Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese

Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese | Club Narwhal

Happy Monday, my loves! Today, I’ve got Amy from Club Narwhal sharing a super healthy and delicious recipe for a Spring Kales Salad with Baked Goat Cheese. Um, YUM. Goat cheese is seriously one of my favorite ingredients in the kitchen. Enjoy the post and be sure to checkout Amy’s blog, Club Narwhal (the photos are SERIOUSLY drool-worthy).


Earlier this year, I started experimenting with healthier living–you know, the standard exercise more, sleep more, eat better, etc. I don’t know why I was so surprised to discover that the age-old wisdom actually worked: I felt stronger and brighter, faster (in body and soul). These past few months have taught me over and over again that Food is most certainly Fuel. And my body craves good things.

Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese | Club Narwhal

Which brings me to this lovely Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese. To me, the ideal salad is both sweet and savory, with an array of layered textures. It also has to be easy to assemble and filling enough to stand in for a full on dinner. This salad does it all and then some. Creamy avocado smooths out the crunchy pistachios while the blackberries bring a pop of sweetness. The sunny carrots and oranges brighten everything up.

Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese | Club Narwhal

Plus, baked goat cheese! These crispy nuggets take this salad to the next level and makes it into a meal. Of course, if you are in a rush, feel free to eat the salad without them. I like to make a big batch of these and freeze leftovers for later. It’s the perfect answer to sudden goat cheese cravings.

Choosing the healthier option has always been hard for me. It’s really hard for me to resist the siren call of French fries. Or that second helping of cake. But learning how to tether my cravings to what my body really needs has helped me to battle my emotional eating habit and has also made me a happier person.

Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese | Club Narwhal

It’s not that I always reach for an apple these days (especially if Dulce de Leche Cheesecake is on the table), but that I am being more intentional with my food. I’m thinking about how certain foods affect my moods and physical well being. I’m refusing to deny myself the things that I love (hello, goat cheese) but I’m also training myself to curb unhealthy habits (goodbye, second slice of cake). 

Do you have any struggles with food? If so, how have you learned (or are still learning) to deal with them? If not, what things have worked for you to stay healthy? 

Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese

For the Salad

  • 1 bunch of kale (about 5-6 cups of leaves)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I buy the pre-shredded ones)
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • juice from 1/2 and orange
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Pull leaves off of the kale stems and break into smaller pieces. Put them in a salad bowl and lightly salt and pepper the leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to mix things around, scrunching the oil into the leaves. As you mix, the kale should begin to wilt slightly, making it tastier and easier to eat. Add the carrots, blackberries, pistachios, and avocados. Drizzle with the orange juice and vinegar and toss to combine. Garnish with orange zest and baked goat cheese (recipe below).

For the Baked Goat Cheese

Adapted from Seasoned to Taste

  • 6 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon your favorite dried herbs like thyme, garlic, and parsley
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mix the eggs and mustard in a small bowl, set aside. Put bread crumbs on a plate and season with salt and pepper, set aside. Dump goat cheese and herbs in a small bowl and mix to combine. Roll goat cheese/herb mix into 2-inch balls then smoosh between your palms to form flat discs. Freeze discs on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15-30 minutes. (I like to keep a few in the freezer for the next time a baked goat cheese fix hits.)

Remove discs from freezer and press breadcrumbs on both sides. Dip each disc completely in the egg/mustard mix, then press breadcrumbs again on both sides (this creates a doubly thick, crunchy shell).

Brush with olive oil and bake until crust is a lovely golden brown, about 7-8 minutes.

Here are a few other healthy recipes that I totally love:

 

Thai Chicken Satay Salad | Club Narwhal
Roasted Potato Salad with Asparagus | Club Narwhal
Baked Avocado Wonton Rolls | Club Narwhal
 
Greek Yogurt Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes | Club Narwhal
  • http://wrappedupinbooks.org/ molly

    The baked goat cheese looks amazing! And I’m always looking for great ways to mix up kale salads.

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Doesn’t it look soo great?! Goat cheese is by far the most underrated of the cheeses. I love it.

    • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

      Thanks, Molly! Baked goat cheese makes everything in life better :)

  • http://www.thewinestain.com/ Ashley

    I like cheese, esp with breading on it. Sign me up!

    I am trying to eat more vegetables, so I only eat vegetarian on week days and then I allow myself some meat on the weekend. It’s made cooking more challenging (in a good way).

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      That’s a fantastic idea. I’ve always toyed with the idea of going meatless and just doing it during the week is a great idea!

    • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

      Ashely, I am so with you on cheese (+ breading). I love that you are cutting back on meat! I need to try doing that more often :)

  • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

    POWER DUO! I saw this in my reader this morning and purposefully put off reading it because I knew it would make me sad about the lunch I packed today, haha. As usual this looks amazing!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      :-) Simply scheduling this post made me sad about the state of my refrigerator. Aren’t the photos pretty?!

      • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

        You know how people joke about how it would be cool to have musicians follow you around and play a soundtrack to your life? I think having Amy be life’s official photographer would be even better.

        • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

          YES. I’m in!

    • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

      Alicia, you crack me up!! And I rarely ever bring salads to lunch because they never look or taste as good as when they’re made fresh. Also, I have an excuse to eat pizza :)

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

    What a great salad!! I have been trying to watch what I eat as well, make better choices especially that I feel run down most times. It is challenging but I know it’s a process I need to strive towards being in control of.

    • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

      Thanks, Zainab! It’s hard to watch what you eat, especially since you make such delicious looking treats! It’s all about balance, right?

  • Jess @ inpursuitofsimple.com

    I have to tell you that I love your blog. I’ve only been reading for a few weeks, but I’ve been interested in everything you’ve posted – and this looks delicious! I tried making kale chips for the first time a few weeks ago and they turned out great. So I’ve been looking for ways to add more male to my diet.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jess @ inpursuitofsimple.com

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Wow, thank you so much Jess! :-) So glad to hear you’ve been enjoying it!

  • http://design-delight.com/ Kara | Design Delight

    I love a good salad, but unfortunately so many salads are just… sad. Too few ingredients, lacking on taste, and leave you feeling unsatisfied (or worse, hungry.) Sad salad. For me, that’s the biggest struggle with eating healthily. This, however, looks like the antidote to sad salads! I’m seriously excited to whip this salad up over the summer months

  • http://lifemadesweeter.com/ Kelly @ Life made Sweeter

    This salad looks fantastic! I am such a big fan of kale and love the fresh blackberries and light orange vinaigrette. Since I am such a sucker for sweet treats, I always try to incorporate lots of veggies and fruit as well which hopefully balances out my not so healthy indulgences.