On Mondays, we close the flower shop and I work from home. The best thing about my home office? The lunch hour. ;) Taking a mid-day break to cook/make something really good for lunch is one of my favorite parts of the day. This week, I threw together an easy white bean and kale salad — inspired by this recipe from Minimalist Baker — with stuff I had in the pantry and fridge.
It was so good, I’m putting it in my weekly meal prep rotation. With a few make-ahead ingredients, I can quickly toss this salad together in a glass Pyrex container* for a delicious grab-and-go lunch.
Easy White Bean Kale Salad Ingredients
- a couple handfuls of chopped kale, stems removed and discarded (I buy a big bag of chopped kale from Aldi each week for soups and salads)
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh lemon
- 1/2 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- boiled egg
- bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
- kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
- dried red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat)
- crispy fried onions*
I’m not big on meal planning, but I do love to prep a few easy shortcuts to have on hand for salads and grain bowls; a trick I picked up from Christina Chaey in a summer issue of Bon Appétit.
Eggs: Whenever I soft-boil eggs to top ramen, hearty veggie soups, or rice dishes for dinner, I add a few extra to the pot for my fridge stash. In my humble opinion, 8 minutes is the perfect amount of time to boil an egg; it fully cooks the white, and leaves the yolk just a bit soft and jammy (but not runny). I watch the timer like a hawk, and have a bowl of ice water on standby to plunge the eggs into to stop them from cooking further. Boiled eggs last a few days in the fridge, and are perfect additions to so many lunch recipes. Or, for a quick protein fix with a little salt and pepper when you’re hangry.
Bacon: Do yourself a favor and make your bacon in an air fryer. It’s easy, quick, and less mess; the fat drains into the bottom container and wipes right out, and if you have a dishwasher-safe model (I do*) cleanup is a breeze. Cooked bacon lasts 4-5 days in a shallow airtight container in the fridge. Roughly chop it just before you assemble your salad.
Put the kale, white beans, and bacon into a Pyrex bowl, or similar storage container with a tight-fitting lid, and generously drizzle with EVOO. Quarter a fresh lemon and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with the lid, and shake-shake-shake until all the kale and beans are coated. Transfer salad into a bowl, or keep in container if you’re taking it to-go.
Top with a sliced boiled egg, crispy fried onions*, and red pepper flakes.
For more recipes from the archives, click here!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links denoted by a ‘*’; I may earn a commission from the retailer if you make a purchase from an affiliate link.