Creamy avocado and roasted sweet potato are paired with protein-rich quinoa, chicken, and cashews to give this make-ahead salad the kind of tasty goodness that keeps you satisfied throughout the day. Jump to the recipe.
Somewhere between defrosting dinner and fitting in an extra 15 minutes of cardio – I flooded my kitchen.
Which is how, on a Wednesday night, I found myself covered in sweat, standing in a ¼-inch of water, and stripping in front my kitchen window. (The blinds were thankfully closed.) One pair of sweatpants, one sweatshirt, 29 towels, and three fans later, my countertops looked like a bomb had gone off and my floor sparkled.
Sometimes it’s harder than others to feel like your cup is half full…
Thankfully, no real damage was done. The excitement of panicking over spilled water probably helped me burn a few extra calories. And, I’m happy to report – I successfully defrosted dinner two nights ago without creating my own swimming pool. (Yeah Baby!)
You want to hear something equally as crazy, but 10 times more fun? One of my 2018 goals is to shout ‘Yeah Baby. Yeah’ for 10 seconds while I’m working out each day. (It helps that I workout at home. Zeus and the cats are the only ones who can hear me..)
But for those 10 seconds, I feel like I could conquer the world. Or at least my 3-acre plot of totally untamed yard. For those 10 seconds, I’ve got my to do list handled, self-control on lockdown, and a concrete plan for a future filled with perfect hair days.
However, for the other 86,390 seconds of the day – I have salad. A hearty salad. A salad that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. We’re talking about the kind of salad that doesn’t automatically make me want to eat all of the ice cream and chips in the house before driving to Jack In The Box for an order of extra-large curly fries. (You know what I’m talking about.)
This salad gets its unctuous factor from creamy avocado and roasted sweet potato. There’s a bit of luscious tang from the garlic-packed lemon dressing. It’s loaded with protein-rich quinoa, chicken, and cashews for a meal that’ll stick with you.
Plus, the use of kale means you can make it on a Sunday for a great grab-and-go lunch that’ll last you all week. Needless to say, if you’re trying to keep up with your ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ – this is one tasty way to do so! (Can I get a ‘Yeah Baby. Yeah.’?)
Cuban Kale Protein Salad Bowl
Makes 5 Servings
For ultra-fluffy quinoa, add ¼ cup less liquid than the directions recommend. Cook simmering for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
2 lbs sweet potatoes, chopped
1 TBS chili powder
1 TBS garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
3 TBS olive oil
4 Cups Kale (roughly 1 bunch, chopped)
2 lbs cooked, shredded chicken
5 TBS lemon juice
1½ cups quinoa, cooked as directed and cooled
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 avocados, chopped
½ cup chopped cashews
½ cup sliced radishes
Greek Yogurt Garlic Dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss sweet potatoes, chili powder, garlic power, salt and pepper, and olive oil together until potatoes are completely covered in spices.
Arrange potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender and just starting to brown. Set aside to cool completely.
In a large bowl, toss kale, chicken, and lemon juice.
Assemble salads by evenly distributing kale and chicken mixture, sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans, and avocados between 5 bowls (or Tupperware containers). Top with cashews and radishes. Serve dressing on the side to be added later.