I always think of salads as a non-recipe, but in the vein of “Here’s what I’m eating this week – it’s cheap and delicious!” I’m going to post it anyway. Perhaps it will inspire you or maybe you’ll just learn some new techniques for chopping kale.
I was craving vegetables in a super-duper way this week, so a salad was the only logical solution. I didn’t want just some wimpy salad, I wanted a super salad. With ALL of the flavors and ALL of the textures that I could cram in there. A chopped salad was in order. Chopped salads feel more like a meal to me because they’ve got so much going on and the small size of all the chopped ingredients makes them easy to eat, which is something I truly appreciate when it comes to a salad.
I added chickpeas and hard boiled eggs to help the fill factor, but you could also add some leftover rotisserie chicken or just about any leftover chopped meat, for that matter. Also, shredded cheese is nice in there, but I used a creamy Caesar dressing, so I decided to skip the cheese (that took ALL of my will power). Want a little sweetness? Try some raisins or dried cranberries. Got a soft spot for spicy? How about a chopped red onion? It’s kind of a “sweep the kitchen” salad, so make it your own!
Chopped Kale Salad
Chopped Kale Salad
Chopped kale salad is an easy way to pack in the veggies while keeping you full and your taste buds entertained.
- 1 bunch 8 oz. kale (lacinato/dinosaur or curly) $1.99
- 1 medium cucumber $0.99
- 2 small tomatoes $1.13
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas $1.09
- 2 large hard boiled eggs $0.44
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds $0.13*
- 3/4 cup creamy Caesar dressing $1.50
Remove the stem from each kale leaf by running the sharp tip of a chef's knife along each side of the stem. Stack the stemless leaves one on top of each other like a deck of cards, then cut crosswise into thin strips (stack 4-6 at a time). Rinse the chopped kale leaves well to remove dirt, then dry in a salad spinner or roll in a lint-free towel to remove excess water.
Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Add the kale to a large bowl and top with the cucumber, tomato, hard boiled eggs, chickpeas and sunflower seeds. If serving the entire salad to guests, add the dressing and toss to coat. If you'll be eating one to two servings at a time and saving the rest in the refrigerator, dress each serving just before serving so that the rest stays crisp.
*I bought just a handful of sunflower seeds from the bulk bins at the grocery store to reduce cost and waste.
Step by Step Photos
I boiled my eggs before I began so that they would be ready to go when the salad was finished. They take about 15 minutes to cook. If you need detailed instructions, click through to this post. I only used two hard boiled eggs because the salad already has a lot going on, so you don’t need much.
I used dinosaur or Lacinato kale today. You can substitute curly kale if you can’t find dino kale. This type of kale is slightly more tender and has such a beautiful deep jade color that I can’t resist (plus it was the same price as the curly kale). I used one bunch, which is about 8 oz.
To remove the stems, just slice down each side of the stem with the sharp tip of a chef’s knife. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Once the stems have been removed, stack the leaves like a deck of cards and slice crosswise into thin strips. Now you have shredded kale (or kale confetti, as I like to call it)!
Make sure to wash your kale really well. Kale tends to be very sandy and muddy. Get your hands in there and move it around as it rinses because nothing is worse than sand in your salad.
It’s really important to dry the kale or you’ll have a really wet salad with runny salad dressing. Not good. A salad spinner works best, but if you don’t have one (like me), you can use a clean, lint free towel. Spread a large handful of chopped kale out over the towel then roll it up and gently press down to absorb the water. Your towel will turn green, but that’s nothing a little bleach can’t fix. ;)
Rinse and drain the can of chickpeas to remove the bean “sludge.”
Chop ‘dem cucumbers into small pieces.
The tomatoes, too.
Then pile the kale, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, hard boiled eggs, and sunflower seeds into a bowl.
If you’re going to eat one or two servings right away and save the rest, add the dressing to each serving, rather than to the entire bowl to help keep it fresh. After you add the dressing, toss the salad to coat and dive in!