This Autumn Kale Salad combines some of the fall's best produce for a big, beautiful salad! Tossed with balsamic vinaigrette this salad is sure to become a fall staple in your meal rotation.
I'm just loving this combo of chopped kale, shredded brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, Honeycrisp apples along with a bit of roasted chicken, some quinoa, soft creamy goat cheese, and toasted almonds. It all gets topped with balsamic dressing for a slightly sweet, slightly crunchy, yet savory salad that perfect for autumn days.
When I lived in Chicago one of my favorite places to go for a salad was Sweetgreen. All they do is salads and you can either pick one of their combos or create your own. The inspiration for this salad started with their harvest bowl but then I made a few modifications when I ordered the first time, like subbing quinoa for the warm wild rice - I'm not a huge wild rice fan.
One of the reasons I really like this salad is that most of the prep can be done ahead of time. Salads are a great option for meal prep! And kale salads are the best because the kale keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days, making it an excellent choice for packable lunches!
Tips for Meal Prep
In the fall and winter, I usually chop and roast a couple of sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week. Then I make a couple of different types of dressing, usually, one or two different flavors. If you've never made your own dressings, check out this post for tips on how to make vinaigrette in just a few easy steps. I also roast or grill a couple of chicken breasts during my weekly meal prep too. Chop them up and they are ready for salads, tacos, quesadillas or whatever else you've got on your mind for the week.
You can also chop up kale or buy pre-chopped kale so you have it ready for salads. Another good item for meal prep is some type of grains. I usually do quinoa, brown rice or farro as they all go with a wide variety of different ingredients. If you spend some time cooking early in the week, I usually do it on Sunday, so you can get a headstart on your weekly dinners and lunches so when you get home from a long day at work or a late day workout you have something nearly ready to eat. It also gives you options for lunch - whether you are packing that lunch for the office or making something at home.
What goes with a kale salad?
This is a hearty salad that is intended to be a meal all on its own. If you want to add a starter and some dessert I'd go for:
things you might want for this recipe
Half Sheet Pan – Half sheet pans are a kitchen necessity. They are great for roasting veggies and making sheet pan dinners. They also work for baking cookies and making slab-type pies. I recommend lining with parchment paper for most uses as it makes clean-up a breeze.