Okay super food health kick, here we come! This salad is a major winner and the recipe below makes a LOT. It’s got kale for greens, Craisins for sweetness, a green apple for tartness, chicken for protein, carrots for color, pine nuts for crunch, and this delicious creamy, lemony dressing. SO GOOD! The Cheese went cray cray for this one. The great part is that kale doesn’t wilt, so you can eat this as leftovers the next day for lunch!
Look at all those veggies, fruits, grains and protein people!
Let’s start with the chicken…
Set your oven to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle 1 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp of fresh black pepper over 6 chicken tenders, organic if possible. I also sprinkled about 1/2 tsp of oregano over the chicken for some extra flavor.
Drizzle some olive oil over the tenders.
Using clean hands, massage the olive oil, Kosher salt and fresh pepper into the chicken tenders until they are well coated.
Put the chicken in the oven and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Flip the chicken at the half-way mark.
When the chicken is done, cover with foil and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking/cooling. Cook your quinoa.
This is the quinoa I used…
This particular quinoa calls for 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of liquid. While all quinoa recipes vary some, it always calls for a ratio of liquid to quinoa.
In a measuring cup, add the zest and juice of one lemon.
Then, fill up the measuring cup with the correct amount of water required for 1 cup of quinoa. Mine called for 2 cups of water so that’s what I did.
Pour the liquid in a pot with the quinoa.
Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until it is done. The quinoa should be tender and fluffy, and you should end up with a good amount of cooked quinoa, but you will only need 1 cup for this salad. Save the rest for another dinner!
Cover and set aside.
Now let’s make the dressing. (This can be made ahead of time)
In a measuring cup or bowl, add 2 TB of Greek yogurt or mayo, 2 TB of lemon juice, 1 tsp of anchovy paste, 1 clove of grated garlic, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. DON’T add salt, the cheese is plenty salty.
This dressing can be made way ahead of time.
Now to assemble…
In a large bowl, add 1 bunch of thinly sliced kale, (I pull the leaves off of the stem and then roll them into a cigar and slice them thinly) 1/4 cup of Craisins, 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts, and 1/2 cup of matchstick carrots.
Julienne, or thinly slice up 1 apple.
Chop up your chicken and add it to the salad with the sliced apple and 1 – 1 1/2 cups of the cooked quinoa.
Pour the dressing over the top and mix everything together.
Taste the salad to make sure it doesn’t need an extra squeeze of lemon, or pinch of Kosher salt or pepper.
Once it’s perfect, plate, and serve! YUM!
For the salad:
6 chicken tenders
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TB olive oil
1 bunch of kale (about 5 – 6 large stalks), sliced thinly
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/4 cup Craisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 apple, julienned or thinly sliced
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 lemon, zested and juiced
For the dressing:
2 TB Greek yogurt, or mayonnaise
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing:
Add the mayo, lemon juice, anchovy paste, Parmesan and fresh pepper to a bowl. Very slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while whisking the dressing. Once the dressing is thick and has emulsified, place in refrigerator until ready to use. Note: dressing can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to 24 hrs.
For the salad:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a sheet pan place the chicken tenders and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken tenders and using your hands rub the olive oil and spices into the chicken tenders until they are coated. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, flipping the chicken at the half-way point. Once the chicken is done, cover with foil and set aside.
Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions adding the zest and juice of 1 lemon into the liquid. Once the quinoa is cooked, cover and set aside.
When ready to assemble the salad, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, thinly slice the kale and julienne 1 apple.
In a large bowl, add the kale, Craisins, pine nuts, carrots, apple, quinoa and chicken.
Pour the dressing over the top of the salad and mix everything together. Place the salad on a plate and serve!