Of course my first recipe of 2017 is bound to be a salad. Hashtag #typical?
To be completely honest with you, I don’t eat as many salads as I used to. I remember when I basically lived at the Whole Foods salad bar for lunch and dinner. My memories of the salad bar are fond; the cajun roasted sweet potatoes, sesame broccoli and detox kale salad tasted like pure gold after a workout.
After I decided to stop throwing away my money like Nicholas Cage, I began making salads at home. Often versions of my favorites that were found at restaurants, like this chopped chickpea chicken salad with a bbq ranch dressing, and now this beautiful baby kale waldorf salad with grilled chicken.
This particular salad is apart of the Healthy Glow Guide meal plan and is loaded with both texture and flavor. If you haven’t picked up your copy of the Healthy Glow Guide, what are you waiting for?! It’s been so amazing to see what people are making and talking about in the Facebook group (join us!). Seriously if you’re ready to get healthy in the best way possible, then the Healthy Glow Guide is worth it.
Typically Waldorf salads are made with a mayo based dressing and other weirdness, but I’m saying hell no to the mayo. Instead I whipped up this salad with a light balsamic dressing based on my favorite version from California Pizza Kitchen. Now I haven’t been to CPK in years, so I actually have no idea if they still have this on their menu, but when I was in college, it was my favorite salad on the planet.
I switched it up by adding baby kale (or you can use spinach or baby greens), grilled chicken, homemade toasted walnuts, tart and sweet cranberries, grapes, and my favorite goat cheese. If you’re not into grilling up some chicken, we love enjoying it with my maple glazed salmon.
Lastly, one of my goals for the blog this year is to bring you healthy mains and get into cooking from my heritage more. My Grandmother has been hoarding her wonderful recipes for years and my plan is to convince her to send them all to me so I can deliver the deliciousness to you.
In the meantime, feel free to enjoy one of my favorite, easy salads.
Here are some other salads you might like:
Chicken Kale Waldorf Salad with Avocado & Goat Cheese
- 1 bag baby kale (about 6-8 cups)
- 1 granny smith apple, chopped
- 1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 medium ripe avocado, diced or sliced
- 2 leftover grilled chicken breasts (8 oz), diced into cubes
- 1/4 cup walnuts halves (1 oz)
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and toast in oven for 8 minutes until fragrant and golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool, then chop into small pieces.
- In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and dijon mustard together until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss kale, apples, grapes, and cranberries together. Pour dressing over the fruit and lettuce and toss again to combine. Top salad with goat cheese, avocado, chicken and toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.
To make vegetarian: swap chicken for chickpeas
To make dairy free: leave off goat cheese
Recipe by: Monique Volz | Photography by: Sarah Fennel