The Perfect Summer Dinner – Emily’s Lemon Kale Salad

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

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As many of you know, I had a baby two weeks ago. I decided when I had her that I would give myself two weeks of living in leggings and loungewear – before trying on my jeans – and before I actively started trying to losing the baby weight. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself, and I wanted the leeway to just appreciate all the little moments at home with her.

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BUT now that we’re two weeks post -partum, it’s time to start eating a little bit healthier. I know I will thank myself when I start stepping on the scale in two weeks (I’m giving myself a month before I start counting macros again) and I know Caroline will benefit from a more plant based diet as well.

FYI – I am endlessly thankful to all of our wonderful friends and family for keeping our kitchen, fridges and freezers stocked with food these past two week. You know who you are – and you are all amazing. I have eaten so many cookies, cheese balls, casseroles, and chocolates over the past two weeks. :/ I assure you, I have enjoyed every bite. And so has Caroline. ūüôā

But – I’m sorry buttered noodles and cheese balls – it’s Kale time.

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a salad person. I eat salads because they are a necessary evil of good health and proper nutrition. AND really I eat salads because I know that they will help me fit in my skinny jeans.

But this salad isn’t any old salad. It doesn’t even really taste like you’re eating a salad. Maybe it’s the fact that with the croutons it tastes kind of, sort of, like garlic bread… or maybe it’s the fact that it is covered in cheese… or maybe it’s the fact that it’s easy as hell to throw together. I don’t know.

Whatever the reason, Joe and I are both obsessed with this salad. He actually asks that I make this for dinner, and we end up eating it – in some variation – at least two nights a week during the summer. You will notice that the measurements in the ingredients below are kind of loosey – goosey. However, as you make this salad more and more, you will realize that it isn’t really a salad that needs anything too precise to taste amazing. In my opinion, those are the best kind of recipes.

Also – feel free to top ¬†this salad with whatever protein you choose. We usually opt for poached eggs for simplicity, but grilled chicken and baked salmon are also fantastic.¬†Nutrition note: This salad makes about 3-4 decent sized portions and I estimate it’s less than 250 calories a serving (before you add whatever protein you choose). Thus – it is the perfect dinner if you’re looking for a delicious, low calorie, and healthy dinner option. Enjoy loves!

Your waistline will thank you… trust me.

RECIPE: Emily’s Favorite Lemon Garlic Kale Salad

Ingredients:

Salad: 

– 1 container of pre-washed kale – you can cut up your own, but for ease, I always use a pre-washed container

– 1 cup of good Parmesan – freshly grated

– Eggs (for poaching – or whatever kind of protein you choose)

-Half of a good french baguette – cubed for croutons (we use the remaining half to eat with the salad)

Dressing: 

– The juice of 2-4 lemons

– 1 cup of very good olive oil<<< Ina would be so proud (we love the Pasolivo California Blend)

– 4-6 large garlic cloves crushed (I use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to do this)

– Salt – to taste

– Red pepper flakes – to taste

– A dash of orange juice or honey – if you want some additional sweetness

Directions:
– Place the kale in a large salad bowl
РIn a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, smashed garlic, teaspoon of salt, and very  good olive oil. Mix thouroughly.
– Pour dressing over the kale, toss and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
– In the meantime cut half of the baguette into small cubes. Toss with olive oil and salt, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. After 10 minutes check the croutons, toss gently with a spatula, and bake for the remaining five minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
– Add croutons and the freshly grated cheese to the dressed kale.
– Plate and top with your choice of protein.

Enjoy over and over again!

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!Emily Farren Wieczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares her key to losing the baby weight, and her favorite summer meal - her lemon kale salad!

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