What We're Cooking This Weekend: Kale Salad with Warm Apple Cinnamon Balsamic + Cranberry Walnut Clusters

Recipe Developer: Gina, @healthylittlevittles

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Yield: 2 Lunch Salads

Why we love it: Looking for a fill me up until lunch without calorie overkill? This comforting kale salad is topped with an apple cinnamon balsamic dressing and cranberry walnut cluster, a perfect sweet and comforting flavor for chilly winter weather. 

Alternatives: Don’t like kale? Now you will. Massage the kale for 3-5 minutes with a touch of the sweet dressing (if you add too much, throw in more kale) or a dab of olive oil, lemon, and a pinch of salt. It’s much easier to eat when the kale is massaged, and you won’t have the hard crunch and bland taste. 

Health Benefits: Kale is a powerful antioxidant that speeds up your metabolism and is  full of important nutrients like Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Kale has also been proven to help lower cholesterol.

Make it for: Pack this salad into a container with the dressing on the side for your kid’s school lunches. They will indulge in the sweet taste of cinnamon and fresh apples. Serve it with a side of pita bread, and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bunches kale, (curly kale works best)
  • 2 apples, (sliced or diced)
  • cranberry walnut clusters, (see below)
  • apple cinnamon balsamic dressing, (see below)

Apple Cinnamon Balsamic Dressing

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp oil (walnut, olive, grapeseed, avocado)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp + pinch cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Cranberry Walnut Clusters

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash your kale and tear the leaves from the stem into medium-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl 
  2. Blend all your dressing ingredients together. You can either warm it in a small saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl 

Cranberry Walnut Clusters

  1. In a medium skillet, melt the sugar over medium heat  
  2. ** NOTE: be careful as it could burn quickly 
  3. Once the sugar starts to liquefy, add the cranberries (see notes!) and walnuts, remove from heat, and stir to coat them with the sugar.  

Salad

  1. Pour the dressing over the kale and with your hands massage the kale with the dressing until the leaves turn soft and a dark green hue (about 3-5 minutes) 
  2. **NOTE: remember you warmed it up, so be careful not to burn yourself! 
  3. Top the salad with the sliced/diced apples + cranberry walnut clusters