I’m a sucker for fall colors and flavors, so when I began adding things to this delicious recipe a friend gave me, I simply chose the most vibrant shades of fall and tossed them in until it looked beautiful. To get this salad to match your ratios perfectly, you’ll just need to log as you go. But I can tell you, starting with 3 ounces of cooked chicken is best, knowing you’ll add one slice of crumbled turkey bacon onto each salad to bring the protein up to 26 grams. Be cautious on the fruits you add so that you don’t go over on carbs. Dried fruits will add a lot of carbs, so be liberal with the kale and cabbage (if using) and conservative with any dried fruit. Top each one with 1/8 cup pistachios for a total of 9 grams or so per salad. The only oil in the entire thing is 1 tablespoon that is used to massage the kale leaves. Since the salad serves 4 people, it’s hardly any added fat. The great news about this nutritious and hearty salad is that you can swap out all kinds of fall ingredients to change it up. You could try pumpkin seeds, toasted walnuts, pecans or almonds, or omit the pomegranates and try dried gogi berries or figs.
4 cups organic kale (I used bagged Trader Joe’s brand)
1 cup butternut squash, roasted an diced (roast cubes at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until soft- remove and cool)
1 cup quinoa, cooked (so approx. 2 cups when made)
1/2 cup red cabbage, diced (optional)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 fuji apple, diced
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (or another fine, aged vinegar)
4 slices peppered turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
12 ounces grilled chicken
1/2 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
1/8 cup Zsweet (or Granulated Stevia)
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool. Set aside.
2. Prepare the kale by removing stems. In a large bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Massage kale leaves as though you’re kneading bread dough for 3-4 minutes to tear leaves apart and soften them. They’ll also turn a vibrant shade of green. Set aside.
3. Heat ZSweet in a small skillet over medium flame. As it begins to liquefy, add pistachios. Coat well. Reserve.
4. Toss cabbage through cranberries in with kale. Stir. Add quinoa and cooked squash. Toss with 4 tablespoons of vinegar.
5. Plate salad on 4 plates. Top evenly with chicken, bacon and nuts. Drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon vinegar.