baby kale + avocado + goat cheese + roasted chicken + Champagne vinaigrette salad

{ baby kale + avocado + blueberry + roasted chicken + Champagne vinaigrette } DisplacedHousewife

baby kale + avocado + goat cheese + roasted chicken 
+ 
Champagne vinaigrette salad
{ dinner tonight }

I was going to call this a Shut Up & Eat post, but, truth be told, Gavin wouldn’t touch this salad. Stella, on the other hand, would eat it like a wrestler trying to make the next weight class.

However, here’s how I would get Gavin to eat this salad. His discerning palate needs a deconstructed version of this masterpiece. Picture a bento tray. Got that vision in your mind? Great. Then put some Israeli couscous in one cubby and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan. Then fill the remaining cubbies with shredded chicken, blueberries, sweet potatoes, some sprigs of baby kale and boom. Dinner’s done. And to anyone that has one child and brags about how their kid eats everything and they would NEVER make two separate meals, I say: shove it. You’ve never had a particular eater. And I’m saying this with love. Grab a martini; let’s eat this salad and hug-it-out. I really didn’t mean it.

Before We Get Started

  • Make Ahead: You can do just about everything ahead of time. Clean and chop all of your veggies…just keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Roast your chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken (HOLLA) the evening before. Likewise, roast those sweet potatoes and cook the couscous in advance. You could actually do all of this on Sunday and have your own little salad bar in the fridge all week…mix and match and find your sweet spot with this. Two items that should be prepped just prior to serving: rinse your blueberries and likewise cut your avocado just as you’re throwing everything together.
  • Serve With: This doesn’t really need anything with it…it’s that satisfying. If I truly felt compelled I would throw some sliced and grilled baguette on the side.
  • Variations: Endless. Swap potatoes for the sweet potatoes. Parmesan or Feta for the goat cheese. Pepitas for the pecans? Quinoa for the couscous? Why not. Live on the edge.
  • Make it Sophisticated. Wine shouldn’t make me feel sophisticated…but it can elevate a meal. Don’t you agree? We don’t have to get sloshed…just enough to help our hearts. Choose something light that makes you happy. What about a Rosé? Not that I’m holding stock in Liquid Farm or anything, but their Rosé is fantastic. And I do love their wine. Or Samsara? Delicious as well.
  • Before You Start: Get cozy and grab yourself a large glass of water with a twist of lemon…you look a little dehydrated. Your skin will thank you. Put on some Bob Dylan? Or Pitbull? How are we feeling? Let’s forget about work for the night…they’re not paying you to worry right now. You’ve done all you can for today. Let yourself check out. That asshole that’s been bugging you at the office? Forget about ‘em. They’re miserable…don’t let them drag you down. You’re better than that. Let’s eat salad. Let’s get ready for bikinis…or at least tank tops. Let’s feel pious and be nice to ourselves. It feels good, doesn’t it?

Totally satisfying dinner salad | DisplacedHousewife

{ baby kale + avocado + goat cheese + roasted chicken + Champagne vinaigrette salad }

Serves 4 Main Entrée Salads

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad

  • 6 cups baby kale, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, cleaned, shaved or chopped (you want them to blend in, but add crunch)
  • 1 cup cooked Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, cubed and roasted
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups roasted chicken, shredded (either rotisserie or follow the roasting directions in this post)
  • 1 cup goat cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup avocado, chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (from Trader Joe’s…any Champagne vinegar will do…this one is just especially tasty)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you haven’t done any pre-prep mentioned above, don’t fret. This will all come together super quick.
  2. First, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then put a saucepan of water over high heat. The oven is for your roasted sweet potatoes and the saucepan is for Israeli couscous. If you haven’t roasted your chicken and you don’t have rotisserie, then put it in its’ own pan and cook at the same time as the sweet potatoes.
  3. Go get comfy and grab yourself that glass of water (throw in some lemon, mint, orange slices…whatever sounds good…let’s do a little liver cleanse).
  4. Chop and zest all of your veggies and measure out your couscous.
  5. Cover a cookie sheet in foil, place the chopped, raw sweet potatoes on there and slather in about a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Throw a little salt on there and shove the sweet potatoes in the oven and roast for 35 minutes. I left the skin on mine…it gives you some more health benefits and it doesn’t bug me.
  6. Throw the couscous in the boiling water, cover and cook according to the instructions on the package. Mine took about 12 minutes to cook and soak up all of the water. Get out your 1 cup of cooked couscous and let it cool a bit.
  7. In a large salad bowl, mix your salad dressing ingredients together…whisking as you add the olive oil until everything is nice and blended. Taste it. How is it? Don’t you love that orange flavor happening? I like to mix my dressing in the bottom of my salad bowl so that I have one less dish to clean. This is a generous amount of dressing…but this is also a generously-sized salad. If this looks like too much dressing for your taste, mix it in a separate bowl and add on the amount you would like.
  8. Toss your kale and Brussels sprouts in the dressing and let them mingle with the dressing.
  9. Throw in the rest of your ingredients with the kale and sprouts.
  10. Give it a good toss and you’re done. Taste it. Are the flavors working for you? Adjust to your palate…this is your masterpiece. It’s a pretty salad, isn’t it? This would be great for entertaining because you could make it a couple of hours ahead and it would fair just fine. In fact, it would taste better. What about Easter? This would be an excellent Easter brunch salad…perhaps leave out the chicken. That part doesn’t say ‘Easter’ to me. Just saying.
{ on my mind }
  • Scientology, Scientology, Scientology. With a side of Scientology, thanks. Please tell me you watched the HBO documentary that aired last night? Riveting. I’m mildly obsessed with Scientology. Not, as in, I want to join. But more like this shit be CRAY. For more riveting intel look here, here, here and here (I’m also obsessed with Vanity Fair…but we’ll talk about that another day). I interned at KCBS-TV in LA when I was in college and there was (is?) REAMS of Scientology information in the research department. Throughout the year we would receive parcels from the church so that the station had up-to-date Scientology information from the source. That might have been the start of my obsession. Then I went to my friend’s 21st birthday in Boston (she lived at 252 Newbury Street…I can’t remember anyone’s birthday, but for some reason this address has stuck with me) and her friend had become so psychologically invested in Scientology that she spent all of her savings on Scientology classes and had to be ‘deprogrammed’ to get out of the church. And I thought weekend trips to Tijuana made me interesting when I was in college…I can’t compete with that.
  • My new favorite blog is Orangette. I love the writing. Check it out. Also look at Probably Baking. One blog has been around awhile; the latter is a newbie. All this beauty.
  • I love cereal. As in quietly eating a bowl, in bed, after the kids go to sleep, as I watch mindless TV. Or rather is it mindlessly watching TV? This is everything I look for in a healthy living article. Thank you. Does this include Fruity Pebbles too?
  • This is for my cousin Kelly. She had a newt in college. I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now.
  • This makes me nervous. As much as I loathe cutworms, tomato worms and aphids, I just can’t use gunk in my garden. Reason 9,051 why we shouldn’t use this stuff.
  • I’m closer than I’ve ever been to getting chickens. Like, this week. Prepare yourself for chicken poop stories. This is happening people.
  • I know I’ve rambled on about the HBO show Vice, but the recent episode on drugs in South America and how they’re making their way to Europe and basically funding terrorism along the way is horrifying. WATCH IT.
  • I went wine tasting on Sunday and was useless today. And missed a meeting. The worst feeling ever. Mea culpa. Here’s to the rest of the week being productive. xx

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4 Comments

  • DisplacedHousewife 2015/04/08 at 7:20 PM

    Hi Beau –
    Thanks for the nice note and of course on the link love!! I’ve been behind on perusing other’s sites…it’s on my agenda over the next couple of days. Can’t wait to see what beautiful goodness you’re up to!! xx

    Reply
  • Beau Ciolino 2015/04/07 at 7:54 PM

    This salad looks amazing! I definitely don’t have kids so I really can’t relate to dealing with a picky eater, but your method for figuring out how to work around it made me feel like “aweee she is such a good mom!”. I feel like I know so many parents who will just back down to their kids’ pickyness and give in to less healthy food. Like I said, I don’t know the struggle so I really can’t judge, but still, go you! Also, thanks so much for the link love :D

    Reply
  • DisplacedHousewife 2015/04/06 at 10:08 PM

    Hi Jessica! I’m obsessed with this salad…and the dressing…and I’m so glad you’ve seen the documentary. I want to re-watch because it truly is too much to imagine!! xx

    Reply
  • Jessica | A Happy Food Dance 2015/04/06 at 3:02 PM

    This salad looks freaking crazy good. I end up making the same kale salad all the time and need to switch it up so I’m definitely going to use this one. Saw the Scientology thing on HBO (sorry – I’m a week late) and shit is nuts. I’m just so confused how people get sucked into it, but I’m seriously so intrigued by it.

    Reply

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