I don’t know about you, but even though the holidays are over I’m busier than ever. It’s the first Monday of the new year and like many of you, I wanted to start it on the right Tory Burch ballet flat. What better way to detox from all of that champagne and whatever was eaten after all of that champagne, than this Winter Kale Salad? Crisp, tender kale is shredded super fine and topped with dried cranberries (my favorite) and a pecan and Parmesan mixture. Add roasted chicken for a boost of protein and toss in a garlic infused lemon dressing. It’s a realistic approach to healthy eating that is totally do-able, even on those jam-packed Mondays!

One of my 2016 resolutions is to stop eating so much take-out. When I tell people this they are usually shocked I eat take-out, let alone often. What can I say! I’m a busy human, just like you. That’s why this year I’m all about simplifying recipes so they are do-able for those jam-packed days.

Cook the chicken while you’re getting ready for work in the morning and place in the fridge for when you get home. If you get up early and have a lot of time, this entire recipe can be made, just add the salad dressing later. If not, do half in the morning and half when you get home or all when you get home. It’s that simple. I’ve always believed that cooking should be simple, delicious and fun… so in 2016 I hope to inspire you all to have that same philosophy.

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Ingredients:

For the salad and dressing:

  • 2 medium bunches de-stemmed kale, finely chopped (8 cups)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 handfuls dried sweetened cranberries, for garnish

For the toasted pecan and Parmesan:

  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.
  2. Finely chop the kale leaves. Wash the kale and spin dry. Place dried kale into a large bowl.
  3. For the dressing: Add minced garlic to a small bowl. Now add the lemon, oil, salt, and pepper and mix until combined.  Pour the dressing onto the kale and mix it into the kale with your hands.
  4. For the pecan and Parmesan mixture: Finely chop the pecans and place in a bowl. Now add in the Parmesan cheese, oil, and salt and mix.