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Celebrate the flavors of fall with this light and fresh dinner recipe, Sausage, Apple and Kale Salad, that can be made in under 20-minutes!
Grab this Sausage, Apple and Kale Salad recipe below or PIN IT for later!
Goodness, how on Earth is it already October?! It seems just like yesterday we were ringing in the New Year and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little babe. But it IS October and that means we get to celebrate all the magical things of fall! From our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, to some of my favorite family traditions, and of course, all the delicious food; I am so excited about this time of year! And while fall is typically known for its comfort foods and sweet treats, we are really trying to stick with our new year’s goal of being more active and eating more balanced meals. For us, this doesn’t mean crash diets or extreme workouts, I mean, after all, I am still going to enjoy some pumpkin spiced treats! However, we are trying to get outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather and make simple swaps and better choices when it comes to the meals we prepare and ingredients we use. To do this, I’m making sure I use wholesome and heart-healthy ingredients in my recipes, like fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables and Mazola® Corn Oil. In fact, a clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.
In my opinion, its all the small things that can make a big difference in life. If I’m feeling tired or “off” a quick 30-minute walk around the neighborhood and some fresh air is just what I need to get some energy. And waking up a few minutes earlier to meditate and plan the day, really helps me stay focused on the tasks I need to get done, which, to be honest, are all a little bit harder now with a baby by my side! 😊
Meal planning and having a fridge and pantry stocked with fresh foods and “better for you” ingredients is another one of the many “keys to success” as a busy work from home Mom; as not only does this save time, but it has helped save us some money from eating out so much. It also makes preparing and eating balanced meals easier and prevents the dreaded “what’s for dinner” rut.
I’ve actually meal planned and made simple swaps to help make our meals lighter for years. For instance, we usually use eat lean cuts of meat and swap out our favorite foods and ingredients with better choices like using brown rice instead of white rice and using no sodium or low sodium varieties when it comes to canned goods, like beans and broths. I also typically reduce the amount of sugar, salt, etc. called for in recipes to make the final product better for us.
But one of the biggest swaps I try to make in the kitchen, is using Mazola Corn Oil since it is an all-purpose cooking oil that is an easy and smart heart-healthy choice for our family. Not only that, Mazola Corn Oil has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils, at 450°F, and can be used in a variety of ways including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up in a marinade or salad dressing. And, since Mazola Corn Oil has a neutral taste that won’t negatively impact the taste of other ingredients, it lets the natural flavor of your food stand out! Today’s Sausage, Apple and Kale Salad recipe is a typical weeknight dinner in our house. It’s fast, ready in under 20-minutes, light, and features fresh seasonal foods and simple “better for you” ingredient swaps. Instead of using pork sausage in this salad recipe, I use lean chicken sausage that I pan sear in a little corn oil, instead of extra virgin olive oil or butter, due to its high smoke point and it being heart-healthy.
I also love making my own homemade salad dressings because not only are they super easy to make with basic pantry staples, I can control the ingredients used. For instance, instead of using mayo in my Creamy Apple Cider Dressing, I use protein packed Greek yogurt. I also swap the granulated sugar often found in salad dressings for honey. And I use corn oil, instead of extra virgin olive oil, due to its neutral taste (I really want the apple cider flavor to come through and complement my salad) and because of the cholesterol-blocking plant sterols, Mazola Corn Oil is a heart-healthy choice for my salad dressing (to learn more about this claim, see MAZOLA.com).
And before you turn up your nose about this being another recipe for kale salad and think it is not going to be good, I’ll let you in on a little secret. This kale salad uses baby kale, which is tender and more like spinach than tough dino kale! Perfectly paired with the baby kale is juicy sausage, crisp apples and a tangy apple cider dressing; this fall inspired kale salad idea is one of our go to dinners and I hope it will become one of your favorites too! What simple swaps do you make to your recipes to make them lighter and better for you? Please share in the comments below! And for more better for you recipe ideas and inspiration, click here or follow Mazola on Facebook!
- Sausage, Apple and Kale Salad:
- 2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1 pound chicken sausage links, 4 links
- ½ cup apple juice*
- 1 (5-ounce) package baby kale
- 1 small green apple, sliced
- 1 small pink lady apple, sliced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
- Creamy Apple Cider Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper
- To make Sausage, Apple and Kale Salad: Heat 2 tablespoon corn oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add sausage links and cook, until well browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Reduce heat to medium and add apple juice to skillet. Cover and cook until sausages are fully cooked, about 10 minutes, flipping sausages half way through cooking. When cooked thoroughly, remove from pan and cool slightly and slice.
- Meanwhile, combine kale, apples, red onion, walnuts and blue cheese in a large bowl. Right before serving toss with desired amount of dressing and sliced sausage.
- To make Apple Cider Dressing: In a medium-sized bowl or jar, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, Greek yogurt, corn oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and black pepper until combined.
*Chicken broth or water may be substituted for the apple juice.