It’s that time again for our monthly Recipe Redux post. Here’s a look at this months theme:

 Limpin’ Along for Lunch

Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question head-on with creative ideas. Please share your healthy lunch recipe – so we can swap it into our own rotation.

I am really excited about this months theme as I’m always finding myself eating the same things for lunch. I can’t wait to check out what the other members are eating these days to get some new ideas to add into the rotation. This kale salad with Tarragon dressing is my latest obsession.

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My friend introduced me to this kale salad when she brought dinner over after Parker was born and I’ve been eating it a few times a week since then. If I don’t have it a lunch then I will have it for dinner either as a side or topped with some sort of meat or fish.  I can’t seem to get enough of it lately but I suppose if your going to keep eating the same thing over and over at least its something healthy. I told my friend how crazy I was about it and she told me she first had it after she gave birth to her daughter and she continued to eat it all the time while she was nursing. So maybe it has something to do with nursing mothers, or the fact that I didn’t eat nearly enough veggies while I was pregnant but I’m telling you this salad with the tarragon vinaigrette is everything. I even made a large bowl for my family to accompany our Easter dinner and everyone loved it and wanted me to share the recipe with them.IMG_2366
Kale is known as the queen of greens and a nutritional powerhouse for good reason. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. Its filled with so many nutrients and vitamins, including Vitamin C which is good for your immune system, metabolism and hydration. Kale is also high in both calcium and iron. Since kale is heartier than most other greens I find that this salad fills me up and keeps me satisfied longer than others.IMG_2362This salad is simple yet delicious with the perfect combination of flavors using cheese, dried fruit and nuts.The dressing is what really sets this salad apart from any other Kale Salad I’ve had before . I’ve been preparing a mason jar full of it and storing it in the fridge so that I have it ready to go ahead of time.

 

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Obviously I love this salad on its own but feel free to use this recipe as a base and add on as your heart desires. I’ve added things like beets and apples to chicken breast and deli meat if I’m trying to make it a more filling meal. Top it  with the amazing goodness that is this tarragon vinaigrette for a light, healthy and tasty salad.

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The following recipe measurements are based on making a large salad to either portion out into individual lunches or as a side to feed a group. Use this as a general idea but usually I just eye ball the measurements as I make it.

Kale Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. bag of kale (stems removed and torn into pieces)
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 4 oz.container feta cheese
  • 5 oz. bag caramelized pecans (if you can't buy them, melt 1 tablespoon butter and one tablespoon brown sugar, and pecans and coat. Spread on wax paper to cool then chop if needed)
  • Tarragon Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup tarragon vinegar: I bought a bottle of tarragon vinegar from amazon or you can make your own (1/4 cup white vinegar, add some dried tarragon, let it soak a few hours then drain the mixture through a coffee filter )
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup olive oil
Directions
  1. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to incorporate all the goodness throughout.
  2. You can also prepare a few days worth of lunches ahead of time and divide the salad among individual containers.
  3. For the dressing mix all of the ingredients together in a glass jar. Mix a few hours before serving and overnight is even better. Store in the refrigerator.