This is what salad dreams are made of. Talk about salad goals though…
Picking a title for it was the hardest thing I’ve done all day.
This morning, in between forkfuls of kale and crispy brussels sprouts heaven, I debated on a handful of names.
The Only Kale Salad Recipe You Will Ever Need?
Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Kale Salad?
Winter Roasted Kale Salad?
Kale Salad with Cranberries and Crispy Brussels Sprouts?
The Best Holiday Kale Salad?
I know it’s a successful recipe when I go back and forth on what to call it. With this Holiday Kale and Cranberry Salad, you’ll be covered for any and all festive parties. It’s at the top of my list for Thanksgiving this year along with my Cleansing Carrot Autumn Squash Soup, Dreamy No-Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie and Smashed Rosemary Potatoes.
Why is this particular salad such a delicious success? Because it will please even the skeptical kale haters.
Kale is an angry lettuce that needs to be tamed. After all, it is the mighty powerhouse leader of all the greens. Being on the top tier, I can see why some are scared off by the sheer look of kale. If my brother gets a glimpse of anything green, especially kale, he immediately melts and grabs a beer along with a handful of chips. You can say it creates somewhat of a panic, especially in a room full of guys.
Quite hilarious, actually, how quickly they scatter.
All jokes aside – kale can be tamed down to please the masses. By tamed, I mean lightly massaged. Fresh lemon juice and pure maple syrup soften up this angry bunch. The tough, fibrous leaves break down from the citrus, making it less bitter and much more enjoyable. Don’t skip this step, it will take you far at your family party.
We know that including kale in a salad will please any health foodie like me. For texture and crunch, we have roasted brussels sprouts – which taste like salty chips when done right. For a festive and tart addition of sweetness, we have dried cranberries. For all the protein addicts, we have white beans that help keep you full and satisfied. To mask the taste of kale even more (not that I want to, but some do) we have the creamiest 5-ingredient tahini dressing with a lemony kick.
Flavor explosion in the best way possible.
On the days you plan to stuff your face with pumpkin pie, christmas cookies and all the champagne, be sure to get your essential greens in with this salad. I would eat it as my main dish any day, but is especially good when you’re craving something healthy yet substantial.
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
- pinch of sea salt and pepper
- 1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed + chopped (or any kind of kale)
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 4 romaine leaves, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- optional add-ins: hemp seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds
- juice from 1+1/2 lemons
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/3 cup tahini
- pinch of sea salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons warm water (or more as needed) to thin out
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Rinse brussels sprouts. Cut off ends and then cut in half. Add to a bowl. Spray brussels sprouts with non-stick spray or use 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Mix until well combined then add to baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crispy!
- In a large bowl, combine de-stemmed kale with the lemon juice and maple syrup. Mix well and let sit about 10 minutes to soften the kale leaves. Then add in the chopped romaine, white beans, cranberries and brussels sprouts if they're ready.
- Make the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Pour over salad and mix well!
- Preferably served warm. You can prepare the salad and dressing (keep separate) ahead of time and roast the brussels sprouts right before. Then add them to the salad and pour on the dressing!
- Leftovers don't work so well as the brussels sprouts can get soggy. Best eaten on the same day.