Chik'n Apple Cranberry Walnut Kale Salad

Chik'n Apple Cranberry Walnut Kale Salad

Summer is just four months away! Woohoo! That may not sound like it’s very soon, but after several weeks of break out the shorts and hit the beach kind of weather, I’m already in the mood for the warm months. While my mind is screaming YES to the idea of nonstop sunshine and warmth, my body is on a completely different page. To get everything all synced up and ready roll, I introduce to you, the Chik’n Apple Cranberry Walnut Kale Salad. Sorry for the mouthful.

If you’re one of those people that think salads are the human equivalent of rabbit food, think again. I sneakily fed this to my steak sandwich eating boyfriend, and he happily crunched away, scooping up every remaining bit until the bowl was devoid of any crumbs.

Chikn Salad Closeup

While I am a complete sucker for the pretty unhealthy Caesar Salad, this salad really does the trick for me in both the health and taste departments. We all know kale is the super food of the century, being low in fat and high in protein, Vitamin A & C, Iron, B-6, and Magnesium. Walnuts provide healthy fats and protein, while apples are chockfull of fiber. Essentially, it’s a win-win situation with all of the ingredients. Because, kale can be a bit tough and fibrous, the leaves are broken down with an apple cider vinaigrette, which features another healthy ingredient that aids digestion and keeps skin clear.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

As a chronically sleepy person, I find that eating this salad at lunch time keeps me awake during the workday and cuts out my incessant need to snack in the afternoon before I head home. Because most of the components of this salad are raw, all you have to do is chop, mix and serve. It is completely low maintenance and can be made in less than thirty minutes. I often find myself preparing this meal as a last minute attempt at staying healthy before sprinting down the street to catch my bus for work.

If you want to get excited about eating a salad, prep this Chik’n Apple Cranberry Walnut Kale Salad, dressing and all, in 30 minutes or less and less than 10 ingredients with the recipe below.

Chik'n Salad overhead

Chik’n Apple Cranberry Walnut Kale Salad

(makes 1 large salad for one person)

  • 5 stalks of curly kale, leaves picked off
  • 4 pieces of vegan chik’n (I LOVE Gardein-not even sponsored, I just really like it)
  • ½ green apple
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook chik’n according to package instructions. If you’re using Gardein chicken and are in a time crunch, microwave the chicken for one minute and then pop them into your oven’s broiler for about 3 minutes on each side to make the chicken crispy. This is how I always cook Gardein nuggets and notice no difference in taste.
  2. Chop the green apple into bite-sized cubes. Toss kale leaves, chopped walnuts, cranberries, and green apple together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and olive oil together in a separate bowl until the brown sugar has dissolved and there is no separation in ingredients.
  4. Mix in vinaigrette with the kale mixture until all leaves are coated.
  5. Top salad with cooked chik’n cut into cubes or strips.

Enjoy!

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