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Kale, Cheddar & Apple Salad

Sweet Michigan Gala apples and sharp cheddar cheese meet kale in this nutritious winter greens salad! 

While the freshest produce seasons here in Michigan tend to be spring, summer and fall, there’s something about a nice light salad in the middle of winter that does the body good! In fact, salad tends to be one of the most popular food items ordered out or made at home during January, February and March because Americans want to start off the new year fresh and green, perhaps with the goal of losing some holiday pounds.

What I love about this kale, apple and cheddar salad is that it’s totally customizable based on what kind of dressing you have on hand, and apple too! We are a gala-loving family; but that doesn’t mean a Braeburn, Fuji, or Golden Delicious wouldn’t work well either. 

I think of this salad as more of a main dish, the perfect accompaniment to a warm bowl or soup or a simple turkey sandwich. And yes, my toddlers even enjoyed it too! I just made sure to make their apple and cheddar slices big so they could pick it up with their toddler-sized hands. 


Kale, Cheddar & Apple Salad
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes

– 4 cups baby kale spring mix 
– ½ large lemon, juiced and zested
– ¼ cup olive oil
– 2 teaspoons sugar
– 1 Michigan apple, sweet, like Gala or Fuji
– 1 cup cheddar cheese cubes, cut into ¼-inch dice
– salt to taste

Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and olive oil in large mixing bowl. Add kale and toss until all the kale leaves are fully coated in dressing. 
Add the apple and cheddar and stir to combine. Serve immediately. 

Note: The longer the mixed kale with the dressing sits, the softer the kale leaves get. If you have the time, try letting the salad sit in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before adding the apples and cheddar cheese. 

Katie Serbinski, MS, RD, is the registered dietitian and Mom behind Mom to Mom Nutrition. She lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband and three hungry kiddos.