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Napa and Kale Slaw with Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower & Pickled Jalapeño Ranch

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 6



  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours and drained
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-6 rings of pickled jalapeño, or more, to taste
  • Splash of pickled jalapeño brine
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped


  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika


  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small-medium head of cauliflower, about 2ish lbs, broken into thumb-sized florets
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce of choice (plus extra)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced
  • 1 small head Napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Make the pickled jalapeño ranch: In an upright blender, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, olive oil, pickled jalapeño rings and brine, Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. Transfer ranch to a bowl. Stir in the green onions, set aside.
  • Crisp the chickpeas: Thoroughly dry the chickpeas with a clean tea towel and place them on one of the baking sheets. Toss them with the olive oil, salt, and paprika to coat. Slide the tray into the oven and roast until chickpeas are slightly brown, slightly shrivelled, and crisp on the outside, about 10 minutes. Remove chickpeas from the oven and let them cool.
  • Batter the cauliflower: In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, water, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Whisk until totally smooth. It should be like slightly thick pancake batter. Drop the cauliflower florets into the batter and stir until all pieces are lightly coated. Using a fork or your fingers, carefully transfer battered cauliflower to the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch of space around each floret.
  • Bake the battered cauliflower for 20 minutes. While the cauliflower is baking, clean the large bowl and pour the barbecue sauce and tablespoon of oil in there. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  • After cauliflower has baked for 20 minutes, remove and let cool slightly. Once it’s cool enough to handle, transfer the par-baked cauliflower to the large bowl with the barbecue sauce. Toss to thoroughly coat the cauliflower. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheets with the same amount of space around each floret
  • Bake the cauliflower for another 20 minutes, or until the edges are starting to darken. Remove the cauliflower and let it sit for a full 5 minutes. Brush the florets with more barbecue sauce if you like.
  • While the cauliflower cools slightly, get the salad ready. In a large bowl, combine the kale, napa cabbage, red onion, half of the pickled jalapeño ranch, and some salt and pepper. Toss to combine and thoroughly coat all of the kale and cabbage. Top the salad with the barbecue cauliflower, crisped chickpeas, the grape tomatoes, extra drizzles of the pickled jalapeño ranch, and a few twists of black pepper. Enjoy immediately!


Recipe Notes

  • My favourite homemade BBQ sauce is this date-based one that can be found here.
  • This salad would be just as good over some cold and crisp romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • This looks like a ton of ingredients and steps, but there’s a lot of overlap with the ingredients, and really the hardest thing is doing the double bake on the cauliflower.
  • You can substitute the cashews in equal amount with any of the following: raw and soaked macadamia nuts, raw sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pine nuts or even soft tofu!
Napa and kale slaw with crunchy BBQ cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, and pickled jalapeño ranch is a vegan, filling, and crowd-pleasing salad.