Garlic Kale and Brown Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing
Today’s post is sponsored by Kettle Brand! Their Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper chips are taking this holiday-friendly salad to the next level.
Return of the salad!
Except it’s not really a salad. Which is a good thing in our house – like for the times when Bjork says, “What’s for dinner?” and I tell him I have leftover SALAD in the fridge, and he gives me a look () but then suddenly I put a bowl of this crunchy-satisfying brown rice garlic kale combo in front of him with a fried egg I REPEAT: FRIED EGG on top and he says, “That’s not a salad.” As a compliment. True love, yknow? ♡
This recipe – salad, skillet, whatever it is – is a delicious warm mish-mash of garlic kale, brown rice, lemon herb dressing, and crushed Kettle Brand Sea Salt and Pepper chips for crunch.
Friends, I am having a hot second with chips crushed up in salads.
You know when you go out to a restaurant and it’s so wonderful that they have those little wonton strips or tortilla pieces or crispy onions on top of all their salads? This is that, but three things –>
Better, because it’s made at home which means food in your face in about three seconds flat.
Better, because it’s not a mystery-fried-food-atop-a-salad situation as much as it is those natural, non-GMO Kettle Brand chips that you already have in your cupboard doubling their usefulness as snack AND salad topping.
Better, because this brown rice / kale / chip / dressing combo can double as a fast and easy dinner OR a great easy side for any Friendsgiving celebrations you might have coming up.
In order for Friendsgiving (a friend-group celebration of Thanksgiving) to be successful, it needs to be at least half as stressful as real Thanksgiving, right? None of this rushing around beforehand to get every last little detail perfected. And we definitely don’t need any kitchen fails such as shattered glass toffee pan shards of years past finding their way into every crevice of the kitchen and almost taking off a few fingers in the process just minutes before friends show up. I mean, not that I know annnnything about that. Nothing at all.
What we need for this type of celebration is intentional time to hang out with friends ️ and permission to make easy, less than 30 minute recipes ️ that are broadly complimentary to almost any Thanksgiving dish ️ and I am going to suggest we do that by putting all-natural, crunchy Kettle chips with great salt and pep flavor and no MSG ️ in a brown rice and kale skillet with lemon herb dressing ️ and then calling it all a salad. ️
I’m pretty sure this is the definition of Friendsgiving.
Since we’ve all had our fair share of fails (glances around room for moral support) there are a few things that I like to try to do to keep entertaining casual and easy, one of them being the only-pick-a-few trick. I strategically pick A FEW elements of a recipe that I will make from scratch and a few products that are going to be awesome on their own. In the case of a recipe like this brown rice salad, I don’t need to do the crunchy toppings completely from scratch because Kettle’s got us covered, but the dressing is the one I choose to go homemade with. In theory, I love a recipe that is completely made from scratch // In reality, sometimes when you’re hosting, all those moving parts are just a little too much. I try to balance it out so the equation equals convenience plus home cooking plus really good taste.
I feel more relaxed already.
Have you guys ever done a Twitter chat? Consider this your invite! I’ll be on with Kettle Brand and we’re going to talk Friendsgiving, recipes, entertaining, and all that jazzy-jazz. And you should join me! 11am, Thursday (tomorrow), be there! Jammies and a day-old top knot? NO ONE HAS TO KNOW. You can find us by using the hashtag #FriendsgivingFail.
Of course, beyond Friendsgiving, garlic kale and brown rice could easily be worked into a weeknight dinner recipe involving eggs or other protein. And the fried egg magic I mentioned at the beginning? With a little hot sauce over the top? Fah-la-la-laaaa. Highly recommend.
But the beauty of this especially shines at holiday dinner parties because it really can take on any flavor and go with anything.
It’s easy to make (30 minutes, guys) and even your most scrooge-like non-salad people will still love it.
Pulse all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the kale and saute until wilted to about half of the original volume. Add the brown rice and stir-fry for a few minutes together with the kale until everything is heated through. Add the dressing into the pan (start with about half of it) and toss to combine. Just before serving (can be served hot or cold), toss with the chips. Top with dried cranberries.
This is delicious with a fried egg on top (leave off the cranberries unless you like eggs + cranberries). The perfect easy dinner!
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Keywords: kale salad, kale and rice salad, lemon herb dressing