Murphy’s Law states : Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Oh, Murph (can I call you Murph?), your pessimism is contagious. Last week you had me repeating this statement in my head continuously as though it were a mantra until I finally believed it. From an overflowing garbage disposal, a potential gas leak, self-doubt and rough days at work, catching a gecko in our guest bedroom, to finding Sadie, drenched, standing under a soggy hole in my ceiling, you finally wore me down.
And then my wonderful family visited over the weekend and I was rejuvenated and gained some perspective. I realized how grateful I was to have my family here and healthy, a great job to go to every day, and self-doubt to keep me grounded. An overflowing garbage disposal means we have running water and water dripping from our ceiling means that we’re lucky to have air conditioning in our home, as faulty as it may be.
So this morning I woke up and took a moment to appreciate everything in our little old house.
Except the gecko. I hate that guy.
Our weekend with my parents was filled with lots of chatter and laughter around our dining table and perfect weather for long walks. My mother and I had some quality time in the kitchen preparing meals, one of them being this awesome and easy salad.
This salad has everything I could ever want: massaged kale topped with wild rice, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, roasted butternut squash, and grilled chicken, all tossed with a zesty balsamic vinaigrette. It’s sweet, salty, warm and comforting, and makes a great complete meal.
Massaging kale may seem like an odd thing to do, but it changes the texture and taste of kale entirely. Kale can be bitter and tough to eat raw, but with a little olive oil and R&R, the cellulose structure in this leafy green breaks down, making it easier to digest, less bitter, and softer to chew. Plus, unlike other greens, kale will not wilt or become mushy after being dressed, which means that you can enjoy this salad all week long!
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and washed
- 1 cups cooked wild rice
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup feta
- 4 chicken breast halves, cooked
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil
- balsamic vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel butternut squash and chop into bite-sized pieces. Rub a touch of olive oil on each piece, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes, until squash is cooked and tender.
- In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine kale and about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Massage kale until it begins to slightly wilt and becomes tender, about 4-5 minutes. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high, then add the chopped pecans. Stir for a few minutes until pecans are toasted.
- Combine kale, wild rice, toasted pecans, cranberries, feta, and butternut squash, and toss with balsamic vinaigrette to taste.