Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad

Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad is a healthy, super satisfying way to turn leftovers into a complete meal. Perfect for a post-holiday detox or clean eating (that tastes great!) any time of year.

Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad is a healthy, super satisfying way to turn leftovers into a complete meal. Perfect for a post-holiday detox or clean eating (that tastes great!) any time of year.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃 I, for one, am thankful for family, friends and a loyal group of readers who make sharing recipes and stories through my blog and newspaper column a complete joy!

Thank you for that ❤️ and enjoy every last forkful of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pie. I will be doing the same!

Of course, every year after the holiday feast and a requisite turkey sandwich or two, I start to crave a little something green and crunchy. Enter this all-in-one meal that makes good use of leftover turkey, or chicken when the leftovers are no more.

I like to think of this easy recipe as Thanksgiving leftovers in the form of a hearty, healthy salad. (If you want to add leftover stuffing, be my guest.)

Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad is a healthy, super satisfying way to turn leftovers into a complete meal. Perfect for a post-holiday detox or clean eating (that tastes great!) any time of year.

Heightening the appeal is a stellar contrast of colors, flavors and textures. Crunchy nuts or seeds, sweet apple, tart cranberries, vibrant greens, lean protein, whole grains and salty feta, all wrapped up in a light-yet-creamy dressing.

Make it ahead if you like. The hearty greens and other ingredients keep well. Leftovers make a great packable lunch or dinner over the next several days.

I typically use my creamy balsamic dressing – or my classic balsamic with just a touch more honey. (Printable recipes are linked below.) Feel free to use your favorite homemade or store-bought alternative if preferred.

A note of caution for those who avoid gluten:  Look at the ingredient list if using a wild rice blend. Some blends contains barley or other grains that are not gluten-free.

I do prefer the texture and flavor of wild rice or a wild rice blend in this salad. In a pinch, a long grain brown rice or quinoa could be used.

Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad is a healthy, super satisfying way to turn leftovers into a complete meal. Perfect for a post-holiday detox or clean eating (that tastes great!) any time of year.

Creamy Honey Balsamic Dressing is my personal favorite dressing for this salad, although you may use your favorite homemade or store-bought dressing.

As an option, Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette is big on flavor with ingredients you control.

Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad
Yield: 4 hearty main dish servings; 6-8 medium-size portions
A healthy, super satisfying way to turn leftovers into a complete meal... perfect for a post-holiday detox or clean eating (that tastes great!) any time of year.
Instructions
  • 1 bunch kale (8-10 ounces), tough ribs removed and very thinly sliced (I prefer lacinato kale when available)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups diced, cooked turkey or chicken
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (from 2/3 cup uncooked)
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted* (may substitute walnuts, almonds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – or a combination)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta or goat cheese, crumbled
  • Cream Balsamic Dressing or Favorite Balsamic Dressing 
Instructions

Place the sliced kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle the kale with a pinch or two of salt and massage until it starts to darken and soften. Add the remaining salad ingredients and drizzle with about 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss to thoroughly combine.  Add more dressing if you like a heavier coating, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Salad will keep for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.  Freshen with an extra drizzle of dressing as needed.

 

Notes

*For optimal crunch if making ahead and/or planning on leftovers, add the nuts or seeds just prior to serving.

Make it dairy-free: Omit the cheese and use my regular balsamic or your favorite dressing
Make it nut-free: Omit the pecans or use the seed option

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

Turkey (or Chicken), Kale & Wild Rice Salad is a healthy, super satisfying way to turn leftovers into a complete meal. Perfect for a post-holiday detox or clean eating (that tastes great!) any time of year.

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