I feel like we’ve been heavy on the dessert posts over the last few weeks, but as tasty as they are, that’s not all we fill our bellies with – honest! During the week, we aim to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, which usually means we fill our plates with a salad and some type of protein, saving our treats and time-consuming meals to enjoy on the weekend. It’s a good thing we love our greens! Salads are so easy to throw together and rarely require a recipe, case in point was this apricot and kale salad, although the last-minute addition of a cumin vinaigrette definitely elevated our salad game this evening 🙂
Our salads are quite formulaic and we generally add ingredients that follow the same basic FASST rule. What’s this rule I speak of? Well, let me tell you 🙂
The FASST rule:
- FAT: Use an oil (olive, peanut, sesame) in your dressing, or slice up an avocado. Fats help the body get the most nutrients out of your salad greens.
- ACID: A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or vinegar (white wine, red wine, balsamic) will really brighten up the taste of your food.
- SALT: Add just a pinch of salt to really bring out the flavours. A splash of tamari, soy sauce or fish sauce will do the same.
- SWEET: The sweet balances out the salt. More often than not, we add fruit. Fresh fruit is easy in the summer, but dried fruit (dates, cranberries, raisins) are nice and easy as well. No fruit in your house? Add a drizzle of maple syrup in with the olive oil.
- TEXTURE: Adding some crunch or chew to your salads will keep them interesting and filling. We add cooked grains (farro, quinoa, lentils) or nuts and seeds, and usually other raw veggies.
The time-saving weeknight cheat:
We will often buy a roast chicken earlier in the week and add it to our meals over the following few days. It’s a life-saver on those nights when you’re rushing home from work, or when you need to bulk out a meal and time is of the essence. This salad comes together in about 15 minutes and, like all of our weeknight salads, can be filled with whatever you have in the fridge.
Hopefully you’ll take advantage of the last of the late-summer stone fruits! I know that peaches and nectarines would be great in this salad, too.
- 1 bunch of kale, thinly chopped
- 4 ripe apricots (or any in-season fruit)
- Handful of blueberries (grapes would be great)
- Sunflower seeds
- Toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- Chopped cilantro or parsley
- Roast chicken breast, shredded
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground paprika
- ½ fresh lemon, juice and zest
- Pinch of sea salt
- Finely chop the kale. Whisk up the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar and pour over the kale leaves. Quickly massage the vinaigrette into the leaves, to soften. Allow this to sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.
- Slice the apricots into medium-sized wedges and roughly chop or shred any roast chicken you have on hand. Add to the salad.
- Toss in blueberries, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds and chopped cilantro.
- Mix thoroughly and serve.