Fall garden salad is full of Bright, crisp kale greens, broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. Bed them down with other delicious healthy add in to make this salad a healthy meal replacer. Top it all off with a delicious Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing for a touch of piquant sweetness. So good!
I love the intensity of the color, light and shadow of fall. Everywhere I look, if the sun can break through the clouds, light and color delight the eye. When we get sun that is.
It’s pouring down rain today. POURING!!! This week storms are beginning to blow the colorful falling leaves. Beautiful leaves line our driveway and scatter the fields with small bits of color.
Our garden is also changing. The raised beds are still planted and busily producing kale of various sorts, carrots and broccoli. The Greenhouse is slowing down but still protecting our tomatoes and peppers.
Dave goes out to harvest every night. Even in the pouring rain. This time, He came in from the dark, rainy night with a lovely variety of crisp Fall vegetables. Several kinds of kale, celery and broccoli. He found ripe peppers and tomatoes in the greenhouse.
They were Full of rain drops and wonderful flavorful nutrients for our dinner salad. This time of year the garden greens are definitely firmer but not in a bad way. They are a good crunchy texture with excellent strong flavor.
I mixed up a batch of creamy balsamic dressing and threw in some pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds and cubed cheese. We love these healthy fiber rich salads. We just add in whatever we have in the pantry, like black olives, and enjoy an adventurous splendid meal. It’s always good!
Make Your garden salad into a healthy meal replacer!
This post is a How to or idea post to help inspire you to make more kale salads. With the correct add ins kale salad makes a healthy and delicious meal all on it’s own. We eat this for dinner several times a month in Fall. It’s a nice cleansing detoxifying salad. Full of fiber and nutrient rich ingredients you choose yourself.
What’s in your fridge or pantry that would taste great in a salad full of strong flavored Fall greens?
Suggestions from my fridge and pantry include:
- Marinated artichoke hearts,
- dilly beans,
- toasted pine nuts,
- dried cranberries,
- Pomegranate seeds
- goat or feta cheese.
- Do you love mushrooms? Not a favorite at our house but if you enjoy them they belong in this salad as well.
Use what you have. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Use this green salad to use up odds and ends. The strong flavors and texture work well with lots of things.
Kale is a perfect green for this salad. Its firmer texture provides a good structural base for this busy flavorful salad. And it lasts in the fridge too. This salad makes yummy leftovers that are still enticing and delicious for days! Just be sure you leave off the salad dressing until serving time.
Three Advantages of Kale Greens in salad:
- All the kales are thicker and stronger in flavor and texture than lettuces so they provide a good base for all the add ins we like.
- All the varieties of Kale (there are several) have more nutrients than lettuce and hold their freshness longer in the fridge.
- Thick hearty greens also have a ton more flavor and give good chew value which makes this salad very filling and sustaining.
Other Fall Greens to consider mixing in for additional interest, flavor and nutrients:
Some of our favorites:
- Swiss chard
- Beet tops
Also try Collard greens and young tender parsnips tops if you have them.
MORE Salad Extras and Add in Ideas to build protein and healthy fats:
- Nuts like walnuts, pine nuts and pecans offer a crunchy nutty flavor, good texture to your salad, protein and healthy fats.
- Cheeses like pepper Jack, colby and Feta add more texture, flavors, some fat and protein.
- Seeds like sunflower and pumpkin have crunch, satisfying saltiness if you choose the dry roasted varieties, tons of protein and healthy fats to sustain you.
- The various Fall vegetables offer a wealth of nutrients and textures. Choose broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for crunch.
- Bacon is NOT good for you but the flavor and satisfaction it offers make it well worth the added sodium and unhealthy fats (IT’s only a little).
- Add carbs by cooking up a batch of rice or Brown Rice/Quinoa Blend or other grain you love and mixing them in.
- Top this Fall Garden Salad off with a flavorful healthy salad dressing and Croutons for a lovely meatless meal (If you chose not to use the bacon) is quickly on the table.
Have fun playing in your fall larder and creating fantastic fresh fall Kale salads. I have made kale the base of my hearty winter salads for many years.
Our Creamy Balsamic Dressing makes a perfect finishing touch for kale salads.
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We use homemade Creamy Balsamic salad dressing to dress this salad. However, Dress your salad Only at serving time or the acids in the dressing will degrade the salad.
Make the best kale salad:
- Make the balsamic salad dressing ahead and let it sit in the fridge. This helps the flavors blend before using.
- Kale leaves should be stripped from the fibrous ribs. The ribs are sometimes too stringy to enjoy.
- Kales leaves can be messaged gently to tenderize them if you wish. We usually eat them the way we find them in the garden. We like the texture and fiber.
- Assemble your salad greens and other garden veggies before adding in the cooked (and cooled) bacon, grain blend and cheeses to keep the distinct texture and flavors each ingredient has to offer. Leftover cold rice or other grains can be used in this salad too.
Fat 28 g
Carbs 18 g
Protein 15 g
- 4 Cups kale leaves, we used several varieties
- 1 small head Broccoli- cut up very small
- 1 rib celery-sliced fine
- 1 clove garlic- minced and smashed
- 2 shallots- minced
- 6 slices natural bacon-cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup cubed pepper jack cheese
- 1 medium heat or sweet pepper-finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can black pitted olives- drained, pitted whole or sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 Cup grain blend, cooked ahead and cooled
- 1 recipe Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing, Make it ahead, cover and store in fridge
- Make your Quinoa Rice grain blend ahead if using and cool in fridge before adding to the finished salad.
- Make the creamy balsamic salad dressing. Set in fridge until serving
- Cook your bacon on medium heat until thoroughly cooked but not burned.
- Wash all greens thoroughly and pat dry.
- Remove kale leaves from stem and chop up the leaves small.
- Prepare and assemble all of the other ingredients.
- Check on your bacon and turn it over.
- Mix all the other ingredients into your salad bowl.
- Remove bacon from heat and dry it on paper towels five minutes.
- With a large knife, cut the bacon fine until crumbled and mix it into the salad.
- Serve with the balsamic salad dressing and other toppings of your choice.
Fall Garden Salad is a healthy meal replacer if you add in all the extras. This will increase the calories and carbs. But also the protein as well. This recipe is more of a suggestion than built in stone. Use what you like and enjoy!
The time this salad takes to make changes according to how much you do beforehand if making the salad dressing and grain blend too.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 366