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.
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.
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.
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).
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.