Kale Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese Vinaigrette
Sorry for the absence this week, but we are finally settled in Pawtucket for the season! Internet and all . Traveling always does a whole host of things to your body, but between sitting in a car for lord knows how many hours, eating fast food along the way, and being too tired to exercise at night, it was time to get back on track. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be running in 35 degrees this morning, but heading to Whole Foods always puts a smile on my face. Instead of being bogged down at the thought of filling a completely empty kitchen, I stocked up on some of my healthy pantry essentials to get me through the next few days. I started making this salad while we were in Florida, so I thought I would continue where I left off and make it for lunches this week.
If this recipe were to have a real title, it would probably be Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon and Goat Cheese Vinaigrette. A little long winded, but you can see where this is headed. I think one of the reasons that people don’t like kale is because it has such a fibrous and rough texture. When you think salad, you don’t really think of having to chew your jaw off, so I get why people don’t enjoy it raw. If you make a raw kale salad using these recipe instructions, I think you’ll find that it has a much more appealing texture. Massaging the goat cheese into the greens helps break them down slightly, and also helps the goat cheese permeate the entire salad. I’ve added some of my other favorite ingredients, like avocado, red onion, and sunflower seeds. They give the dish new textures, healthy fats, and a bit of protein. In this particular case I also added brown rice. It’s a great addition if you are having the salad by itself for a meal, but otherwise it optional. The essential ingredient for this salad is the lemon. It cuts the richness of the goat cheese and brightens up the dish, making it the perfect menu for a healthy, happy baseball season! Go Pawsox!
- 6 cups kale leaves, stems removed and finely chopped
- 3 tbs goat cheese
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup cooked brown rice, optional
- 1 avocado, medium dice
- ⅓ cup red onion, minced
- 2-3 tbs sunflower seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the kale in cold water, using a colander to drain the water. Gently tap away the excess water and pour the kale into a large bowl. It is ok if the kale is still a little wet. Add the goat cheese to the bowl and massage the kale with your hands, incorporating the goat cheese so that it melts into the kale. It should be evenly distributed and not chunky.
- Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and garlic to the kale. Toss to combine. Add the brown rice, avocado, red onion, and sunflower seeds to the bowl as well. Toss the combine and season with salt and pepper before serving.