Do you ever have days when you just want to be creative and do something fun? That was me last week. Call it procrastination, lack of discipline, ADD — whatever, but I could not bring myself to be productive! I have several blog posts to write, recipes to try, a closet makeover to finish, and an empty house to clean (while kids are in school).
Instead, I found myself in a creative frenzy, attacking various areas of the house, rearranging and reimagining, lost in a design trance and loving every minute of it. It started with repainting my living room art because the rust color was bothering me. The best thing about DIY art is that you can adjust it as needed. I still need to make a frame for it, but I’m not really focused on the living room right now.
If you remember, one of my big takeaways from the One Room Challenge this spring was to focus on completing one room at a time. This keeps me from buying 75 throw pillows and never investing in items that make a big impact or help complete a cohesive space. You can see how that project turned out here.
For my rearranging, I didn’t purchase anything new, so I’m still technically on track. The gray vase on the mantle is new and was a birthday gift from Mr. Bayou. You can purchase it here. The white planter is from Target and is currently sold out, but if they restock it, you can find it here. Note, this post uses affiliate links, and if you purchase something from it, I might get a little commission.
I ended up loving the maroon color in the painting so much that I decided to paint a pot too. Project led to project, and before long, it was time for kids to get home!
It always takes a while to adjust to new routines, and this is no different. Now that I’m finished with the little pity party I had for myself about waking up at 5 a.m. to get kids off to school, I can start planning my day and accomplishing some things! Yes, it’s early. They are all in middle school, which starts at 7 a.m.
Despite having to overcome my negative thinking about school start times, I did manage to pull this recipe together. I’ve been researching it for a while, collecting ingredients and trying out salad dressings. Iâ€™m so excited to share it with you.
Chicken and Kale Salad with Sorghum Vinaigrette
I love a good restaurant salad, but for some reason, itâ€™s never the same at home. With the gorgeous colors and interesting fall flavors, this salad is good enough for guests!
Gather the Ingredients
Iâ€™d never heard of sorghum until about a month ago. According to this site, Sorghum is a “super grain, high in protein, rich in antioxidants and naturally gluten-free.” It can be eaten as a grain, ground into flour, or made into a syrup. To me, sorghum syrup tastes very similar to molasses, but it’s a little lighter and has a slightly milder flavor. It’s a natural sweetener like honey.
I purchased my sorghum syrup on Amazon here. The whole grain mustard is also from Amazon, linked here, but I’ve seen similar types in local grocery stores. It adds a ton of flavor to the dressing. It’s also delicious on sandwiches.
This salad also calls for dried cranberries. Unfortunately, most cranberries in the grocery stores are full of added sugar. I purchased mine at Trader Joeâ€™s, but you can also find them at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Sliced apples would be another great option.
The salad mix I used was also from Trader Joeâ€™s. It contains kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green cabbage, and red cabbage. Iâ€™ve seen similar mixes at Walmart, but you could also create your own by slicing the veggies into thin slices with a knife, or use a food processor. See my superfood salad recipe for more ideas. Â Buying it this way, and mixing it with baby salad greens, is a huge time saver.
I used prepared rotisserie chicken for my salad, but if I were cooking for friends, I’d either use fresh rotisserie chicken or grill my own.
Put the Salad Together
One of the keys to making a restaurant-quality salad is temperature. If possible, heat the chicken and the salad dressing just a little bit before assembling the ingredients. I assemble the dressing in a mason jar, and heat it in the microwave for about 45 seconds (without the lid). It’s nice to store it that way, too. Just shake it up when needed. It doesn’t need to be hot, but a cold salad right out of the fridge just isn’t as appetizing.
If you’re planning to serve the entire salad, warm the dressing first, and toss most of it with the greens. Then, layer the other ingredients on top. If you’re not planning to eat it all right away, definitely add salad dressing to each plate.
Here’s the printable recipe with all of the details!
Let me know if you try it! I’m planning to share the closet progress tomorrow and a few budget-friendly fall fashion items later in the week. Thank you for being here, and I hope you’ve found something helpful today.