Fabulous Kale Salad ~ On the Road to Clean Eating

It has been some time since I have posted a recipe here at 21 Rosemary Lane but this kale salad is one that I just had to share. Recently my dear friend Donna, who incidentally has to be the smartest woman I know, introduced me to the idea of clean eating.

What does it mean to eat clean? Well in nutshell it means to eat foods naturally occurring in nature. So you know that big hunk of Velveeta cheese and package of hot dogs in your frig... they are not in the clean eating plan. Processed foods like hot dogs typically contain extra added ingredients to enhance flavor, prevent bacterial growth and help with the browning process of the meat. Many are loaded with both salt and sugar, not good if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight. 

So what can you eat when you eat clean? 

1) Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables that have not been exposed to pesticides and other chemicals. This means maybe paying a little extra in your grocery store for organic veggies. Now that we are moving into the summer months it is best to buy from your local farmer's market, or better yet, if possible plant your own garden! 

2) Incorporate a variety of whole grains into your diet. This includes whole wheat, whole oats, whole grain barley, bulgur, buckwheat and quinoa. These are all loaded with protein and fiber. Skip the white rices and pastas which had any inherited nutritional value stripped from them during processing.

3) Read packaging labels! It may take you a little longer in the grocery store but it is well worth it. My rule is if any food label contains more than 5 ingredients, of which I know what they all are, it's a keeper! However that said if the list of ingredients is longer than 5 and I still know what everything is on the list, I would consider it clean. As soon as I start reading words like maltodextrin or disodium guanlate that poduct goes back on the shelf! 

4) Do your best to familiarized yourself with package labels that say Organic, Free-Range, Cage-Free, Grass Fed, Natural and well you get the picture. Not every label can be taken verbatim. For example the Grass-Fed label alone just means that at some point in the animal's life it ate grass, it doesn't necessarily mean grass was the only food source. According to Prevention Guide you need to look for products that where certified by the Grassfed Association or buy your meats from local producer who can qualify how the animals are raised.

This gives you just a little idea of what it means to adopt a clean way of eating and I assure you that it will not all happen at once with my family. We still have our much loved Stop Top stuffing in the pantry and I know trying to wean my two kids off of soda will prove to be a difficult challenge. But moving in the direction of clean eating will overall be worth the little battles I'll have to endure. It also means that mommy is going to have to get more creative with her cooking and meal planning.

That is where this kale salad comes in. I found the recipe in the current issue of Prevention Guide titled Eat Clean. I modified it a bit based on available ingredients and my 14 year old daughter Grace flipped for it! 

Look at all that bright beautiful color...you know it has to be good and good for you!

Kale Salad

Ingredients for the salad:

1/2 c red quinoa, rinsed 
1 medium bunch of Kale with the ribs removed and leaves chopped into bite size pieces (I also made this with baby kale leaves and it was delicious)
1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 c. dried cranberries
2 oz of crumbled goat cheese
3 oz. grilled chicken breast cut into strips or bite size pieces

Ingredients for the dressing:

1/4 c. EVOO
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T honey
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Make the quinoa according to the package directions and let cool. Prepare the dressing in a small bowl. Assemble the salad's dry ingredient including the cooled quinoa and chicken, then drizzle on the dressing and toss to coat.
And have a fabulous weekend!!!



  1. Good for you. I did clean eating for a long time and then 'fell off the wagon'. I felt so good when I was on that program and I am just disgusted with myself that I didn't stay on it. Stay on it because, trust me, when you go off the program it is VERY difficult to get back on.

    I had a very similar kale salad last week. It was wonderful. xo Diana

  2. Guess what? Salt and sugar are foods naturally occurring in nature!

    Also, dried cranberries are loaded with sugar, and honey IS sugar.

  3. Sugar and honey are sugars you are right. Both are made up of simple sugars glucose and fructose, however honey contains less of these two sugars (only about 70% in honey as compared to 100% found in refined sugar) in addition to other more complex sugars which will help the body burn more calories. Honey may also contain other trace elements which are good for the body. As far as using cranberries in this salad, the amount is fairly low compared to the rest of the ingredients. The original recipe called for raisins which is the healthier choice, I just used what I already had on hand. Thank you so much for your comment.

  4. Hi Barbara. That salad looks good enough to eat! And, pretty too. I try to eat healthy but it isn't always easy for me. I just have to have an In N Out Burger once in awhile. I do love vegetables though and do eat a lot of broccoli..Hope you are having good weather..Happy Wednesday..xxoJudy


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