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Chicken & Kale Salad

Active Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 6 minutes / Total Time: 25-30 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Chicken & Kale Salad.JPG

Ingredients:

  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 12 ounces chicken tenders OR chicken breast cut into strips
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 cups baby kale, from a 5-oz. bag
  • 1 large apple, chopped lemon juice, to prevent browning on the apple
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup roasted sunflower seeds*
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat OR blue cheese
  • For the vinaigrette:
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the chicken. Sprinkle chicken evenly with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Place 2 cups kale in each of two dinner bowls.
  3. Toss the apple with lemon juice to help prevent browning and add ¼ of the apple to each bowl, along with 2 tablespoons each cranberries and sunflower seeds.
  4. In a small bowl or jar with a lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk or shake to combine.
  5. Place ¼ of the chicken strips on each of the two salads and top each with 1 tablespoon goat cheese. Drizzle each with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette and serve.
  6. Prepare two remaining salads, in airtight containers for lunch tomorrow. Refrigerate until needed. (Kale is sturdy, so if you’d like to add the dressing to the bottoms of the containers, it should hold up fine. You can simply toss the salad when ready to eat.)
  7. Reserve remaining ¼ cup dressing for salad tomorrow night, if desired. (Refrigerate, and warm the container under hot running water when ready to use, so that the olive oil returns to a liquid state.)
  8. *To toast nuts and seeds, place them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until they begin to turn golden and give off a nutty smell. Watch them carefully: nuts go from toasted to charcoal in no time flat!