This Chicken Kale and Wild Rice Salad is based on one of my very favorite restaurant salads. It is my absolute favorite because I love the contrast of textures and flavors from the rice, kale, chicken, almonds, cranberries, apples and goat cheese. Not to mention it is a totally healthy and satisfying meal.
I’m always looking for make-ahead lunches as well as ways to use kale. Kale really does live up to it’s reputation for being the king of healthy vegetables. It is a cancer-fighting cruciferous leafy green full of potent antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals. Plus it is totally delicious and holds up perfectly in this salad.
I like using this tri-color sprouted rice (they also sell a good sprouted rice at Trader Joe’s) in this salad, but any rice will work. I love sprouted rices because they cooked up faster than regular rice and have a better texture. Plus sprouted rice is more digestible for sensitive stomachs and its nutrients are more bio-available. This salad calls for cooked/cooled rice so be sure to plan ahead.
This is the salad I dream about for lunch all the time. I’m happy to have found a way to make it at home!
Be sure to use gluten-free balsamic vinegar for this recipe with no added caramel color. Caramel color is usually gluten-free in the US, but not always in Europe and many balsamic vinegars are imported. For the chicken I like to use grilled chicken leftover from this recipe or rotisserie chicken, but any chicken will work. I like using tri-color sprouted rice(they also sell one at Trader Joe's) but any brown/wild rice will work!
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or cracked black pepper)
- 1 bunch kale, very thinly sliced (I prefer lacinato kale)
- 1/2 lemon
- 1- 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken, about 1 chicken breast
- 1 cup cooked sprouted rice
- 1 apple, diced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 2-3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a lid. Screw on the lid then shake well to thoroughly mix.
- Place the sliced kale in a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice. Massage the kale until it starts to darken and soften. Add the remaining salad ingredients (except the goat cheese) and toss with about 1/2 the dressing. Toss to combine then sprinkle over the goat cheese. Enjoy! Salad will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Omit the goat cheese
MAKE IT NUT-FREE: Omit the sliced almonds