Eating for Beauty: Super Health Salad with Kale and Lemon Garlic Dressing

Thursday, February 20, 2014
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This winter has been long and brutal throughout most of the country. But I’ve got my sights set on spring and new beginnings. I’m ready to drop the comfort foods and feel healthier and happier. This colorful salad has become a standby in my diet lately and I want to share it with you. It’s really delicious and very healthy – my favorite combination! The key is a yummy lemon-garlic dressing that my bestie, Ruth, taught me how to make. With only 4 simple ingredients, it’s quick and easy to whip up and it’s detox-diet friendly. This salad makes a great side dish or top with shredded organic cooked chicken or marinated baked tofu for a hearty meal.

Get the recipe and nutritional benefits after the jump.

Super Health Salad with Kale and Lemon Garlic Dressing

Serves 2 as a side dish, 1 as a meal

1 clove garlic
½ t salt
½ lemon, juiced
olive oil to taste
1 large or two small leaves of kale, chopped
1 handful baby spinach leaves, torn
1 small carrot or 2-3 baby carrots, grated
½ pickle cucumber, chopped
¼ apple, chopped
A couple strips of red bell pepper, chopped
1 T dried cranberries
1 T sunflower seeds

For the dressing:

1. Crush garlic using a garlic crusher or finely mince.

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2. Combine garlic and salt in a small bowl to form a paste.

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3. Juice your lemon and then stir it into your garlic and salt mixture.

4. While stirring, slowly drizzle in olive oil to taste. Use less if you like a tart dressing and more if you prefer a more mellow flavor. For me, this is about 1 tablespoon.

For the salad:

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1. Start by chopping your kale.

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2. Add to bowl and combine with 1 tablespoon of your dressing. Set aside to allow the dressing to soften the kale a bit.

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3. While your kale is sitting, chop and gather your other ingredients. I used baby spinach, carrot, cucumber, apple, red bell pepper, cranberries, and sunflower seeds but you can substitute other veggies or fruits.

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4. Add all the ingredients to your bowl of kale and toss, adding more dressing, if desired.

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Yum!

Nutritional Benefits:

Garlic contains flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients that offer many health benefits including keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control and protecting the lining of blood vessels. These benefits are most potent when garlic is consumed raw.

Lemons are rich in phytonutrients and vitamin C for antioxidant and antibiotic effects.

Olive oil contains good fats called monounsaturated fatty acids that may lower the risk of heart disease.

Kale is a low calorie, high fiber leafy green that is chock full of antioxidants including carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. It is also an anti-inflammatory food with detoxifying properties. The nutrients in kale stimulate cellular turnover and ease inflammation making it a powerhouse for your skin.

Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant, and have been proven to fight cardiovascular disease.

Cucumbers contain flavonoids, ligans, and triterpenes, along with more well known anti-oxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese, making it an underrated cancer-fighter.

Red bell peppers are loaded with vitamin E and contain over 30 carotenoids for awesome antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Apples are a terrific source of polyphenols, which serve as anti-oxidants and protect against clogged arteries by inhibiting oxidation of cell membrane fats.

Cranberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E. They are well known for being a good source of proanthocyanidins, which protect against urinary tract infections.

Sunflower seeds are nutritional gems with cancer-fighting selenium, bone-bolstering magnesim and copper, and skin-nourishing vitamin E.

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