When I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she requested that I cook her dinner. Always down to feed my loved ones with tasty goodness, I was eager to try something new.

In need of some inspiration, I looked to Saveur, where I found their spotlight on different recipes using kale. I am absolutely 110% obsessed with kale, and found myself very intrigued by this Kale and Chicken Brown Rice Salad with Cherries recipe.

Due to seasonal produce limitations, and the fact that I didn’t want to just serve a salad for Mother’s Day dinner, some adjustments to the recipe were made.

The result was still incredible, so much so that my mom (who is the most brutally honest person in the world) told me it was the best salad she’d ever had (and seriously not just saying that because she’s my mom) and that this salad should be called “The Gracie Kale Salad” (nice one, mom).

Here’s how to make my version:

INGREDIENTS (to serve 4 as main, 6 as side)

1 cup loosely packed sweet Thai basil leaves

4-5 large garlic cloves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp. sugar

1 cup cooked brown rice

Fresh-ground black pepper

1 8 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained

2 cups chiffonaded lacinato kale (stems removed, leaves chopped into thin horizontal ribbons)

1/2 cup roughly chopped/ground almonds


1. Make the dressing: In a food processor, pulse the basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and sugar until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together the rice and kale, toss with dressing until well coated. Gently fold in the artichoke hearts and almonds. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Keep chilled until serving.

As you can see I made a roast chicken to go with this salad but served them separately. Mixed together the next day was an excellent lunch as well. I’m eager to see how this will taste with cherries in the summer, they were obviously left out of the recipe since 1lb of cherries is currently $15 in Chinatown. This recipe is the best thing to happen to my cooking skills in quite some time, and it was so easy – try it!!