THE SUPERFOOD KALE SALAD
Superfood – it’s one of the biggest phrases in nutrition right now. Superfood indicates a food that is nutrient dense and will benefit the body on a deep nutritional level. Everyone wants superfoods these days. Our guests that come to our fitness retreat love to talk about superfoods and how they can get more of them. It’s a great conversation because there is some confusion out there. There are like a zillion shake diets out there (I will not name any of them) who claim to be selling “superfoods”. I’m here to tell you that superfoods don’t come in the form of a processed meal replacement shake. They just don’t.
Superfoods are -> Whole, unprocessed, colorful foods.
It’s honestly that simple. Superfoods don’t need to be complex and eating them doesn’t need to be hard. Superfoods are nature’s finest, whole, beautiful foods. They are the foods that are on the perimeter of your grocery store. Think gorgeous colors and textures. And don’t forget herbs! Herbs are full of nutritional value and are considered nature’s natural medicine. Here’s a quick (and very short) list of colors and the foods that are in each group just to give you an idea.
Green: Kale, spinach, romaine, endive, broccoli, dandelion greens, green peppers, brussels sprouts, chives, basil, green apples, lime, kiwi, green grapes.
Red: Red cabbage, tomato, red pepper, strawberries, raspberries, red apple, red grapes, red potato, beets, radish.
Yellow: Squash, yellow pepper, yellow tomato, onion, golden beets, pear, pineapple, corn on the cob, lemon, grapefruit and yellow apples.
Blue/Purple: Blueberries, eggplant, açaí, blackberries, plums, purple carrot, turnips, passionfruit, purple potato.
Orange: Carrot, sweet potato, orange, mango, peach, pumpkin, orange peppers.
White: Cauliflower, mushrooms, parsnips, garlic, white asparagus, figs, white potatoes.
Nutrition Tip: I like textures and colors so I try to mix up what I purchase each week. I’m not someone who can eat the same thing all of the time so to keep it interesting I try to rotate the fruit and vegetables that I buy. By rotating what I purchase weekly, I’m actually giving my body the best chance at absorbing as many nutrients as possible. Changing your food up is just as good as mixing up your workouts. If you eat the same thing day after day, not only are you always getting the same nutrients but your body is used to processing and absorbing those same nutrients.
WHAT’S IN THE SALAD
Ok, back to the kale salad. I’m constantly trying to figure out how to pack as many nutrients as I can into my meals. If you’re not careful, you can spend all day eating just to get everything you need (haha). Honestly though, I do make a big effort to pack my meals full of delicious, colorful food that will give me the most benefit.
Sweet Potato – Good source of vitamins A, B6 + C. They are also a good source of manganese, copper and fiber (eat the skin!).
Beets – Beets are full of vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and fiber.
Kale – Kale has many health benefits. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, supports detoxification, helps lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol making it heart healthy. Part of the cruciferous vegetable group, kale also helps prevent cancer.
Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper. They are also full of plant based omega-3s. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as well.
Turkish Figs – Figs are high in fiber and a good source of several essential minerals, including magnesium, manganese, calcium (which promotes bone density), copper, and potassium (which helps lower blood pressure), as well as vitamins, principally K and B6.
I was craving sweet potato and beets one day so I just decided to experiment with those ingredients and created this salad. It came out delicious so I thought I would share it with all of you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
4 cups finely chopped kale
1 sweet potato cubed
2 beets cubed
3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 Ounces goat cheese
4 chopped, dried organic Turkish figs
5 Tbsp olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SALAD
Wash and dry all fresh produce. Chop kale. Cube sweet potato and beets. Chop figs.
Preheat oven to 400. Add cubed sweet potato and beets to sheet pan and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp olive oil + salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until tender.
In two bowls, distribute chopped kale evenly. Top with half of the beets and sweet potato on each.
Add half of the pumpkin seeds and half of the figs to each bowl. Top each with crumbled goat cheese.
Drizzle 1.5 Tbsp olive oil over each salad.
Cut lemon in half and squeeze one half over each bowl.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Protein: If you want/need more protein, feel free to top the salad with your favorite protein. I suggest grilled shrimp or salmon.
Enjoy this delicious salad. If you have questions about the recipe, please leave them in the comments below.
If you need help with nutrition and meal planning, check out our Health & Wellness Coaching for individual coaching, motivation and accountability: Health & Wellness Coaching
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