Meal Prep Loaded Kale Salad

I actually love salads but I sometimes get annoyed making them. My solution is to do a big prep at the beginning of the week so I have everything ready to go to make salads for several days. Cook your veggies and/or protein, make the dressing, chop the kale and then keep it all in separate containers. When you're ready, toss a little bit of everything in a bowl with the dressing and you're good to go.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Salad:

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 bunch curly kale

1 bunch Tuscan kale

3/4 cup lightly salted roasted almonds, roughly chopped

3/4 cup dried cranberries

5 ounces feta

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Dressing (makes about 2 cups):

1 medium orange, juiced

1 large lemon, juiced

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional Add-ins:

Diced avocado

Shredded chicken

Crispy bacon bits

Diced tomatoes

Grilled shrimp

Sliced apple or pear

Directions

  1. For the salad: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with racks in the upper and lower positions.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on a medium sheet pan. Place the chickpeas on a small sheet pan. Liberally drizzle both with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat then spread each into a flat, even layer.
  3. Roast the sweet potatoes on the upper rack and the chickpeas on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and shake each pan or toss the veggies. Now, roast the chickpeas on the upper rack and the sweet potatoes on the lower rack until the chickpeas are golden and crispy and the sweet potatoes are browned around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. While the veggies roast, make the dressing: In a 1-pint jar, combine the citrus juice, olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, both mustards and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified, about 30 seconds. Set aside until needed.
  5. Next, prep the kale: Remove the inner ribs from the kale by holding onto the bottom of each stem, pinching together the leaf and pulling up. Discard the stems and chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Transfer each ingredient to a separate container or bag and assemble salads, as needed.
  7. To assemble each serving: Place 2 handfuls of kale in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and massage into the kale until shiny and dark green. Next, add 1/3 cup roasted sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup each of the roasted chickpeas, chopped almonds and dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta and a sprinkle of scallions. Drizzle with a little more dressing then gently toss and taste for seasoning. At this point, throw in any of the optional add-ins. 

Cook’s Note

The ingredients can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers, as follows: roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas, cooked bacon and chicken, 4 to 5 days. The chopped kale can be refrigerated for 7 to 10 days in a resealable bag or damp cloth veggie bag; the dressing for 12 to 14 days in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

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