Who is done with boring side salads? Spice up your lunch, dinner, or meal prep with this delicious kale salad topped with cranberries, goat cheese and super easy 20 minute pickled onions tossed in an apple cider vinegar lime juice!
Lately, I have been all about colorful food because it just makes eating much more fun! This is especially true when it comes to a delicious kale salad recipe with pops of red and purple from delicious cranberry and pickled red onion toppings. Kale is so tricky in a salad because it can be way fibrous as opposed to a softer lettuce like butter or romaine. The bonus to this texture is that you can toss it in a light dressing and kale salad will keep from wilting way longer than a traditional side salad. With the right prep, kale salad has a perfect consistency and is so delicious. Read on, friends!
4 reasons why you have to have this kale salad in your life!
- Hate having to toss dressing in your completed salad? [Insert toppings falling onto the floor here] This one has the dressing massaged into the leaves, so you can literally dig your fork in and go!
- The tartness of citrus pickled onions mixed with sweet cranberries and creamy goat cheese just may be the perfect flavor combination to ever hit a bowl of greens.
- Have you ever pickled something in 20 minutes? Usually, this is an overnight process, but not today! You are busy – seriously who has time to wait a whole day for something anymore?
- This salad literally goes with everything! Poultry, steak, seafood, grilled chicken wings, you name it and it matches perfectly! No need to make multiple side dishes trying to make a meal feel complete. This recipe makes either 4 side salads or 2 full salads depending on your needs.
Why kale and not a softer lettuce?
I know, it’s so much easier to grab a soft lettuce variety or a bag of spinach where you can grab handfuls and go. Plus, kale has that hard spine that is no bueno in most recipes. But seriously – retrain your brain because kale is literally so easy to throw together and you will have a kale salad in no time! I like to slice the leaves off the spine in one quick motion, then you can either tear the leaves apart with your hands or give it a quick chop. Kale is also full of Vitamins A, C, D and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B6, iron and even Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which most all of us are lacking in the standard American diet. Don’t just take my word for it…check out 26 SCIENCE BACKED BENEFITS OF KALE for yourself!
Are you a giant kale fan (me too!) Check out this Red Kale, Sausage, and White Cheddar Egg Bake or this Crispy Chicken and Radicchio Salad with Honey Poppyseed Dressing!
Here is how to make this super easy kale salad recipe:
1)Slice red onion into thin half moons. Toss with fresh lime, apple cider vinegar and salt. Set aside for 20 minutes, shaking occasionally.
2) Remove spine from kale and chop or tear into bite-sized pieces.
3) Whisk lime juice, honey, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Pour over kale and massage dressing into kale leaves to coat well. It’s ok to use your clean hands – they are really your best kitchen utensil!
4) Top kale with dried cranberries, pickled onions and goat cheese and enjoy! Feel free to top with your favorite protein for a complete meal!
How do you like to eat kale? Leave me your favorite kale prep ideas in the comments!
with much love from my table to yours,
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Super Easy Kale Salad with Cranberries and Goat Cheese
Slice red onion into thin half moons. Toss with 1 juiced lime, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and salt. Set aside for 20 minutes, shaking occasionally.
Remove spine from kale and chop or tear into bite-sized pieces.
Whisk juice from 1 lime, honey, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Pour over kale and massage dressing into kale leaves to coat well. It’s ok to use your clean hands – they are really your best kitchen utensil!
Top kale with dried cranberries, pickled onions and goat cheese and enjoy! Feel free to top with your favorite protein for a complete meal!
Serve or top with your favorite protein for a complete meal!
Goat Cheese tip: place your goat cheese in the freezer for 10 minutes before serving. Flake pieces off with a fork and they are much less likely to stick together when putting on top of salad.