This Salad Recipe Straight From the White House Could Be the Key to Michelle Obama's Awesome Arms

You've seen the stock photos: A woman stands, face distraught, in her impossibly white kitchen and holds up lettuce in one hand and chips in the other. It's overstated, sure, but the struggle is so, so real ... especially when you bring that good, healthy fight to kids. But with her fabulous #LetsMove campaign, FLOTUS Michelle Obama is telling everyone everywhere that eating healthy doesn't mean miserably munching on one lettuce leaf per lunch. And by sharing a delicious White House recipe for a Tuscan kale salad, she's helping us taste it, too.


The recipe, which was immediately put into our rotation of weekly lunches, is by the White House's executive chef, Cristeta Comerford. You make it right in one-quart mason jars, so it's ready to be packed into backpacks and brought on the go.

"It's a catch-all salad," Comerford shared with us in attendance at the March 15 #LetsMove anniversary celebration. "You can throw anything in there. I try to use as many seasonal vegetables as I can -- they taste the best and have better nutritional value."

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So what's the secret recipe? Comerford shares:


  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, washed, and spun dry
  • 1/4 small purple cabbage, shredded, washed, and spun dry
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and shaved
  • 1 small fennel, shaved thin
  • 1 cup candied pepitas
  • 1 cup sun dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shaved reggiano cheese
  • 1 serrano pepper, shaved thinly

For the dressing:

  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained, peeled, and prepared for croutons
  • 1 tbsp curry spice mix

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In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, shallots, honey, and vinegar. Incorporate the olive oil slowly and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the bottom of the mason jars equally.

For the salad, cut the clean and spun dried kale into thin strips, set on the first layer of the salad jar. Next, divide the shredded cabbage equally for the next layer. Follow with the carrots and fennel.

Top the salad jar with the pepitas, cranberries, reggiano cheese, and serrano peppers. Close the lid tightly and refrigerate until use. The garbanzo bean crouton can be packed separately to maintain its texture.

To prepare the garbanzo bean croutons, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the garbanzo beans on a cookie sheet. Roast until dry and crispy, for about an hour. Toss in the spice and store in a covered container. When ready to eat the salad, shake the jar and place in a salad bowl. Top with crunchy garbanzo croutons. Enjoy!

If only the secret to getting Michelle Obama's arms were in a salad recipe! But it's a start, and we'll take it.


Image via Patsy Lynch/Corbis Images

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