Food Matters | Detox Salad
by Jeanne Parks
With the approach of spring and warmer temperatures, my eating habits transform. I go from warm, comfort foods to dishes featuring crisp, fresh salads. This Detox Salad is my favorite and is often included on my weekly meal plan. The prep time is quick considering I use my food processor to chop all the ingredients and my Vitamix to blend the dressing. The recipe makes a considerable amount of salad, and since it stores well, it’s prefect when I need a quick meal for my on-the-go days.
What you eat matters so let’s take a look at a few ingredients that will provide whole food nutrition.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. You’ll notice this vegetable in a number of the recipes I highlight on my blog because it should be in our diets regularly. Kale is rich in Vitamin K, allowing it to regulate blood clotting and transport calcium throughout the body. It’s also rich Vitamin A, attributing to healthy vision and proper neurological function. Kale is a wonderful anti-oxidant – rich in beta carotene and Vitamin C to fight off the free radicals from toxic exposure and strengthening the cells within the body. Meals loaded with kale will boost your immune system so make it a regular vegetable in your meal plans especially during cold and flu season. Lastly, it’s a low-maintenance plant to grow in your backyard garden and thrives in cool weather.
Red Cabbage is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family just as is Cauliflower. Check out all the health benefits of cauliflower in this blog post. Red Cabbage is also an immune booster because its high in Vitamin C. It’s anti-inflammatory qualities support both the gut and digestive system and the heart. It’s one of the most affordable vegetables you can purchase from your local farmer or grocer. Red Cabbage is very versatile as its great raw in salads, sautéed, or (one of my favorite preparations) fermented as sauerkraut or as kimchi.
I could go on for pages with all the other foods in this fantastic salad, but I’m only going to highlight two more ingredients. Hemp Hearts are a small seed that is extremely nutritious. Rich in fiber, Hemp Hearts will help move foods through our digestive system, transporting those toxins out of your body. Sunflower Seeds are a great source of Vitamin E, neutralizing free radicals while promoting anti-inflammatory effects. A few other notable minerals are copper, magnesium and selenium. Because of high fat content they can go rancid easily. Remember to store Sunflower Seeds in refrigerator or freezer.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups kale, leaves removed from stem
- 2 cups red cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2 cups baby carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped
- ½ cup raw hemp hearts
- ½ cup raisins
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- ½ of a large avocado
- 1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ tablespoon fresh cilantro
- ½ tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup water (optional)
- Using a food processor pulse each vegetable separately until roughly chopped: cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and carrots. Add to large bowl and mix together. Then fold in hemp hearts, raisins and sunflower seeds.
- In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the citrus dressing and blend until well combined. Add water as necessary to give desired consistency.
- Add dressing when ready to serve. Keep the salad and dressing separate to ensure salad doesn’t get soggy in the fridge for leftovers throughout the week.
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