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Roast chickpea & vegetable salad

Here’s an easy and delicious way to not only get your vegies, but also a good dose of calcium.

  • L/D Lunch/Dinner
  • GF Gluten free
  • VG Vegetarian
  • CA Calcium-rich
  • Rainbow diet
  • Salads
  • Prep time 10 mins
  • Cook Time 40 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty easy


  1. Preheat oven to 240°C (220°C fanforced). Line two oven trays with baking paper. Wash beetroots, cut into small wedges, then steam for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut cauliflower into small florets. Cut onion into small wedges.
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Finely chop the garlic, then press with the flat side of a knife to finely mince (adding a little salt to the garlic on the chopping board helps), or mince it in a mortar and pestle. Remove ½ of garlic and reserve for dressing. Add baharat and 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the remaining garlic.
  3. Place chickpeas, onion and cauliflower in a large bowl and toss about ¾ of the garlic spice mix to coat. Spread out on oven trays, season with salt and pepper. To avoid staining the other vegetables, toss the beetroot with the remainder of the spice mix, then add to one of the trays. Roast for 30 minutes. Reserve the bowl for the kale.
  4. Tear the kale leaves into small pieces, discarding the stems. Add the kale and 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil to the reserved bowl and toss to coat. When the vegetables have about 4-5 minutes left to roast, scatter the kale over them to allow it to soften slightly.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. Finely chop mint leaves, discarding the stems. Finely grate the lemon zest, then juice. Put yoghurt, tahini, remaining garlic, mint, lemon zest, 1½ tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp sumac (if using) and cold water in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add a little more water if needed to the yoghurt dressing to produce a pouring consistency. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide the roasted vegetables among plates, drizzle with the yoghurt dressing and sprinkle with a little sumac.

Nutritional information

By Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella

More than half of the Australian population (aged over 2 years) don't get enough calcium from their diet. This is more so in females, with almost three out of four women in Australia not meeting their calcium requirements.

Calcium is an essential nutrient for healthy bone development. Our bodies cannot make calcium, so if blood calcium levels fall, the body will replenish it by drawing calcium out of our bones.

This can affect bone density and strength and lead to osteoporosis. In Australia, osteoporosis affects three times as many women as men, due to the fall in oestrogen women experience at menopause. Oestrogen also plays a role in bone strength, which makes adequate calcium all the more important for women.

Dairy products are considered some of the best sources of calcium. Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium, lower in calories than most other dairy products and is one of the top five foods that I recommend for women. I like to use yoghurt in savoury dishes as a dressing or side dish.

Kale is an excellent plant source of calcium. I like to cook it simply in olive oil and garlic and have as a side dish, or put it in minestrone or as an accompaniment to pasta. Unhulled tahini is 9-10 times higher in calcium than regular tahini, and a great source of calcium per serve. Chickpeas are also a relatively good source of calcium.

Combined with the antioxidant-rich beetroot and the great taste of roasted cauliflower, this vegetarian dinner will help you to reach your recommended daily intake of calcium.

This dish is a complete protein as the yoghurt provides all the essential amino acids, and compensates for the one missing from chickpeas.

The lemon in the dressing provides vitamin C, which enhances the iron absorption from the kale.