How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was perfect, well except for the whole overeating and barely being able to move later that night, but that’s expected right? Anyways, the food was amazing, being around family and friends always makes the day extra special, and I got to spend the morning doing the two things I love most, running and cooking. This year I was in charge of making all of the desserts as well as two salads, one of which was this Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad.
I started Thanksgiving morning off by doing a 12 mile run with some added fartleks in. Yeah that’s right I said fartlek. Have you ever heard of them? Well, if you haven’t let me explain what they are before you start getting some wild ideas about what I was doing. Basically, it’s short intervals of sprinting followed by slower running and repeated over a period of time or miles. I was doing my run on the treadmill that morning because I’m finding that I have a harder time running fast in the cold. Doing fartleks on the treadmill is a good way to break up the boring monotony and makes the time go by a little faster.
Once my run was over I was ready to get to the cooking. I had already done a lot of the work the night before, but I still had my salads to assemble. I was particularly excited about this Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad. I love salads that use wild rice. There is something about that whole grain nuttiness and crunch that I absolutely love! Along with the rice, the salad also has a diced up apple and orange, dried cranberries and tart cherries, baby kale, celery, green onion, and the most delicious vinaigrette.
The salad is the perfect combination of sweetness from the fruit, nuttiness from the rice, the slight peppery bite from the baby kale, and the tart chewiness of the dried fruit. Not only is the salad healthy, but it also happens to be vegan and gluten-free. I purposely made the salad this way because my aunt’s sister is vegan. If you aren’t however, and want to add some feta or goat cheese in, it would make a wonderful addition (who am I to deny you of cheese)! The Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad is one that can be enjoyed all winter long thanks to the use of the seasonal apples and oranges. It’s the perfect salad to have as a side dish, but is also hearty enough to serve as a main dish for meatless Monday. It’s beautiful colors make it perfect for sharing at holiday gatherings and it’s a salad that everyone, including those with dietary restrictions are sure to fall in love with!
More Salad Recipes
- 3 cups cooked wild rice blend, cooled to room temperature
- 2 cups baby kale, chopped
- 1 apple, diced
- 1 orange, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
For the Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- In a large bowl combine all of the salad ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss together just before serving. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.
To save time, the wild rice blend may be cooked a day or two in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g