Monday, December 30, 2013

Kale and Vegetable Chopped Salad With Chicken

It's almost New Year's, and you know what that means...all those well-meaning resolutions like exercising and eating healthy.  Yes, I'd love to lose a few (or more) pounds myself, and eating healthy is a lot easier than resolving to exercise more, which I hate to do!  This is a salad that I whipped up today, and it turned out to be really delicious in addition to super healthy.  I found this bag of Lacinato Tuscan kale at Safeway this week and had to try it.  Lately, I've been seeing a lot of leafy greens made more available in the stores, and that is great to see!  I sometimes buy a big bag of baby kale at Costco, but there is so much in the bag that I always end up throwing some away.  Safeway now has smaller bags of different kind of greens- I saw collards, mustard greens, and chard in addition to the kale.  I will be trying the others soon, but decided to start with the kale since I am familiar with it.

This is a good "clean out the crisper" salad- you can use whatever veggies you have available.  I used what I had, which included broccoli, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, carrots and radishes, but just about any veggie that you would eat raw would be good here.  I actually grilled the onions and zucchini, since I was grilling the chicken anyway, but they'd be fine in the salad uncooked.  You can use chicken that is left over from last night's dinner, or even canned chicken or tuna instead of grilled chicken, but I like to grill a few chicken breasts to use in salad for the next few days.

Here's to eating healthy in the New Year!

Kale and Vegetable Chopped Salad With Chicken

4 cups greens (kale, spinach, chard, etc.), washed and roughly chopped
About 3 cups chopped vegetables of your choice.  I used: carrots, radishes, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, green onions, and orange bell pepper.  I chopped mine to about 1/2 pieces.
1 cup or so of diced cooked chicken (lightly marinated in Italian salad dressing for about 10 minutes prior to grilling)
About 3-4 tbsp light/low-cal salad dressing (I used Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinegar dressing)
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

Combine greens, vegetables, and chicken.  Drizzle on dressing and toss well to incorporate.  Sprinkle with feta cheese.

This salad can be made ahead when you use hardy greens like kale or chard, because they stand up well to the dressing and don't wilt like lettuce does.  Just make sure to use a variety of kale that is tender- some, like the standard curly variety that can be found in the bulk greens section of the grocery store, are a bit tough for salads.  Baby kale or lacinato are crisp but still tender.

Serves: About 4 large or 6 small servings