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Rice and Kale Salad with Apple and Goat Cheese

This is the sort of salad that, in an absolutely ideal world, we should all eat for lunch every day. The healthiest greens, good fats, and small portions of the things that elevate a salad (nuts, cheese, dried fruit). In the ingredients portion I list the ideal choice first but next to it I list other options that would work nearly as well. Any cooked rice or grain (hello leftover Chinese food takeout rice), most cheeses, most nuts (toasted is always better in a salad) – you can even sub the kale for spinach if that’s more palatable for you. This is the sort of salad that, if brought to a potluck situation, all the healthy folks would be profusely thanking you while going back for seconds.

Rice and Kale salad with Apples and Goat Cheese

Serves 4-6


1/4 c. olive oil

1 tbsp. champagne or white wine vinegar

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. dijon mustard


1 large bunch Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur), stems removed and leaves chopped into bite sized pieces

2 c. cooked white, brown or wild rice (or really any grain)

1 large fuji or gala apple, cored and diced

1/4 c. dried cherries or cranberries

1/4 c. toasted slivered almonds or pistachios

1 c. crumbled goat, blue or feta cheese

pinch kosher salt and pepper

1 avocado, diced, to serve

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in mason jar or bowl. Whisk or shake to combine.
  2. In large mixing bowl, place kale and rice. Add dressing and massage greens/break up rice with hands for several minutes until kale is tender and dressing is evenly dispersed.
  3. Add apple, cherries, nuts, cheese, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Serve or refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with diced avocado and more crumbled cheese, if desired.