Kale, Chicken & Apple Salad

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Kale! Beautiful Kale!

It is especially true when referring to this gorgeous purple kale. It’s almost too pretty to eat!

Almost.

Or, if you are my husband, it IS too pretty to eat so why EAT it!?!

Kale seems to fall into the same category of likability as cilantro … either you love it or you hate it. If you love it, you get the added bonus of it being a superfood (high nutrients and low calories). If you hate it, there are other superfoods.

Searching Pinterest for kale recipes will quickly give you a glimpse of how to use it:

  • in salads and soups,
  • paired with potatoes and bacon/sausage,
  • added to smoothies and pesto, and
  • stirred into pasta or rice dishes.

If you do not fall into the “love” category of kale but you want to, my best advice is:

  1. keep trying it with different food combinations, and
  2. cut it small.

It may be that the flavor or texture is just too overwhelming in big bites and the right combination of other flavors and textures will balance it for you.

An example of this kind of balance is this recipe for Kale, Apple and Chicken Salad. The mixture of fruit, nuts, meat and veggies with a tangy vinaigrette makes this one of my favorite kale meals.

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Kale, Apple & Chicken Salad

8 slices bacon
3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Shredded carrots
Thinly sliced red onions
2 cups thinly sliced kale
2 cups of arugula
2 cups shredded radicchio or red cabbage
Diced cooked chicken or turkey
Apple or Pear, sliced into thin matchsticks
Toasted pecans or walnuts
Dried or fresh cranberries
Parmesan or aged cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes or shredded

Fry bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and crumble when cool; set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup of bacon drippings for vinaigrette. If you do not have enough drippings, add olive oil to reach 1/4 cup.

Add vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper to bacon drippings and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Combine kale, radicchio, and/or arugula, shredded carrots, and red onion in large bowl. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss into salad mixture. Fold in meat and fruit and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette, if needed. Sprinkle nuts, cheese, and bacon on top before serving.

NOTE: You can use whatever combination and amounts of “greens” you want or is in season. Spinach, romaine, and chard would all work too. Rotisserie chicken works great in this salad. A teaspoon of dijon or honey mustard would be a good addition to the vinaigrette.

Still in the “no” camp for kale?

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Remember: it is beautiful! Put it in a jar with some bright flowers and enjoy!

Published by

Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

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