No more sleeping in, no more long breakfasts lingering over the last sip of coffee, and no more wearing fuzzy slippers until noon. Tomorrow it’s back to reality and back to the daily grind. The boys return to school, Shaun to work, and me, well I get to catch up on all of the house chores that have been neglected over the long holiday break. I’m a little sad to see this time end, but part of me is craving the return of routines and order within our household!
For Day 4 of #EatLean2015 I’m sharing an easy lunch idea that will keep you going strong all day long- I call it my Winter Kale Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. During the hustle and bustle of the Monday to Friday circus, it’s easy to slip into old habits and lose your resolve to eat healthy. When I worked full time in an office job I found that lunch was often my downfall. I always had intentions of packing a healthy lunch to take with me, but I struggled with knowing what to pack and how to pack it. That usually meant filling a Tupperware container of dinner leftovers or going out to eat lunch- neither of which were very healthy choices.
Since leaving my job in April of 2013 and becoming a full time mom (and grad student), I’ve had time to eat a healthy lunch every day. I look forward to my mid-day power lunch and, being a creature of habit, I tend to eat the same thing pretty much every day.
Big shocker, it’s a salad! But this isn’t just any old salad, no sirree! I’ve swapped out plain lettuce for delicious and nutritious kale, added a scoop of quinoa for protein, and sprinkled everything with some pecans and dried cranberries. Then a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette brings everything together into a satisfying, crunchy bite. It’s everything a salad should be- healthy but delicious, equally savory and sweet, and filling enough to keep you going all afternoon long.
Here’s where this salad gets even better- you can pack it mason jar and take it with you. Wherever your busy day leads you, you can always be sure that you have a healthy lunch to rely on. Portability is a huge factor in maintaining your healthy eating goals! Just pour on the dressing and give it a good shake. Instant lunch!
I eat this salad literally every day during the winter months, Monday through Friday, without fail. If you’ve never tried raw kale in your salad, then now’s the time to give it a whirl. It’s super crunchy and earthy, but I think it tastes much better then regular lettuce.
I hope you’re enjoying the #EatLean2015 series, and that you come back tomorrow for another delicious and healthy recipe! In the meantime, be sure to check out my #EatLean board on Pinterest.
Winter Kale Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Kale Salad
- Several cups of raw organic kale, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup cooked organic white quinoa
- 1/4 cup pecans (pistachios are another tasty option)
- 2 TBS organic dried cranberries
For the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp raw organic honey (local if available)
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
To Prepare the Kale Salad
- Toss together the kale, quinoa, pecans, and cranberries.
The Make the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Whisk together all of the ingredients, drizzle over the kale salad.
I often add a little feta cheese to the salad to give it a nice touch of saltiness