Whether you’re a boiled-egg-and-lettuce kind of person, or a tuna-avocado fan, most of us have a go-to salad that we lean on heavily during a health kick. Which is great, except for one thing: salad ruts are real, and even the the most creative recipes run the risk of becoming super boring, super fast. There’s only so much chicken caesar one girl can eat and still stay sane. It’s why we look to Pinterest regularly for simple, cheap, nutrition-packed ways to mix-up your next packed lunch (or Just Salad order).
Our latest find is this: An ultra-healthy—and easy!—detox recipe by food blogger Kristine’s Kitchen that combines all your superfood favorites. With over 40,000 repins on Pinterest, it’s also one of the most visual appealing (and thus social media-friendly) salads on the web.
In case you need any further convincing that this recipe’s worth making, New York-based medicinal herbalist/naturopath Daniela Turley told us it’s both low-calorie and an amazing source of health and beauty-boosting antioxidants. “[Kale] is low in calories but packed with nutrition. It has one of the highest ORAC ratings, which is a measure of the total antioxidant capacity of foods, provides a protection from free radical damage.” Kale’s also high in fiber and ingredients like alpha-lipoic acid, potassium, folate, iron, calcium vitamins K, A C and B6—a nutritional profile that Turley says can help the body prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Even though the detox recipe’s vegetarian-friendly, it still provides a solid source of protein—which can help keep you feel fuller for longer and halt mindless snacking. This is thanks to the quinoa, which Turley says is particularly useful for vegetarians and vegans as “it is considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.” Basically, it’s these amino acids she says can “help control blood sugar and weight-loss due to increased satiation.”
And don’t skimp on the blueberries either, this ingredient is brimming with a plant chemical called proanthocyanidins that you should be loading up on. “Studies have shown that this pigment consumed regularly can reduce heart attack by as much as 32 percent in young and middle-aged women,” Turley told Sporteluxe. Add this to the other benefits like boosting the health of your skin and supporting digestion, and you’ll never want to eat salad without blueberries again.
This dish serves four and will last for three days in the fridge, so you can make plan a few healthy lunches ahead of time. To keep all the ingredients super-fresh, try storing the almonds and avocado separately and add them just before you serve.
Whoever said you can’t make friends with salad clearly hasn’t tried this recipe.
Kale Superfood Salad With Quinoa and Blueberries
For the salad:
1 cup quinoa
1 large bunch (about 6 cups) kale, tough stems removed and chopped
15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 cup blueberries
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup sliced almonds
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
For the dressing:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
a bit of black pepper
Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the kale and, using your hands, toss it with the dressing.
Once the quinoa is cool, add it to the bowl with the kale, along with the chickpeas (if using), blueberries, goat cheese, almonds, and avocado.
Toss gently to combine and then serve.