Getting tired of the same old salads for lunch everyday? Don’t let the meal prep burnout get to you and try out this new recipe to add to your rotation of healthy, easy-to-prepare meals, a kale chicken caesar salad that's the perfect mix of protein, carbs, fat, and veggies. Though it does take a bit of time to prep, it’s definitely worth the effort. The blend of textures and flavors is sure to satisfy your taste buds and give you the boost of energy you need to conquer the day.
This healthy lunch salad comes from Real Food Heals ($22, amazon.com), award-winning chef Seamus Mullen’s second cookbook. Gwyneth Paltrow even says it’s a must-have for your cookbook shelf. After battling chronic autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis back in 2007, Mullen completely changed the way he cooked in his home and at his wildly popular Spanish-inspired restaurants, Tertulia and El Colmado. Now, he feels younger, stronger, and more complete. In Real Food Heals, Mullen shares both his track to health and 125 simple, Paleo-inspired recipes that actually taste good. “People often think healthy food is gross,” Mullen writes. “Probably because much of so-called healthy food is gross.” However, he shows us that healthy eating doesn’t have to be dull or unpalatable—just like this caesar salad with hints of garlic and lemon.
Read on to learn how to make this restaurant-quality salad that you can prep for lunch tomorrow or throw together for dinner tonight.
Kale And Chicken Caesar Salad With Quinoa & Pecans
1 cup Aromatic Tricolor Quinoa (see recipe)
1 cup coarsely shredded roasted chicken
2 cups mixed kale, ﬁnely chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, halved, and cut into slices
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Caesar Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 Just-Right Boiled Egg (see recipe), peeled and halved lengthwise
How to Make It
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, kale, avocado, apple, and pecans in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Add the vinaigrette and toss until everything is well coated.
To pack for lunch, transfer the salad to an airtight container and top with the egg. Seal and chill until it’s time to eat. Otherwise, top with the egg right away and enjoy.
AROMATIC TRICOLOR QUINOA
2 cups tricolor quinoa
1 bay leaf
1 dried chile
2 thyme sprigs
5 cups stock or water
Coarse sea salt
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer to a saucepan and add the bay leaf, chile, thyme, stock (or water), and a generous pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a low, steady simmer. Cover and cook until cooked through and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and discard the bay leaf, chile, and thyme.
Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
In a blender, combine the vinegar, garlic, anchovy, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the Parmesan, if using. Puree until very smooth.
With the machine running on a slow setting, add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream and blend until emulsified. Use immediately or transfer to a jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.
JUST-RIGHT BOILED EGGS
4 large eggs
Fill a large bowl with 4 cups ice and 2 cups cold water. Bring 4 cups water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan.
Use a large spoon to carefully add the eggs to the boiling water. Cook for 6½ minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to the ice water. Let the eggs cool completely.
Carefully peel the eggs and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Excerpted from Real Food Heals by Seamus Mullen, Avery Publishing
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