Curly spring kale salad

Give this dish a spring feel with rainbow carrots.

“Kale is packed with calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, and K, and has a crunchy texture that stands up to dressings well,” says San Francisco-based chef Lynda Marren of Just Add Salt. You can easily use chicken breasts instead of thighs, but Marren prefers the latter since “they are still a lean cut but are slightly juicer.”

Serves 1

This recipe is part of our meal prep series. For the full plan click here.

Photography and styling by Julia Gartland


3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 medium shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
⅓ cup champagne vinegar
1 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper


2 organic chicken thighs, boneless and skin-on
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
½ bunch curly kale, stemmed and cut into ribbons
2 tablespoons dried cranberries (optional)
1 rainbow carrot, peeled and shredded
¼ cup purple cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon parmesan (optional)



In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, shallot, garlic, mustard, and honey; whisk into a paste with a fork. Add the champagne vinegar and oil and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and place in an airtight container.


Season chicken thigh on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and sear chicken on both sides until cooked through, about five minutes per side. Remove from heat, allow chicken to cool, then cut into strips and place in an airtight container.


Toast pine nuts in a separate, dry pan over medium heat until golden, three to five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool then place in an airtight container.


Place kale, shredded carrot, and cabbage in a large bowl and toss with ¼ cup of dressing to coat. Add cranberries (if using) and toss together with your hands to massage the dressing into kale, then place in an airtight container and store everything in the fridge.



Place kale mixture on a plate and top with chicken strips, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.