Citrus Chicken (or Shrimp!) Kale Salad

HELLO FRIENDS!

Oh my gosh do I have a PHENOMENAL recipe for you! And it comes with a story!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

So – you may remember that my special gentleman moved during the thick of the pandemic. And I joined him on his apartment hunt! We went all over the city, looking at alllll different types of apartments – it was fascinating.

Well, as one does while apartment hunting, we would get hungry, and would try to eat at a local neighborhood restaurant around the properties, just to get a feel and flavor of the area.

So, the lunch we had right before he found his apartment was a phenomenal little eatery called Friedman’s West. They have a few locations throughout Manhattan, but it is a quintessential NYC brunch/lunch spot.

And the salad I had was out of this world. It was a citrus salmon kale salad that was kissed with juicy orange segments; buttery avocado; salty, crunchy almonds and hearty beets!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

It was seriously one of the best salads I’ve ever had, and believe me….on the Specific Carb DietI know salads.

SO over the weekend, Steven wanted to recreate that salad, as we are both on a health kick before we leave for Wisconsin on Friday for the Fourth of July!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

And my, my, my friends. Our homemade version was even better than I remember! (Because it was made with love, of course! (And massaged kale! haha))

Steven made his with rotisserie chicken (so easy), and I made mine with frozen cooked shrimp (also incredibly easy)!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

Speaking of easy: I recently found this brand “Love Beets” ((NOT SPONSORED!)) But they are fully cooked, organic beets that are vacuum packed and ready to eat! They’re in the produce department. And they are a game changer! No more red-stained cutting boards or messy cleanup!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

And wouldn’t you know, Steven has made this three times since! So, I think it’s safe to say, it’s a hit!!!

And it’s gluten free, Paleo, Keto and Specific Carb Diet friendly!

Here’s What You Need: Serves 2

3 “Love Beets” — or 2 whole, roasted beets, sliced
1 orange, segmented — reserve the juice for the dressing
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup dry roasted, salted almonds – rough chop
4 stalks of kale, stem removed, chopped and massaged with olive oil and salt
1 cup baby spinach
3 ounces of rotisserie chicken, sliced
OR
6 shrimp (I used frozen cooked shrimp, and just thawed it!)

Dressing:
3 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp Orange Juice (just squeeze the leftover orange pulp from above)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Tools:
Good chef’s knife
Large Mixing Bowl
Small mixing bowl
Measuring spoons

Directions:
Start out by thawing your shrimp, if using.

First, you’re going to want to massage your kale. This is really important, as it makes it softer, more easily digestible, and just plain tastier! Put your de-stemmed, chopped kale in a large bowl, drizzle it with 2 tsp EVOO and two pinches of sea salt, and with clean hands, get in there and massage it. I liken the motion to hand-washing something in the sink. You’ll feel it begin to soften and break down, turning a deep emerald green color!

Next, add the rest of your ingredients (minus the chicken or shrimp) to your bowl with the kale!

Combine your dressing ingredients, and mix to thoroughly combine.

Drizzle your dressing over your kale, and mix to combine.

To plate, serve half of the kale mixture to each person. Top each with half of an avocado – sliced – and the protein of choice!

Serve with an iced tea, and enjoy a fabulous, NYC brunch-worthy salad!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

OH MY GOSH was this ever delicious! Steven and I joked that if we would have ordered this salad out at a restaurant, it would have literally been about 28 dollars…..$18 for the salad itself, and then $6 for the additional protein and $4 for the avocado! (Don’t you just love NYC prices?)

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

I’m telling you what – this is the salad that DREAMS are made of, people. DREAMS!! The colors, the flavors, the textures! The healthy components!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

I consider myself a salad connoisseur, as that’s always my go-to-topped-with-salmon at a restaurant. It’s Specific Carb Diet friendly, and incredibly hard to mess up! SO, believe me, I know the trifecta of a good salad: There’s gotta be a crunch, there’s gotta be a creamy/fat component, and there’s gotta be staying power from protein. And this salad had all of them!

First of all, the nice crunch of the almonds were so satisfying! That, coupled with the cool, creamy and buttery avocado and the earthy beets. Just terrific.

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

Secondly — the flavor! Oh my gosh, oranges are SO SWEET this time of year, so take advantage of it! The citrus notes really sung, and their sweetness really brought out the natural sweetness of the beets. They are a pair that are made in Heaven! Plus the salty almonds and the meaty chicken or shrimp. YUM!

Finally, I think it goes without saying, but this dish was absolutely gorgeous. I mean, stunning, really. I would be proud to serve this at a dinner party or a luncheon, easy! The colors are just eye-popping! You start drooling just by looking at those sweet little orange segments peeking through the kale!

An OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious recipe that's a copycat from a high-end, popular NYC brunch spot! This Citrus Chicken Kale Salad is kissed with juicy orange, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds and hearty beets! And is Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free! #healthy #food

And speaking of kale – ok WOW – if you’ve never massaged your kale before, PLEASE DO! Most people don’t like kale, because they’ve never had it prepared properly. Let someone try it when it’s shown a little love….they will be singing a different tune! There’s absolutely NO bitterness or that “harsh green” flavor as my dad so lovingly calls it 🙂

Just do yourself a favor: make this dish! Your taste buds will thank you! 🙂

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28 thoughts on “Citrus Chicken (or Shrimp!) Kale Salad

    1. Nice! Yes – they really are such a great snack! and i’ve never thought about them for an on-the-go snack, but yes! they definitely work! Pair them with some pistachios or hummus…YUM! Hugs and love xox

  1. This sounds wonderful and I am saving the recipe! I used to buy those beets at Whole Foods and am re-inspired to get them again. Thank you for sharing and so glad you found the restaurant for future salad posting!

    1. Thank you so much Aimee! Aren’t they a great find!? They make using beets a no-brainer! 🙂 absolutely! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Ang!! Don’t they offer such a refreshing and sweet little burst of juiciness! so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  2. Honestly, beets and shrimp both make me happy. I’m giving this one a try for sure. Heatwaves’s mean happiness is salad.

    1. Hey Em! Thanks so much! I agree – anything where you don’t have turn on the oven — or even the stove! Bring on the rotisserie chicken and frozen cooked shrimp! 😉 Hugs and love xox

    1. hahah you’re too funny! i promise, it’s just making a pit stop in Jamaica to pick up some tropical fruit, and then it’ll be on it’s way! hehe Hugs and love xox

  3. I’m not gonna lie, it took me a minute to figure out what EVOO was (I got it though 😆). I’ve never heard of massaging kale, but it’s something that I happen to do anyway.

    This salad looks delicious. Would you maybe have a recommendation for replacing Beets? I know it might seem crazy but I just cannot eat them. I promise I’ve tried!

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