When I was a child, my mother could not get me to eat anything besides hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese. As an adult, my culinary preferences could not be more opposite. I crave healthier, whole foods and love tucking into a massive, satisfying salad. Inspired by the left overs in my fridge, here is a quick and easy salad that I whipped up recently over the weekend featuring kale, sweet potato, avocado and grilled chicken.
Hearty Yet Healthy Kale, Sweet Potato, Avocado and Grilled Chicken Salad
- 1 cup of kale, chopped, hard stems removed (Spinach, arugula or mesculn mix would all work too)
- 3 oz grilled chicken strips* (I used pre-cooked, but you can also cook chicken breast and dice up)
*Non-meat eaters can add their favorite veggie protein – black beans, white beans or kidney beans would be nice here
- 1/2 sweet potato, chopped into cubes
- 1/4 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup frozen peas, steamed
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard (I like stone ground)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup depending on your preferred level of sweetness
- Salt & pepper to taste
Start by placing washed and chopped kale on a plate. If you don’t like raw kale, you can massage 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil into the greens, or sautee lightly on the stove top and add a bit of salt & pepper.
Next, pierce one sweet potato and microwave to desired tenderness (usually 5 minutes?). Allow to cool completely before removing skin and chopping 1/2 into cubes.
As this is happening, bring a pot of water to a boil on the stovetop to cook the peas. Once the water is boiling, they only need 1-2 minutes to be ready. You can also steam in the microwave by putting a small bowl of peas with a plate on top – both microwave safe, thank you ;).
Warm and sprinkle chopped grilled chicken strips on top of the kale. Top with sweet potatoes, peas, avocado and dried cranberries.
In a small bowl or ramekin, mix the extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. I usually whisk and stick my pinkie finger in the see if the taste is right. Add in maple syrup to taste as needed and tinker with spices as needed to get the right ratio.
Top the salad with dressing (I just like to drizzle over the top), but some prefer to massage or sauté the kale a bit first, which could easily be done!
Nutrition Facts via SparkRecipes.com, assuming 1 tsp of maple syrup and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil: Calories 516.4 Total Fat 23.6 g Saturated Fat 3.0 g Polyunsaturated Fat 3.3 g Monounsaturated Fat 14.3 g Cholesterol 60.0 mg Sodium 681.8 mg Potassium 770.9 mg Total Carbohydrate 51.6 g Dietary Fiber 9.1 g Sugars 29.9 g Protein 31.8 g Vitamin A 406.3 % Vitamin B-12 0.0 % Vitamin B-6 23.5 % Vitamin C 115.1 % Vitamin D 0.0 % Vitamin E 10.1 % Calcium 13.2 % Copper 22.8 % Folate 19.1 % Iron 20.7 % Magnesium 13.2 % Manganese 79.4 % Niacin 14.4 % Pantothenic Acid 13.2 % Phosphorus 11.6 % Riboflavin 14.1 % Selenium 3.5 % Thiamin 15.9 % Zinc 12.7 %