With a bright, fresh dressing, this Lemon Garlic Kale Salad is the perfect nutritious side dish for our easy Mason Jar Mac & Cheese which makes this meal a weeknight win!
Ya’ll, there are two days of school left. Two, short glorious days left in the school year. No more projects, no more homework, no more early morning wake ups! Just when I thought the squares on our calendar would clear out, Kaleb was selected for the 14U All Star baseball team. It’s a huge accomplishment and we are so proud of him! Since the lazy days of Summer haven’t quite arrived in the Bassett household, I am still building my menu plan around simple, balanced dinners that we can crank out before heading up to the field for another scrimmage. Fellow busy families – feast your eyes on this easy weeknight meal idea!
Lemon Garlic Kale Salad and Mason Jar Mac & Cheese
Believe it or not, my teenage boys LOVE this salad! I will say that I am pretty lucky to have veggie loving kids, but with the bright, tangy lemon dressing, this Lemon Garlic Kale Salad is always a crowd pleaser. Better yet, this dinner could not be easier to put together.
It starts with one of our favorite staples: Stouffer’s Family Size Macaroni & Cheese!
Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese recipe includes real, simple ingredients, like freshly made pasta, cheddar cheese, milk and butter. While homemade meals are the “golden standard” for many families, we live in a busy world where whipping up homemade dishes every night can be challenging. Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese is an easy solution that you can feel good about feeding your family.
Here are a few tips for my fellow busy families to help make quick, balanced dinners like our Lemon Garlic Kale Salad with Mason Jar Mac & Cheese:
- Frozen prepared foods are a great time saver and there are so many new dishes and flavors to choose from. I love that I can grab comfort food classics, Mexican dishes and Italian meals in my freezer section.
- To build a balanced meal, use frozen prepared foods as your base and pair with an easy-to-make side dish made of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and/or low-fat dairy. For example, I often times serve a big salad or roasted broccoli with a prepared Italian meal.
- Use pre-washed/pre-cut lettuce, greens, vegetables and fruit to make meal prep quick and painless. For this dinner, I used a 9 oz. container of pre-washed baby kale and pre-minced garlic for the salad, so it was ready in a flash.
Now, back to our mason jar mac & cheese. The Stouffer’s packaging indicated that the mac & cheese was 5 servings, so when the mac & cheese was finished cooking, I spooned it into four wide mouth 8 oz. mason jars and packed up the remainder for lunch the next day. This is a great way to keep an eye on portion size while still enjoying warm, creamy mac & cheese! And just like my Cornbread Strawberry Shortcake, everything is cuter when served in a mason jar 🙂
P.S. This is a really cute presentation for entertaining – individual servings of mac & cheese in mason jars!
The mason jar mac & cheese was ready, so all that was left was to put together the salad. A big bowl full of dark leafy greens, a drizzle of the lemon garlic dressing and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and dinner was served!
- Large bag or large bunch of kale – stems and tough leaves removed (approx 8-10 cups)
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
Lemon Garlic Dressing
- 3/4 cup light olive oil or grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- About 30-45 minutes prior to serving salad, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over kale (reserving about 1/4 cup of dressing) and mix well.
- Refrigerate salad until serving and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving.
Lemon Garlic Kale Salad is a versatile side dish, so feel free to adjust to your family’s preferences: use romaine lettuce or spinach, add salmon or chicken to boost the protein or throw in some additional veggies like red peppers,onions and carrots!
Here are a few more nutritious side dishes that would be delicious paired with your favorite prepared meal!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.