Whole Living Daily

2012 Action Plan: Kale and Quinoa Citrus Salad with Lemony Avocado Dressing

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I know many of you are following the Whole Living detox plan this month, so I thought I'd share a healthy and satisfying meatless Monday recipe with you today.

I'm kind of obsessed with kale. It has become a regular in my kitchen and the fact that it's pretty much in season all year means I eat a lot of it. Some favorite ways I enjoy it: a quick sauté in oil and garlic, soups and casseroles, and kale chips. But after all the food indulgences I encountered during the holidays, eating kale raw is all I seem to crave.I enjoyed my first raw kale salad a couple years ago. My initial thought was that it seemed strange to eat such a sturdy green (wouldn't I be chewing on it forever, just to make it digestible?), but I soon found that all it needed was a little massage. Yep, I'm saying to roll up your sleeves and start rubbing those leaves. Gently massaging the kale helps it soften, while still retaining all its healthy nutrients. It's best to do this with a dressing that can really add flavor and break down the leaves, like the avocado-lemon-basil one in this recipe.

Tossing the tender kale leaves with shredded carrots, fennel, orange slices, avocado, and quinoa makes this salad a powerhouse meal; it's so good for you! Dressed lightly with a creamy avocado-based lemon-basil dressing, it will keep you feeling light, but also satisfied, which we all know is key during this month's cleanse.

Kale and Quinoa Citrus Salad with Lemony Avocado Dressing

Serves 2 or 4 as a side

1 avocado, cubed (divided)

Juice from 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

4 basil leaves

Salt and pepper

2 cups packed kale, rinsed, dried, and chopped into bite-size pieces

1 large carrot, shredded

1 fennel bulb, sliced into thin strips

1 orange, segmented

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1. Combine half the avocado, lemon juice and zest, basil into a small food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

2. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the dressing and, using your hands, massage the kale, 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the carrots, fennel, orange, the other avocado half, and quinoa. Toss to combine, season to taste, and serve.

Jacquelyn Scoggin became a vegetarian at age 16 and has since been in the kitchen whipping up meals for her family and friends. She writes and photographs her love for vegetarian food on her blog, So Good & Tasty. In 2009, she and her husband started Slide Sideways, a graphic design and handmade business. They maintain their love for the environment by using organic fabric, recycled paper, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.

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Comments (5)

  • Although I appreciate your commitment to kale and the recipe this was not included in the shopping list for the week and I notice more and more you talking about what you whipped up adding ingredients to recipes I thought we couldn't. One day you added an apple to a smoothie or an avocado "for creaminess" yet in another post it was specifically stated the foods are there for a reason and in a specific order. Details and help are hard to come by. We rely on someone else stating the same symptoms to feel like we are not alone. Sorry, no more detox plan for me. Perhaps I need more support and response. Good luck to others.

  • Jacquelyn - great salad! Lots of my favorite flavors in one big dish. I love all of the avocado! My dressing didn't become very creamy in the food processor - next time I'll add more lemon juice and use the blender.

    Tammi - my understanding of the detox plan was that first and foremost, there were six big "no"s (alcohol, caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugar and processed foods) for the entire detox. From week 1, all fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds were okay (including apples and avocados). Don't add fish or beans back in before week 2, and don't add whole grains and eggs back in before week 3. This is a week 3 recipe because it contains quinoa. I have liked having a few recipes each week so I could try something new, but felt as long as I stayed within these guidelines I could also experiment with other recipes. I hope this helps and that you consider sticking with it! You might also consider emailing WL directly because I'm not sure if they read comments often.

  • [...] I’ve never really been a dieter or one to go along with the latest diet craze, but I do like to lighten the food load once in awhile when I feel like I’ve had one too many indulgent treats; and right after the holidays nothing is more true. So in keeping with the Whole Living January detox plan this month, I’ve created a super healthy salad filled with all kinds of good for you ingredients, but it still packs great color and flavor to keep it anything but boring. Get the recipe here. [...]

  • [...] you ingredients, but it still packs great color and flavor to keep it anything but boring. Get the recipe here. Tags: avocado, basil, carrots, fennel, kale, lemon, oranges, [...]

  • [...] energy and encourage strength building.  For a great spring/summer inspired recipe be sure to click here.  Want to add animal protein to the recipe? No [...]

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