An Easy Kale Salad for Christmas Eve

Getting the menu right for a holiday is all about balance. I try not to, for example, have too many carb-heavy dishes because you don’t want your guests to feel bloated. Plus, I’m really all about the sides. Plus, the sides can be so colorful! I love the sweetness and the crunchieness of this salad paired with the creamy bolognese pasta I’m serving up on Christmas Eve.

Can I let you guys in on a little secret? I don’t like kale. Well, I didn’t. And I was like, “you have to massage your kale? Too much work.” This coming from the girl who goes to 4 grocery stores every weekend just to shop for the week. I mean, really? So anyway, I made this salad, and I massaged the kale, because nobody has time for bitter kale, and I actually apparently really like it!

6 Things I Buy Every Week at the Grocery Store

Okay, this should probably be called “6 Things I Buy Every Week at the Grocery Store but Mostly Trader Joe’s.” Loving to cook, I rarely make the same exact thing every week, but I do have a few staples I can’t live without. And there’s something about those Trader Joe’s goodies that are just superior to basically all major chain things I buy!

I love these peppers, and they’re better priced than the peppers at our major chains. A roasted pepper is so versatile, too! Throw it into pasta salad, into an omelet, on a sandwich, in a salad, and even with meats and cheese for impromptu guests. We go through at least a jar a week.

Another TJ’s must have: low fat feta. I’m obsessed. Again, crumbled over eggs, in a salad, sprinkled into rice (with spinach, kalamata olives & lemon? mmhmm, yes please). It lasts forever, but in our house, it lasts about a week.

Artichoke hearts are another perfect pantry item – keep them around to throw on a meat and cheese plate with your roasted red peppers! Trader Joe’s has delicious artichokes (and awesome grilled ones that have so, so much flavor!). I’m partial to throwing these on a cold pasta salad, especially now in the summer months, my regular salad, baked with spinach and cheese over chicken….they do all the things!

Okay. Do y’all know the joy of this Herdez Guacamole Salsa? I am literally obsessed. On salad, on chicken, on steak, on sauteed veggies, on grilled veggies, on raw veggies, on tacos. Give me all the guacamole salsa! This is the one thing I absolutely have to go to the big chain grocer for each week. I will make a special trip just for this salsa when it runs out. You can find it in the Mexican section at the store.

I’m sure everyone buys some sort of greens every week. I actually get this spring mix at Costco. It lasts longer than the regular grocery store, is so super delicious, and is like $3.99 for the ginormous size. I have a salad most days for lunch, so we can easily go through 1-2 of these a week. But they last about 10 days! Especially if you do the paper-towel-on-top-of-the-greens trick. You know, to sop up all the condensation from the lid?

I l-0-v-e mustard. This mustard is the best, we go through a jar every 5 days, easily. I’ve even sauteed zucchini in this mustard! But really it’s the secret to my creamy vinaigrette dressing, and what I use to make a traditional vinaigrette, too (which I put on everything).

 

What are your go-tos each week that you have to have?