Renewing Rainbow Kale Salad
Renewing Rainbow Kale Salad- a vibrant and energizing salad that’s a nutritional powerhouse. Each serving packs in 18 grams of protein! (vegan, nut-free and gluten-free)
Do you ever get cravings for a giant colorful salad?
I sure do. I also crave sweet and salty treats (and frequently give in to those desires) but I’ve managed to find a balance where I allow myself those things in moderation and still find happiness in a big bowl of greens.
There’s actually new science that suggests that the bacteria in our guts is what controls our cravings and that those bacteria survive based on what we feed them. Meaning that if you eat a bunch of crap, that’s what you’re going to crave.
The bright side is, the more you nourish the good bacteria with healthy plant fiber, the more you will come to desire those foods. It’s only a matter of time.
I’ve definitely found that to be true for me. Foods that I used to be appalled by are now staples in my diet, and vice versa.
Goodbye chicken nuggets…hello kale salad.
What makes me most happy is when I can find a restaurant that excels in creativity and flavor without comprising the integrity of the food. During our recent trip to Asheville we ate at a local spot that walked that line perfectly.
Green Sage Cafe isn’t strictly vegetarian or vegan but it was created with a mission to serve nourishing, sustainably produced food and as a result, many of the menu items happen to be plant-based. We loved it so much that we ate their twice during our visit and there’s doubt we’ll go there again when we return in October. It’s the kind of meal that you feel good after eating, not bloated and bogged down.
One of my favorite items was their citrus kale salad which I recreated with this recipe. I felt so refreshed and energized by it that I knew I wanted to make it again to share with you.
Between the vitamins and fiber in the kale and red cabbage, the protein and minerals in the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and the healthy fats in the avocado, it’s just as satisfying as it is nourishing.
This recipe makes about 4 large, meal-sized salads or 8 small side salads. Because it stores so well, I prefer to prep it for lunch and then serve with avocado when I’m ready to eat.
I used mandarin oranges but you can substitute whatever fruit you like best in it’s place. Apple would work great, especially since they’ll be in season soon!
Renewing Rainbow Kale Salad
Yield: 4 large salads or 8 small
Prep Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
For the Salad
- 2 bunches kale, stems removed and torn into bite pieces (about 16 ounces)
- 1 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium beet, peeled and shredded (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 2 mandarin oranges (or other preferred fruit)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 avocado, sliced
For the Dressing
- juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- salt & pepper, to taste
Place the chopped kale in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the top of the kale then use your hands to massage it into the leaves. The kale should reduce in size.
Add the cabbage, beet, carrot, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds to the bowl then toss to combine. Top with orange segments and sliced avocado, serve and enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Wait to top with avocado until ready to serve.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
This is so pretty! I haven’t been eating the healthiest lately, so a good salad like this needs to make its way into my belly soon. I just need my avocado to hurry up and ripen!
It’s funny, some of my strongest cravings are for veggie-packed meals like this, and kale salads seriously make me water at the mouth! This is so fresh and vibrant, I can barely stand it! I need to get my face on this TODAY!
This looks SO good, Sarah! I’ve been on such a salad kick lately! Now you’ve got me craving kale!
So true about cravings… I find the further I get away from refined sugar, the less I crave it. But when I do have it, I can really appreciate it for what it is, then move on. Now, about those Kettle chips (I can’t seem to get away from that craving – LOL!). Love the kale and avo hugs in their closeups, Sarah! It’s SO fun discovering new recipes when traveling or just trying something new at an old favorite place to eat. This salad is absolutely scrumptious. I can get all of this save the citrus and avo at our farmers market right now! Delicious work!
Love the close up shots of the kale and avocado. Would love these printed in my kitchen.
I’m in need of a crunchy kale salad.
I crave colorful salads daily and it makes me feel so much better (inside and out) when I eat them! Kale salads are some of my favorite and I love all of the ingredients you’ve packed in here, especially the orange and the grated beet! Your close-up shots are just gorgeous too!
Beautiful looking salad! Do you pan roast the seeds first or just use them in the salad raw? Also, do you have a favorite brand of olive oil and Dijon mustard… thanks. :)
I used them raw but I’ve also bought roasted pumpkin seeds before and those would be delicious too! :)
As for my favorite brands I like California Olive Ranch’s olive oil. There was a report done showing that some of the Italian olive oil isn’t very pure and since then I’ve bought that brand. The only thing is that it isn’t organic. For the mustard I buy store brand, either Whole Foods 365 or Earth Fare since that’s what I live closest to now.
I hope that helps and that all is well with you, Jerilyn!
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my questions, much appreciated. :)
Yum, such a bright & beautiful kale salad! I definitely crave greens, and I also crave sweets… like you, I know that it’s all about a healthy balance :)
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This looks AMAZING! Super excited to try it this weekend. I love that it sits well, as my usual Sunday is all about weekly food prep.
I’m a sucker for cheese, however … If I wanted to add some here, can I ask what you’d recommend? I was thinking maybe feta or queso fresco, as they wouldn’t overwhelm flavors. Thoughts?
Hmm…I would say feta would probably work the best since that seems to pair well with fruit. It’s hard to say for sure without testing it out but that would be my suspicion! :)
Thank you!! I’ll let you know how it goes!