janet @ the taste space

Thai Chickpea & Kale Salad Rolls with Peanut Dressing

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on May 17, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Thai Chickpea & Kale Salad Rolls with Peanut Dressing

My lovely friend, Dawn, recently asked me to share my tips for food blogging.

As you know, I have a demanding full-time job and this is my hobby. After a few years, I think I have a great balance between managing the blog and the rest of my life. Mainly, the blog does not take over my life.

Some people wonder how I make and share so many different recipes without losing my mind.

I try to keep things low-key. I only take photos once. New recipe, snap a photo. If I come back and the photos suck, oh well… I will still post the subpar photos if the recipe is good.

This also means that I may make a recipe one way but find a better use for it afterwards as leftovers. Then my photos might not look like my recipe!

That is how this recipe evolved. It started out as a Thai Kale Salad with Chickpeas and a Peanut Dressing. I made it, I ate it. However, the next day, I thought rice paper rolls would be better.  So I wrapped them up… and decided I didn’t want to bother with new photographs and munched away. Of course, the wrap was better. There is something sensational when all the components of the dish hit your palate at the exact same time: the lemony kale, the sweet red pepper, the crunchy carrots and the chickpeas are not rolling around everywhere…. and how could I forget the delicious peanut sauce? It is light, thinned with vinegar but flavourful with the ginger and orange. Drizzled into the salad roll, it was delicious. So delicious, I gobbled up the rest of the salad before rethinking about a new photo shoot.

Want more advice on how to be an awesome food blogger? Check out Dawn’s round-up with tips from Joanne at Eats Well With Others, Alissa from Connoisseurus Veg, Susan Voisin from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, Cara Lyons from Cara’s Cravings and Alyssa from Queen of Quinoa.

Thai Chickpea & Kale Salad Rolls with Peanut Dressing

PS. I am sharing this with Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, No Croutons Required and Bookmarked Recipes.

Thai Chickpea & Kale Salad Rolls with Peanut Dressing (or Salad!)
Adapted from Edible Perspective

1 small head lacinato/dinosaur kale (200g prepped), stemmed, rolled and julienned
~1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
sprinkle salt
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
12 rice paper rolls
1 recipe Thai Peanut Dressing (see below)

1. Make your dressing (see below) and allow to sit while you assemble the rest of your salad.

2. After you’ve thinly sliced your kale, place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle in the lemon juice and salt.  Mix it all up with your hands (no cheating!), working the lemon juice and salt into the kale leaves until the colour begins to darken and the leaves wilt (around 5 minutes).

3. For a salad, just mix all ingredients together and drizzle with dressing (I preferred the dressing in blobs).

4. For rolls, in a medium skillet over medium heat, warm 1-2″ of water. If you are fancy, wet a cloth for assembling the rice paper rolls and lay flat over your working area (I usually don’t bother with this – I do it on top of a clean cutting board).

5. For each rice paper roll, immerse the dry roll in the warm water for 5 seconds, and then transport and lay on top of a wet cloth/clean surface. In a line in the middle of the wrapper, add your salad ingredients and top with a bit of dressing. Roll up the wrapper from your side first, flip in the edges and continue to roll it closed. Cover with another wet towel as you assemble the remainder of the rolls.

Serves 2-3.

Thai Peanut Dressing

2.5 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
2 tbsp + 2 tsp rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp hemp oil, or your favourite oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1.5 tsp Bragg’s/soy sauce/tamari (I used Bragg’s)
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp grated ginger
pinch granulated garlic

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, oil, maple syrup and tamari until smooth. Stir in the orange zest, ginger and garlic.  Allow to sit at least 5 minutes for the flavours to meld. Season to taste. Leftovers will thicken. Thin with water as necessary.

Makes a scant 1/2 cup prior to thinning.

  1. i sometimes feel my photos could be better but I need to eat or rush some place – what we forget is that bad photos can still give a feel for a meal even if not the prettiest. but I love how your photos are not even of the final dish here – that shows great ninja blogging skills – and your lunch does sound great

  2. Don’t worry, Janet! I still think that your photos are great!! Not subpar!

  3. I love your pictures Janet and I’m so impressed with the balance you’ve got going with work/blog/life, etc.
    Just read all those useful tips and see you use Picasa for editing too 🙂 It does the job and is free!
    I discovered a packet of rice paper rolls when doing some cupboard organizing last week and here you are with a recipe 😀

  4. What a great attitude you have, sounds very healthy like these salad rolls. Absolutely love these. Happy week-end to you!

  5. I love your ‘no fuss’ approach to blogging – it is far more accessible and matches what most of us are able to do! Life has too many opportunities to spend time perfecting photographs many times over.

    I love the sound of this dish both ways, particularly with the sauce 🙂

  6. I think I could happily eat up that peanut dressing with a spoon. 😉 This look fabulous as a salad but does sound enticing as salad rolls too. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  7. Your blog is pretty awesome-sauce. I really do still wonder how you find balance – especially with all of the crazy biking you do ;p
    And your pictures always look amazing. I guess you just rock =)
    Great sounding recipe!

  8. Thanks for the shout out. I agree with Kimmy the Vegan. Your blog is DEFINITELY awesome-sauce. Love this recipe!!!

  9. I typically also take photos only once! But I usually end up taking 40-50 photos…with the hopes that one will turn out okay! I am such a sucker for all things peanut sauce. Must try!

  10. […] and it was easy to help out in such a small way. I shared a few of my stress-free blogging tips earlier, but another tip I forgot is to always have a few posts as drafts. This way you have a wider menu […]

  11. Yum, yum, yum! This salad looks utterly delicious, but I can imagine that the rice paper rolls are sensational.

  12. Yet another stunning recipe. I adore the idea of serving the leftovers as wraps. Thank you for sharing with NCR. The roundup is a bit late this month, but it will be posted soon.

  13. […] vacation last week), I had to see what was lurking in my archives. (Note: I should have added one more tip for food bloggers: have draft posts and lots of them). As such, I have been hunting through my archives of […]

  14. I think I’d enjoy it both ways. Such good flavours. Thanks for submitting it, the Bookmarked Recipes is now live.

  15. […] protein of choice are chickpeas, which I contemplated for my second iteration. Worried it would be a tad repetitive (broccoli + chickpeas + peanut sauce is a common occurrence on this blog), I stuck […]

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