Meal: Lunch, Dinner
Dietary Type: Omnivore (with Vegetarian and Vegan modifications)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves or Servings: 4
There’s a reason kale gets as much attention as it does. While it may be a “trending” health food, it truly is a nutritional powerhouse, and generations before us have appreciated its heartiness and versatility. Whether you’re a fan of the kale craze or not, there is no denying the health benefits that this cruciferous vegetable boasts, and there are definitely ways to prepare it that make it highly enjoyable.
For starters, kale is low in calories and fat free. Like all leafy greens, it is loaded with fiber, which takes time to digest, keeping you fuller for longer and helping keep blood sugar in check. It is also a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin K, which play a vital role in blood clotting and bone health, as well as iron, an especially important element for those who are anemic.
To retain maximum nutrient content from an ingredient, food should be eaten raw, which is one of the reasons we love this salad. Some people cringe at the thought of raw kale, because it can be like…well, eating tough grass. Fear not! There is a little trick that helps – massaging your kale. This may sound ridiculous, but this method truly transforms the vegetable into something softer, darker, and sweeter. It also causes the kale to shrink significantly in size, so don’t be alarmed if the recipe seems to call for a lot. When prepping the kale, be sure to slice out and discard the woody stems, as no amount of love will soften them up.
Try this salad along with our fiber rich slow cooker stew (vegan or omnivore) for a great, full meal.
In regards to the type of kale you should be using, any variety will do. We like Tuscan for this recipe (or “dinosaur” kale), but just choose whatever is available and looks good at your local market.
Enough about kale though – there are lots of other fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein, and dairy that deserve our attention and are part of a wholesome diet. We’ve included some of our favorites in this recipe, such as parmesan cheese, apples, quinoa, almonds, and chicken. Together, these ingredients create a super satisfying, yet nutritious meal, which we think will win any kale skeptic over.
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15g) grainy mustard
1 teaspoon (7g) honey or agave
2 tablespoons (11g) grated parmesan cheese
1 large bunch kale (or two small), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup (62g) cooked quinoa
1/4 cup (30g) chopped almonds
2 tablespoons (20g) raisins or other dried fruit of choice
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (175°C).
- In a foil-lined baking sheet, roast chicken breast until cooked through, about 20 minutes, depending on size of breast.
- Once cool, slice chicken into strips and set aside.
- While chicken is cooking, make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and parmesan until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, add kale.
- With clean hands, massage kale until fibers begin to break down and leaves become darker, tender, and smaller in size.
- Add dressing and toss kale to coat.
- Gently toss in apples, quinoa, almonds, and raisins.
- Divide among plates and top evenly with roasted chicken.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
Vegetarian and Vegan Modifications: Substitute the chicken in this recipe with extra firm tofu, cubed and lightly fried (or simply leave out this protein). Additional modification for vegan diet, replace parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast and use agave instead of honey.