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.