Caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms make everything better. This warm kale salad is no exception! Add chickpeas or beans for extra protein.
If you ever sit down to lunch with me, there’s a good chance you’d raise an eyebrow at my choice of salad dressings. While I love a good balsamic vinaigrette or light buttermilk dressing as much as the next salad lover, but more often than not I go totally off the rails when it’s time to dress things up.
When I was going through my weight loss journey, I made a lot of changes to my diet. Almost every day for lunch since then, I’ve eaten a huge salad. Everything but the kitchen sink goes into it. Greens, leftover protein from last night’s dinner (chicken, fish, whatever), whatever veggie happens to be in the fridge (cucumbers, red bell peppers and mushrooms are favorites), raw sunflower seeds, a bit of cheese and…a few tablespoons of salsa. That’s right, salsa makes the perfect dressing!
But, according to my family, that’s not the weirdest dressing that I use.
One of my favorite salad toppings is black bean burgers, grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces. The perfect protein option! Whenever I go that route, I spoon a dollop of hummus and shake a good amount of hot sauce (this one, please!) on top, then mix it all around. Hummus + hot sauce = my favorite dressing ever!
This warm kale salad doesn’t have a dressing per se, but the warm, sautéed balsamic mushrooms and caramelized onions coat the kale leaves and wilt the salad perfectly. No oil needed. No cream needed.
Typically I massage kale leaves under warm water to tenderize them before incorporating into a salad, but the warmed vegetables do the job of the water in this circumstance. Be sure you’re ready to serve the salad before the vegetables are stirred in so that the salad doesn’t over-wilt.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the mushrooms are light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
- Place the kale in a serving bowl. Add the onion and mushroom mixture, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
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