DIY Sweet Kale Salad with Hoisin Chicken and Red Lentils

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I am a big fan of the Sweet Kale Salad kit. We go through 1-2 bags each week in our house because they make for an easy lunch entree: We throw a handful of the salad into a container and top with left over protein (like chicken, basa fish or salmon), pepitas, dried cranberries and drizzle on some poppyseed dressing. Easy. Tasty. Done.

However, I am not a huge fan of the increasing price of these kits so I have started to “make” my own Sweet Kale Salad.

Here is what you will need to make your own sweet kale salad:

  • One head of purple cabbage
  • One head of kale
  • Pepitas or other seed like sunflower or hemp seeds
  • Dried cranberries or other dried fruit
  • Poppyseed dressing (purchase or you can make your own)

Chop your purple cabbage and kale into bite-sized pieces and put into a container for easy salad assembly.

I haven’t worked out the exact cost per serving but here is a very rough cost comparison of the done-for-you salad kit with the individual cabbage and kale. What I can say is that my container of fresh kale and cabbage last substantially longer than the done-for-you salad kits.

The kale salad provides the “bed” on which I will add my protein.

Hoisin Chicken and Lentil Lettuce Filling

With all the interest and benefits of plant-based diets, I have been looking at ways I can add in more plant-based proteins. One of my favourite recipes is Hoisin Turkey and Lentil Lettuce Wraps from It pairs the familiar ground meat (in this case, lean ground turkey or chicken) with plant-based proteins (in this case, red lentils). Pairing new ingredients with familiar foods is a great way to expand the variety and nutrition in your diet.


I made a few batches of the Hoisin Chicken Red Lentil Lettuce Wraps. With the leftover Hoisin Chicken Red Lentil filling, I had a convenient and tasty protein to add to my bed of kale and cabbage.

When you have an already-prepared protein available in your fridge, it makes for easy lunch-packing. Here, I have placed a handful of kale-cabbage salad, topped it with leftover hoisin chicken red lentil filling, sprinkled on seeds and dried fruit, and drizzled lightly with poppyseed dressing.

I brought this lunch entree with me to work – and I had several people comment on how good it looked. It was bright, colorful, tasty and filling. I am sure I will continue to buy the salad kits because they are quick and convenient. However, when time permits, I will do some of my own chopping to save money and have access to brightly colored, crunchy and tasty veggies.

Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall MSc, RD Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian Calgary, AB.

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