Kale and Brown Rice Salad

This post is inspired by the Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Salad Bowl from Starbucks. Have you had it? It’s amazing! It’s extremely nutritious, very tasty, and it leaves you feeling satisfied for less than 500 calories! It’s filled with dark green vegetables (something everyone could use more of), whole grains from the brown rice, and healthy fats in the dressing. If you have to grab a quick lunch I highly recommend this salad bowl! It is much healthier than fast food or a sugar and fat laden pastry. One salad has over 100% of your daily value of vitamin A and C. It is also a good source of iron at 25% of your daily needs. I really enjoy this salad because you can eat the whole thing (including the dressing) and know that you’re nourishing your body well and eating something delicious!

In an effort to not give all of my life savings to Starbucks I decided to create my own version. I modified it just a bit from the original based on the ingredients that I had available, but it is very similar and pretty darn tasty! This salad is a bit more labor intensive than your standard salad greens, but it is worth it. One of the many good things about kale is that it holds up well in storage, as opposed to lettuce which will turn brown and wilt very quickly. I suggest making this salad for company or storing in the fridge and packing it for lunch. Your coworkers will be amazed at your healthy lunch!

The dressing Starbucks uses is really good. I looked at the ingredients and I’m still not sure how it gets that bright orange color. I tried to recreate the dressing as best I could, it’s not exactly the same, but it is very tasty! If you are not into making your own dressing I suggest using Trader Joe’s Goddess dressing or just drizzling some olive oil and fresh lemon juice on your salad.
Please try out this recipe! Or, if you are feeling lazy, just go order one from Starbucks! You will not be disappointed!

P.S. Starbucks is not sponsoring me, I just happen to really love this salad! (However, if the Starbucks CEO is reading this I wouldn’t mind if you threw some money my way ☺)

Kale salad
It is very important to massage the kale! I find it helps relieve stress…

kale and butternut squash salad


mixed kale salad

Salad Ingredients
1 bag chopped kale
1 C cubed butternut or Kabocha squash
1 C broccoli florets
3/4 C brown rice
1/2 C sliced tomatoes
1/2 C sliced beets

Dressing Ingredients
4 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP tahini

1. Cook butternut squash in oven for 30 minutes at 350. Dice into cubes. If you bought a whole squash you need to find your sharpest chef’s knife and whack into that baby.
2. Cook brown rice according to package directions (or buy precooked for easy prep)
3. Chop kale into smaller pieces. Massage with a drizzling of olive oil and lemon juice. The kale should turn a darker color.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well
5. For the dressing combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a fork. (Note- tahini is very hard to find in a normal grocery store and can be omitted if you desire, TJ’s does carry it though)

10 thoughts on “Kale and Brown Rice Salad

  1. Just made this! Definitely a bit labor intensive but it should be at least a few days worth of lunches. I left out the broccoli and tomatoes and added edamame instead. The dressing is so easy and yummy!

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