As a salad or main course entree serve for lunch or dinner with poultry, seafood or beef. An addition of avocados or a favorite citrus will add more flavor and important antioxidants. Use rice paper wraps for spring rolls; serve in pitas, quesadillas, lettuce wraps or in roasted bell pepper cups. The possibilities are endless.
The vegetables in this menu are known as superfoods because they provide health benefits beyond normal nutrition.
Take a look at the ingredients, then take a closer look at their benefits below.
The Superfood Salad & Vinaigrette
- 1 cup broccoli florets sliced
- 1 cup cabbage shredded, nappa, red or green
- 1 cup baby kale sliced
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup soybeans
- 1/2 cup carrots julienned
- 1/2 cup red onions sliced
- 1/2 cup red or yellow peppers sliced
- 1/2 cup chili, pickled or banana peppers
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 cup apples diced, tossed with lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds fresh parsley, chopped pinch of salt, cracked peppercorn blend
- Remove the tough stems from the kale and discard. Roll the kale leaves into ribbons and slice thinly.
- On a platter, add the kale, cabbage and broccoli, then toss the olive oil into the greens to moisten.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the beans, carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, apples, and berries.
- Gently combine all the ingredients, sprinkle the nuts, seeds and herbs on top, toss.
- Serve with the Vinaigrette.
- 1/2 cup acai berry juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbsp onions diced, yellow or green
- 5 tbsp sherry vinegar (or apple cider, balsamic, zinfandel, Japanese rice) pinch of salt, cracked black pepper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor combine the juice, garlic, onions, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and combine until emulsified. Toss with salad and serve.
The vegetables used in the salad can all be found in the garden or are readily available in grocery stores now. Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables which includes cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale and turnips. They all contain very potent antioxidant compounds which fight disease. They are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and E. Broccoli is also a powerful food in fighting cancer and diabetes. Cabbage is high in vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium. The fresher and darker the leaves, the more nutritious. Another leafy green used in this superfood salad is Arugula which gives you a good dose of nutrients. Arugula contains much more vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, and four times the iron as the same amount of a lettuce. Adding arugula to this salad will add a peppery flavor and an interesting flavorful contrast to the other greens.
Kale is a member of the cabbage family and are hardy and yield produce all year long. It is very high in antioxidants, high in beta carotene and contains nutrients that lessen the occurrence of many diseases including cancer. Kale contains potassium, vitamin E and is low in calories, and even cooked kale provides the minimum daily requirement of Vitamins A and C and calcium. Harvest the very young, tender kale leaves to use fresh in salads, and as the plants continue to mature they can be used as a cooked green.
Carrots have amazing health benefits: they prevent cancer because of the compound falcarinol they contain which lowers the risk of developing tumors; they improve vision because of the vitamin A and beta carotene; they contain cartenoids which result in the prevention of heart disease and stroke and they ha ve cleansing agents which detoxify organs in the body. They also contain nutrients that nourish the skin and slow down the aging process.
Tomatoes improve your vision because of the vitamin A they contain. They contain vitamins (A and C) which neutralize dangerous free radicals in the blood stream. They also help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels under control; help repair cell damage; they help lower blood pressure due to the vitamin B they contain; and they contain lycopene which fights cancer cells. Nothing compares to the taste of a vine ripened juicy tomato. Other fruits used in the salad are Berries and juices. They contain a great deal of antioxidants and flavonoids. They are low in calories and high in water and fiber. They are a rich source of polyphenols. They also contain vitamin C which has beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Vitamin C improves HDL cholesterol levels.
Bell peppers are low in calories and are dense in nutrients. They are a good source of beta carotene and Vitamin C. They have twice the Vitamin C of most vitamin-c containing fruits and vegetables. And as discussed in an earlier blog, the soluble fiber in Apples reduces the inflammation associated with disease and strengthens the immune system. Soluble fiber changes immune cells from pro-inflammatory, angry cells, to anti-inflammatory healing cells that aid in faster recovery from infection.
Nuts and seeds are super food nuggets and are one of the best sources of protein. They're rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin-E and selenium. They're higher in fat, but mostly mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats which studies have shown do lower LDL cholesterol levels. Sprinkle them sparingly on your foods or eat them as snacks, 1 to 2 oz per day . Substitute other ingredients for nuts to add richness and loads of flavor. Legumes like raw Soybeans are also beneficial and nutritious. They are an important source of the minerals copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, the B vitamins, riboflavin; and omega-3 fatty acids. A cup of soybeans provides half of the daily requirement for fiber and protein.
We hope you'll enjoy the Superfood Salad, and experiment with the recipe, taking advantage of its versatility so you can incorporate it more regularly. And join us next time on the Yogurt Fusion Blog when we'll discuss Yogurt's health benefits. Eating yogurts rich in probiotics can lead to an improved immune response, increased blood cell counts and supports good digestive health. We'll prepare recipes featuring Yogurt and take a closer look at this very unique superfood!
Join us next time when we'll feature more helpful tips for improving your health and lifestyle. Thanks for joining us on the Yogurt Fusion Blog!