8ouncesbroccolini(227 grams; about one small bunch)
½cupdried sweet cherries(without added sugar, if possible)
For the maple vinaigrette:
3tablespoonsmaple syrup(or sugar-free maple syrup substitute)
3tablespoonsapple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Mist a stovetop grill pan with cooking oil spray. Put the pan over medium heat. Grill the chicken breasts until they have nice grill lines and have reached the minimum safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). (This took approximately 10 minutes per side.)
While the chicken grills, heat a cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Put the nuts in the pan and toast them for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Rinse the kale under cool running water. Remove the tough stems and chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Place the kale in a large bowl and massage it for several minutes with clean hands. This step is important to get the raw kale more tender.
Rinse the broccolini under cool running water. Chop it into small pieces (do include the stems). Divide the kale and broccolini between 4 meal prep containers or salad bowls.
When the chicken has finished grilling, cut it into bite size chunks. Top each bowl of greens with ¼ of the chicken.
Divide the dried cherries and toasted nuts evenly between the bowls.
To make the maple vinaigrette:
Make the maple vinaigrette salad dressing by putting olive oil, maple syrup, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper in a jar. Put the lid on the jar and give it a shake to combine the ingredients.
To keep your salad from getting soggy, add the dressing right before you are ready to eat. Enjoy!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This is a low calorie salad (under 500 calories), rich in veggies and lean protein. However, I am giving it the bump to level 3 because it contains several energy-dense ingredients (dried fruit, maple syrup, nuts). I'd make a few changes to this salad if you want an even higher volume, lower calorie meal.For one, I would swap the dried cherries for fresh, pitted cherries. Water has been removed from dried fruits, concentrating their calories into a smaller volume. If you are looking to lose weight, I recommend choosing fresh fruit over dried fruit when possible.Second, I'd consider skipping the nuts in the salad and adding more non-starchy veggies instead. You're still getting plenty of healthy fat in this salad from the olive oil in the dressing. Nuts are typically 150-200 calories per (measly) ¼ cup. They are very high calorie (yet healthy!) foods.Finally, I'd also consider swapping out the maple syrup in the dressing for a sugar free maple syrup substitute. There are a variety of options available, depending on what your needs are.Walden Farms has a (nearly) calorie free maple walnut syrup. ChocZero's popular low calorie and low carb maple syrup is made with natural monk fruit extract.If you do choose real maple syrup, the amount used here per salad will keep you well within the recommended limits for added sugar intake. For example, the American Heart Association recommends that women limit added sugar to 2 tablespoons (25 grams) per day. Each superfood salad contains ¾ tablespoon of maple syrup (in the dressing), less than half of this limit.Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe and includes the dressing made with real maple syrup. (Using a sugar-free maple syrup substitute will lower both the calories and carbs in the salads.)