Imagine chopped kale layered with grilled chicken cubes, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and avocado all covered in a delicious ginger carrot dressing. Now stop imagining and do it.
This salad is legitimately a complete meal. I even give you the suggested option of adding brown rice right into the salad! Then it is really a complete meal. You know my husband who absolutely doesn't eat raw kale? He eats it here.
Where to put it in your menu? I serve it as a complete meal for grownups on weeknights, and then leave the chicken, rice and avocado separately and serve to the kids. Then I use the ginger dressing as a dipping sauce for the kids for their chicken. One meal for the whole family.
If you are using as an appetizer for a meal then leave out the rice, for it will be too filling.
Ginger Carrot Dressing
½ medium shallot, chopped
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoons kosher salt
3 Carrots, peeled and rough chopped
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons sesame oil
In a small sauté pan over a medium low flame, cook your shallots with 1 tablespoon of your olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of your kosher salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until your shallots are clear and cooked through- but not browned.
Take your cooked shallots, carrots, ginger, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice and your final ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and place in a food processor fitted with your “S” blade. Process for 1 minute or until your mixture is a very smooth puree. With your machine running, slowly add your 3 tablespoons of sesame oil and your last tablespoon of olive oil.
Plan Ahead: This dressing will last up to 3 days in the fridge (although there is never any leftover!)
Grilled Chicken and Kale Salad
Chicken Marinade Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or 3 frozen garlic cubes
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Zest of half a lime
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Take all of your chicken marinade ingredients and whisk together in a medium bowl. Add your chicken breasts and toss well to coat. Cover with plastic and place in the fridge for 45 minutes.
½ cup Brown Basmati Rice (optional)
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large bunch kale, center stems removed
¼ cup shelled hemp seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 avocado, diced
2 chicken breasts in marinade (see recipe above)
If using rice- In a small saucepan, add your brown rice, water, 1 teaspoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place the pot over a small flame and bring to a boil. When it starts to simmer, put the flame to low and cook until all of the water is absorbed- about 30 minutes.
Take your clean kale leaves and chop them into small 1-inch pieces and place into your salad bowl. Add your hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and cooked rice.
Preheat your BBQ high. Take your chicken and place it on the hot grill. Close the cover and allow the chicken to cook for 4 minutes. Flip your chicken to the other side and close the cover. After an additional 4 minutes on the second side, your chicken is done. If you have a very thick piece of chicken, and after the 8 minutes and it still seems very jiggly, then flip the chicken once more for an additional 3 minutes. Remember to always close the BBQ cover to allow for the heat to build up and cook properly.
Once the chicken is finished, allow the chicken to cool for a full 10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice the chicken into ½ inch cubes and toss into your salad bowl. (You may use an indoor grill pan if you do not plan to use the BBQ)
Take your ginger dressing and pour over the salad. Using gloved hands, toss and massage the dressing into the salad. Cut your avocado into cubes and sprinkle on top. Take a wet paper towel and clean the edges of your serving bowl before serving. Ready to eat!
Your chicken can be cooked up to 2 days before serving.
Your dressing can be made up to 3 days before serving or alternatively will last 3 days in the fridge.
Your rice can be made up to 3 days before serving.
Your kale can be cut and washed and stored in a zippered bag, lined with paper towel for up to 2 days before serving.