Kale Cobb Salad

Today was one of those days where I felt completely restless and bored. Do you remember being a kid on summer vacation and constantly complaining to your mom about how bored you were? Yes, that was me today, except I was complaining to my husband! Surprisingly, it ended up being a highly productive and overall good day. I think my disappointment was in the fact that we didn't leave the house. I get restless sitting in our teeny tiny house all day. Despite not leaving the house, I managed to entertain myself with 2 loads of laundry, 1 scummy bathroom, and a few rounds of hide-and-go-seek with a cute 3-year old!

Remember several years ago when salads started to evolve from boring iceberg and Caesar salads into something much more exciting? Now it seems that every restaurant has at least one signature salad that is full of yummy concoctions and toppings. Just recently I have started seeing kale chopped salads on restaurant menus. Someone has finally discovered that kale doesn't taste as bad as we have all been told. In the past several years I have been known to hide kale in tons of recipes. Pasta sauce, soup, chili, smoothies, etc etc. Now low and behold, there is no need to hide the kale. Let that kale shine in all its green glory!
If you are a kale newbie, I highly suggest lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale. Rest assured when I tell you that it is not bitter in the slightest. Whether you cook it or eat it raw, this is the most mild breed of kale that exists. I am sure you grew up constantly being told to eat your greens. Not all "greens" are created equal. Kale is bursting with nutrients. I suggest eating it 2-3 times a week if possible. Kale belongs to the Brassica family which means it is a cruciferous vegetable and can ward off most types of cancer.  Kale also lowers cholesterol and greatly decreases risk of heart disease, a leading cause of death in women. Kale is also very high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, flavonoids, phytochemicals, and fiber.  I know for certain that Trader Joe's, Sprouts, and Whole Foods all carry lacinato kale. What are you waiting for? Go get yourself some greens! :)

I have always been a fan of cobb salads. I usually steer clear of them at restaurants because they can be a calorie death trap. I modified this one to not be so heavy and high in fat. Using a homemade dressing makes it a much more "clean" meal because you know exactly what ingredients are in that dressing. No xanthan gum or other unnecessary additives and thickeners. I have recently begun switching our lettuce from spinach to kale, and my husband hasn't even noticed. This recipe is a fairly QUICK one for busy school nights. The key here is to chop the kale very very finely and to toss the dressing with the kale before serving. Your kids just might like leafy greens afterall!

Kale Cobb Salad
serves 4

8 cups lacinato kale (organic)
4 eggs  (organic)
4 thick slices bacon  (organic)
2 avocados
1 large tomato
1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
1-2 lbs cooked chicken cubed (organic)

Honey Dijon Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/4 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
pinch of salt
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp chopped garlic

Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl, stir, and refrigerate. Finely chop kale and set aside. Brown the bacon in a sauce pan for 5-7 minutes and chop into fine crumbles. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and add eggs. Cook for 7-8 minutes and rinse with cold water. Peel eggs and chop into small chunks. Chop tomatoes and avocado and set aside. Toss kale in a bowl with the dressing. Distribute kale among the plates. Add all toppings.  Serve with crusty bread if desired.

Lisa Clouse  – (September 11, 2012 at 9:06 PM)  

YUM! Great idea. My sister grows kale in her garden, and tosses it in with eggs instead of spinach and it's amazing!

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