tray or dish and refrigerate until firm. Overnight is best.

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When the chickpea flour mix is cool and firm, cut into cubes. You could also just make bigger thin slices and grill as well. I decided to fry cubes instead to add a little crunch.

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Take a bunch of kale and grill or keep raw. I used my foreman grill since I am a city apartment dweller and have no balcony with a barbecue. Grill the peaches or keep raw.

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I know things are more nutritious raw but I like my kale wilted or massaged. I decided to wilt it this way like the peaches.

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It certainly would be great to have raw peaches in a salad. These ones were not as sweet as I had hoped. They were on the fence.

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Grilling them seems to bring out the flavor a bit.

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I tossed the kale in the dressing then added arugula which is quite common everywhere these days and it keeps well.

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Originally I was planning to render down the dressing to make more of a glaze, however it tasted good the way it was.

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With the croutons the salad was a complete dinner.

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The chickpea flour croutons which I did for the first time, reminded me a bit of paneer cheese. I never liked paneer even when I ate dairy so this for me would be a great substitute.

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Thanks for dropping by!

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Thank you very much!!!

Super original and delicious, it made my mouth water.

Yummy! I need to fetch some food now! 🙀😂😂

Haha bon appetite!!!

Thanks!
🙀😂🌺🌷

Hmm I see a lot of the Indian cuisine in this recipe . I love paneer cooked with spinach, a regular dish in our households.
Hmm the figs and the peaches have changed the recipe to a different kind of food from the one I know. I am sure the blend and the fine balance in taste comes through in the final product.

Thank you. Just to clarify, the "paneer" was made from besan and not actually paneer but I thought in the future I may substitute this for paneer because I only eat plantbased.😊

I understood, that besan croutons you made is what we call dokla here.

Oh so cool I will have to look into that. I am eager to explore different cuisine.

I thought you'd be interested, check it out.

Absolutely delicious @carolynstahl, your food always are so beautifully presented with the most original combos.

Thank you my friend I feel the same of yours!

It looks so good. I thought peaches are for eating fresh or make dessert but this is so weird. Have a good day.

In northern places we don't always have good peaches so when they are still not ripe they are good grilled or baked. Thank you dear @kidsisters !

 7 days ago  

Well, several things are interesting with this one. I've never had a fig-based dressing before, would love to try it. Plus I've never seen anything quite like your besan squares. It reminds me a bit of halva, but you've made it savory, fried them and made something similar to tofu, very creative!


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Thank you @justinparke. It's your choices that has me creating concoctions like fig dressing which I'm glad I tried. It's a great thing to have as a dressing or a dip for some spring rolls or samosas. As for the besan squares, it's pretty much the same recipe for chickpea fries that we made in the last restaurant I worked in. I just cut them in cubes and it was such a great discovery for me. I have a new thing now that I can do other things with.

Oh, my, that's what I would eat! Looks so yummy and always are beautiful! I wish I could have all ingredients like you for my family. I think I don't know soaked figs. Well done my friend 👍

I would love for you to have all the ingredients you want. I know you would make the most delicious food with it my friend!

Congratulations @carolynstahl!
You were the 3rd Prize winner of the Plant Power Cooking Challenge | Week #17.
I featured your post in the latest -
Plant Power Cooking Challenge | Week #18 | Come Join Us!!.

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You've been curated by @justinparke for Natural Medicine's curation project aimed at supporting fruit, vegetable and grain recipes, dialogue about cruelty free eating, conscious eating for the planet, and quality meat free food blogs! We upvote, reblog and tweet your great #plantbased content.
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Hello @carolynstahl, I am a curator of Foodiesunite, your tag was l #foodieand I can curate your post then. You are a great writer with amazing writing skill, nice to read every post of yours. Regards from Indonesia.

Oh that's so lovely. What an amazing compliment. I thank you very much!

 5 days ago  

Wow, I can just imagine all the wonderful flavors in this dish. You are a ninja in the kitchen @carolynstahl, this looks amazing. I have bookmarked it so that i can come back one day and make it xxxx

Aww shucks that is a lovely compliment. I like "ninja" haha. You are an overall ninja in my books. Thanks so much.

excellent post.... this recipe looks very delicious. Congratulations!

Thank you so much!