I love to cook. Which is good, because I eat a lot. And I have some pretty serious food allergies. So whether it’s making homemade energy bars for mid-workout, or a tasty recovery meal for after, you’ll often find me in the kitchen immersed in my next foodie creation.
I also love experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes it works out great. When it does, I’d like to share some of my tasty, healthy, and nut-free recipes with you! So keep an eye out for more Foodie Fridays. They probably won’t happen every week, but they will always happen on Friday (it’s alliteration, folks, bear with me!)
When I cook, I don’t like to measure. It’s much more fun to just throw things in. But it also gives me confidence in my abilities as a cook and my knowledge of ingredients. I take pride in knowing just how much cumin to add, or being able to guess that what this soup really needs is some lemon juice… As such, when I accidentally create something I really like, it can be impossible to replicate it exactly.
This week I made a most delicious salad with kale, roasted grapes and red onions, and chicken breast. Though the quantities listed below are total guesses, the method is spot on, and that’s the important part. When roasted together at a high temperature, the natural sweetness of the grapes caramelizes the red onion, and this is the true highlight of the dish.
Ready to get started on this tasty concoction? You will need:
- Some kale. About 4 cups of kale.
- 1.5-2 cups of red grapes
- 1 small red onion
- Chicken breast (optional of course, but I love protein. The more chicken, the better!)
- Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 F
Make the dressing. Mix lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. I did approximately equal quantities of each (about a Tablespoon), but feel free to tailor to your own tastes. I love olive oil and am not a huge fan of vinegar, so there you are.
Dice the grapes and the red onion. Coat in dressing, using about half of it. Arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and oregano.
Roast for an unspecified amount of time. I just peeked in every so often until the onions were good and caramelized. I’m guessing that took about 25 minutes. (That’s a pretty good guess. I’d trust it.)
Dice the chicken into small cubes. I cooked mine on the stove in a bit more olive oil. You could also roast your chicken cubes, but I would advise against roasting them in the same pan as your onions and grapes. The juice from the chicken will interfere with the amazing caramelization.
Wash your kale if necessary, and chop or shred it into salad-sized pieces. Coat with the remaining dressing. When your chicken and grapes/onions are done, mix with the kale!
This would be a good place to mention that the flavor profile of this dish is commonly paired with walnuts. Though I have no idea what a walnut tastes like and would beg you to never bring a dish with walnuts (or any other kind of nut) to a potluck at my house, you might like to throw some in there… I hear they’re good for you.
If you make this recipe, let me know in the comments! There is a lot of opportunity for continued experimentation here, whether by fiddling with my approximate measurements or adding ingredients (like pear! Or cheese! I bet this would be good with some feta cheese…) So let me know if you stumble onto a delicious modification.