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Kale is a hot food these days. I mean super H-O-T.

I didn’t realize quite how popular kale was until the other day when I decided to serve this kale salad for an event. The second that I said the word “kale,” people swarmed around like wasps.

I practically had to fight them off with my salad tongs. It was THAAT bad.

For those of you who have tried kale before, you know that your jaw is going to get a pretty darn good work out when you chew it, especially when consuming it raw.

But THIS salad actually uses baby kale, which is easier to chew and has a slightly less bitter flavour than your typical kale.

A great option to start off with if you’re a kale virgin. Just in case you’re wondering, kale virgins are people who have never eaten kale before. Just wanted to clear that up.

Now as more of a complete meal, you can also incorporate quinoa into this salad. You weren’t expecting that, were ya? The amazing thing about quinoa, especially when paired with kale, is that it makes for a great fibre-filled side dish. But, of course, if you’re looking for a lighter salad, you can always leave it out. Personally, I liked it both ways!

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Add some juicy blueberries for a pop of flavour and antioxidants, and avocado and walnuts for some heart healthy fats, and you’ll be just one big ball of healthy energy.  Then top it off with some goat cheese for a kick of protein and calcium.

Now perhaps you’re one of those people who absolutely DETESTS goat cheese….. Yesss, I know you’re out there. I ate this salad with my boyfriend one day and watched him as he proceeded to pick out only the pieces of baby kale that did not have an ounce of goat cheese on them. If this is you, then you can always leave it out or sub in feta cheese instead.

And the lemon vinaigrette….ohhh that tasty vinaigrette is really what makes this salad pop with zesty freshness.

I even like to make some extra dressing and save it for other salads throughout the week.

For the record, I usually eat at least two salads per day. I used to get in trouble from my mom when I was a kid because I apparently ate too much spinach.

Sorry that I’m such a screw up mom.

Anyways, my point is that I’m always on the hunt for leftover homemade salad dressing for those times when I O.D. on salad.

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If you want to make this salad more of a complete meal, then just add some protein to it. The other day, I had some of this salad left over, so I just topped it with some grilled chicken breast and it made an amazing lunch!

Baby Kale & Blueberry Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: Makes approximately 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
  • FOR THE LEMON VINAIGRETTE
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. To prepare the salad, place baby kale in a large bowl. Top with avocado, blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese. Add quinoa if desired. Pour the desired amount of dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve immediately. Store the remaining dressing in a container in the fridge for later use (I only used half the dressing).

Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

Nutrients per serving (with quinoa):

Calories: 266 • Fat: 21.3 g • Carbohydrates: 17.5 g • Fibre: 4.3 g • Protein: 5.5 g • Sugar: 6.9 g • Sodium: 54.9 mg • Cholesterol: 4.9 mg

Elysia, XOXO