Kale is one of those super foods that you can feel good about eating, but I haven’t always been a huge fan. One thing that made the difference for me was this Kale Cabbage Chicken Salad with Thai Peanut Vinaigrette. A bed of chopped kale and purple cabbage is topped with crunchy cashews, carrots, dried cranberries, chicken, and a delicious Thai peanut dressing.
Cashews add a little extra crunch and dried cranberries add just the right amount of sweetness. This colorful chicken kale salad is one of my favorite no-guilt meals, especially when I am focused on eating well.
Chopped Chicken Kale Salad with Thai Peanut Vinaigrette
Every January, I start off the New Year with good intentions. I make all the customary resolutions—eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more often—only to fall off the wagon before the month is out! My healthy intentions are all the same, but I’m not making resolutions or setting weight goals for 2019.
Instead, I’ve opted to adopt a WORD for the year. You’ve probably seen a lot of talk on social media about this very idea. Instead of rigid resolutions, a word for the year is a gentle reminder of what you want from the year ahead.
My word for 2019: FOCUS
Truthfully, FOCUS is probably much too broad, but here’s what I hope to learn from my word this year.
- FOCUS on God. Spend more time doing daily devotions, praying, and focusing on what God wants me to learn this year.
- FOCUS on family. Be purposeful about strengthening the relationships that are most important, support and encourage each other, and show love every day.
- FOCUS to get the job done. Quit chasing rabbits, and just finish the task. I’m guilty of getting distracted and putting off those things that need to be done, but that I don’t particularly want to be doing.
- FOCUS on the positive. Don’t get caught up in negativity, always look on the bright side.
What do you choose to focus on this year?
Tips for making a delicious chopped kale salad:
- Use curly kale and strip it from the tough stem. This little herb-stripping gadget is a handy tool for stripping kale or other herbs from their stems.
- Wash and dry the stripped kale leaves using a salad spinner.
- Chop the kale into very small pieces. Kale is a little tougher than most lettuces, but how you chop it makes a big difference in how easy it is to eat.
Once the kale is prepped, making this salad is easy!
- CHOP: I always use my Ninja (or a food processor) to chop the kale and purple cabbage.
- WHISK: Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a small bowl and whisk briskly until combined and emulsified.
- TOSS: Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl, pour in a little of the vinaigrette, and toss. Only add a little of the vinaigrette at the time, tossing to make sure all the greens are coated. NOTE: You won’t need as much dressing as you think.
More Delicious Salad Recipes!
- Super Food Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing has amazing color, interesting ingredients, crunchy texture, and delicious taste!
- Winter Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette features crisp apples, red onion, and blue cheese crumbled all tossed together with salad greens and sprinkled with homemade candied pecans.
- Chopped Chicken Salad with Fresh Peaches pairs grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, fresh peaches, Feta cheese, smoked almonds, and a sweet citrusy honey vinaigrette for a fresh and healthy meal that’s prepared in just minutes!
- Chopped Mediterranean Salad with Arugula — A Greek-inspired chopped salad featuring arugula, chickpeas, and pickled red onions with a fresh herb vinaigrette.
- Asian Slaw with Egg Roll Crackers — Piled high on top of a crisp egg roll cracker, make a meal of this Asian Slaw by adding your choice of shredded chicken, pulled pork, or shrimp.
- Grilled Panzanella Skewer Salad — Nutty arugula topped with a skewer of grilled tomatoes and multigrain croutons, all dressed with a de-lite-ful mustard vinaigrette.
- Mango Chicken Chopped Salad with a homemade Mango Vinaigrette is almost too pretty to eat and special enough for any Summer dinner party!
- Corn and Avocado Salad starts with fresh cut off sweet corn that’s tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes, red onion, and fresh basil leaves.
To make this recipe, you may need…
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I use my food processor (and sometimes even my Ninja) to chop kale for salads. Every time I purchase kale, I wash, dry, chop, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it stays fresh all week long.
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Chopped Chicken Kale Salad with Thai Peanut Vinaigrette Recipe
Toss the salad with just a little dressing at first, then let it sit for five minutes or so to see if more is needed. As the dressing starts to break down the greens, you may find there is more vinaigrette in the bottom of the bowl than you realized.
Also, if you like a little spice, toss a few red pepper flakes into the vinaigrette.
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- 4 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1 boneless chicken breast, grilled and sliced
- 1-2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Thai Peanut Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons peanut butter
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- sea salt & pepper, to taste
- Chop veggies and place in a large bowl. Add sliced chicken, cranberries, and cashews.
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the Thai Peanut Vinaigrette. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad greens and toss until coated. Crumble goat cheese over top and serve immediately.
Original Thai Peanut Vinaigrette recipe by Little Broken
- Toss the salad with just a little dressing at first, then let it sit for five minutes or so to see if more is needed. As the dressing starts to break down the greens, you may find there is more vinaigrette in the bottom of the bowl than you realized.
- If you like a little spice, toss a few red pepper flakes into the vinaigrette.
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Serving Size:2 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 518Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1430mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 10gSugar: 31gProtein: 35g
Sheila Thigpen, author of The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. A Southern girl living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters, are active in their church, love to travel, and are over-the-moon excited about becoming grandparents last year. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!