I’ve been struggling a bit lately with our strict budget and homebody routine (click here to read more about this). Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what life’s all about and that bothers me. I have to remind myself that it’s the small things in life that matter most. We’re planners with a strict routine, which means we get up at 4am during the week, 6am on Saturdays, and 5am on Sundays. Clearly we aren’t very spontaneous people, so our outing to Lake Needwood last Sunday was really refreshing for us. We loved the spontaneity so much that we decided to skip our 9pm bedtime last Sunday in order to indulge in Banana & Nutella crepes and Panera coffee (latte for me, hazelnut coffee for him). We just made it through the doors before they closed. Whew!
We fell off the bandwagon a bit with our crepe indulgence, so we’re back on with eating yummy salads to help balance us out. All I know is that I feel better when I eat healthy, so I’m all for having salads as often as possible. Yesterday we bought a huge bag of kale and 2 heads of cabbage to make lots and lots of salad for the week. Now If I could just come up with an oil-free dressing we’ll be smooth sailing.
We recently stuck our forks into this masterpiece of a salad, which ranks as one of the best salads I’ve ever thrown together. Kale, cabbage, carrots, beans, tuna, green olives, apples, caramelized onions…topped off with a lemon and soy sauce dressing. Oh, and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Yessssssss!
Tuna is my go-to protein for salads. It tastes so good and amps up every bite of this salad. I’ve loved green olives since I was a kid, so I add them to salads whenever I can. Love the salty tang! Can we talk about apples in salads for a second? Oh.my.word! I love the crunch and the added sweetness, which helps balance the acidity of the dressing. The caramelized onions really pushed this salad over the edge. I made sure to pick-up a sliver of onion with every bite. It was like a flavor party in my mouth. Can’t argue with that goodness! Go on, make today a Salad Sunday!!
Psst! You might also enjoy my Sweet & Savory Salad with Avocado-Salsa “Dressing”.
Kale & Cabbage Salad with Apples and Caramelized Onions
Yields a lot of salad—can be easily halved or doubled
For the salad
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 large onion—halved and sliced thin
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 (16oz) bag kale—remove large stems and cut kale into small pieces (w/kitchen scissors)
- 1 head of cabbage—cored and sliced thin
- 5 carrots—peeled and shredded
- 2 cups pinto beans (homemade or canned)
- 2 (5oz) cans of tuna in water—drained
- ½ cup green olives—drained and sliced
- 2 apples—cored and diced
For the dressing
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add the canola oil and sliced onion and stir. Cover with lid and let cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden in color (about 20 minutes). Set aside until ready to use.
Add the sesame seeds to small skillet set over low heat. Let cook until golden, or until you really start to smell the aroma of the seeds—about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them! Set aside.
In a very large bowl, mix the kale, cabbage, and shredded carrots together with your hands. Add the beans, tuna, green olives, and diced apples and mix thoroughly with your hands (or tongs).
For the dressing
Add all the ingredients to a small container or Mason jar and shake to combine.
Fill a bowl with the desired amount of salad and top with some caramelized onions and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Spoon on a bit of dressing, cover with lid, and shake well.
Store leftover salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator. The salad should be kept in an airtight container to maintain freshness.