For quite a while I took a hiatus from eating much meat. It wasn’t sounding good to me, and I was very content with the abundance of plant proteins out there. I had plenty of eggs as well. Recently though, I have been craving meat, and often. It started about a month ago when all I seemed to want was chicken salad. The funny thing is that I have never really liked chicken salad at all, or at least have never craved it. But all I wanted over the course of a few weeks was chicken salad.
And you know what? I had my chicken salad, and plenty of it. And it was delicious.
The thing is, I was never a vegetarian, or vegan, but my body wasn’t really asking for meat and so I found myself just not eating it. It certainly annoyed Anthony at times but he was cutting back on his meat intake a bit so I guess it all went hand in hand! I would eat fish and chicken maybe a few times a week and that satisfied me. But something has shifted since then and I am certainly embracing it. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, I get plenty of plants in this body, but this body wants some chicken or some turkey burgers or meatballs much more regularly these days, so I will feed it!
That’s the thing I guess I don’t really do. I don’t have a label for the way I eat. I try to eat balanced and clean, essentially as many unprocessed, whole foods as possible, but heck, even I don’t follow that all the time. I don’t know exactly what Paleo means and I don’t Whole 30 or 21-day this. It’s not for me, none of it. Any way of eating that forces me or requires me to completely eliminate anything is just not for me. At least where I am right now. What I AM into is I guess more of the concept of intuitive eating. You know, the whole listen to your body concept. Not easy. Never perfect. But that’s the thing I identify. The only label I am really okay with when it comes to my diet is no label. And if that’s not your thing, I totally understand. But I think I spent too many years restricting and labeling foods as good or bad to every adhere to any form of eating that allows all of that to resurface.
What about you? When you listen, what is your body telling you? What is it asking for? What do you really need to feel nourished and satisfied? Hopefully you can listen to what it is telling you as well!
In my post from earlier this week, I talked about how breakfast and treats are a majority of the recipes I create and share. Oh, and peanut butter recipes. Maybe the blog should have been called ‘Be Whole. Eat Breakfast.” Hmm. Not quite the same ring to it, I think. Well, exciting news friends, today, I share a salad! And a good one. This salad is rooted in the the first time my husband ate kale salad anything so this one is for keeps!
When we were in Chicago recently, I dragged Anthony to Sweet Green. I mean, when in Chicago that’s what everyone does, right? (Trust me, we had our fair share of deep dish pizza and other goodies!) We ordered the harvest salad, and it exceeded our expectations, well mine, at least. Who knows what Anthony was expecting. In fact, I think he was surprised by how much he liked it. This was a fully stacked salad: kale, goat cheese, roasted chicken, wild rice, roasted sweet potatoes, apples, almonds and so much more. So naturally when we got home it was the first recipe I had to re-create. No Sweet Green in Cincinnati? No problem! I switched the almonds to pecans and added dried cranberries because I thought the salad was missing those. And bite, after bite, I was taken back to Chi-town. Winner.
As for the balsamic dressing in this recipe, there is an option to use Tessemae’s version as it is our go to at home and it has all the exact same ingredients as the dressing I make. Great minds, right? And sometimes, you just don’t have time to make your own dressing so it’s nice to have options! And as for the chicken, any roasted chicken will do! I just roast a few chicken breasts with garlic, sea salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil each week and I am good to go!
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed (about 8-9 cups chopped)
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 roasted chicken breasts
- 1 apple (I used fuji)
- 1 c wild rice, cooked
- 2 oz. goat cheese
- 1/4 c dried cranberries
- 1/3 c chopped pecans
- olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 minced garlic clove
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces and toss in about one tablespoon olive oil. Line evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and soft.
- While sweet potatoes are roasting, whisk all ingredients for the dressing together.
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and chop kale into small, bite sized pieces as well.
- After sweet potatoes are cooked and cooled for several minutes, combine all salad ingredients together. (crumble goat cheese when adding)
- Add in desired amount of dressing and toss to coat and serve.
- I love Tessemae's Balsamic Dressing if you are not interested in making your own!
- Also, adding leftover rotisserie chicken to this is also great for saving time.