The New Most Important Meal of the Day

You guys, I solved lunch.

I recently wrote about my occasional breakfast ruts. Truth is, I’ve been in a lunch rut for my entire life.

I hate lunch, always have. While I know I should choose something light and low on carbs in order to minimize the post-lunch stupor I experience, it’s much more fun, when you’re craving a burger or are invited out to the Indian buffet, to partake in a meal as hearty as dinner. I know some folks who skip lunch altogether, but my growling stomach makes it impossible for me to accomplish that. So I end up paralyzed and indecisive, a little bit hungry or way too full.

This kale salad solves lunch by creating a killer balance of rich ingredients with nutrient-rich greens. The egg, walnut, and avocado collaborate to deliver satisfaction. The kale is their foil, bringing each bite to your mouth without the help of a piece of bread, my original delivery method. Plus, kale beats out lettuce as a base for a brown bag salad: you can dress the greens with a honey-tinged vinaigrette in the morning, and they soften up by the time you dig in at lunch, as opposed to getting soggy like lettuce.


Kale Chef’s Salad with Chopped Egg, Walnut, and Avocado
Serves 1 for lunch

Pack a slice of bread or grab a roll if your lunch just isn’t complete without carbs. The idea of a chef’s salad is that you can use what you have around, so feel free to modify the add-ins with different nuts and veggies if you like.

2 cups torn lacinato kale leaves (from about half a bunch)
Coarse salt
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely graded
1 hardboiled egg (for instructions, go here), chopped
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 ripe avocado, cubed
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon honey (it’s easier to just drizzle a tad in than actually measure)

Place the kale in a bowl. Massage a few pinches of salt into the greens. Set aside while you do everything else.

Once you’ve grated the carrots, boiled and peeled and chopped the egg, grated the Parm, chopped the walnuts, and diced the avocado, add all these ingredients to the bowl.

In a second bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go to emulsify the dressing. Add the honey and a pinch of salt.

Pour most of the dressing over the salad and toss to mix it in with all the ingredients. Taste for salt. Add more dressing if you like. Eat now or pack up and eat later.


    • Ha – yes – the kale used in the salad is slightly blurry, in the foreground. The chard was too pretty not to photograph. Didn’t intend to confuse!

  1. I feel you! I’m often either too full – leading to frustration from the lack of post lunch nap. Or starving a few too many hours before dinner arrives. Love to have healthy options though, and this sounds great.

  2. This is the best thing ever! It really has solved lunch for me. Using the pre-torn trader joe’s kale makes this even easier, and I’ve always adapted the toppings to what’s in my fridge, but the basic premise–kale that softens in the dressing until it’s nice and ready and lunchtime–is perfect. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *