A salad as a main meal, without a side of prime rump or grilled chicken, might sound like supreme torture after all that holiday indulgence. But you’re in the right place, because you will learn how to take a salad to the next level by adding extra flavor, texture and volume to claim it as a main. All those greens, beets and broccoli, they’re all included without the need to boil, cook or steam to make them friendlier. Adding vegetables in their completely raw form into your salad, is an ideal way to include so many extra nutrients that your cells crave for.
My base for this cleansing, alkalizing salad is made with kale in abundance and a mix of greens for nutritional variety. Kale has high levels of vitamins A, C and K, and antioxidant profile is also pretty impressive, with unique compounds called glucosinolates, with strong detoxifying and cancer-fighting properties. Red cabbage also shares a blueprint of those compounds, as it comes from the same vegetable family.
One of the best vegetables for vegan salads is broccoli, as you can easily cut or shave the florets into very small pieces. One cup of broccoli will provide you well in excess of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and vitamin K, like its Cruciferous relative, kale.
I like to include raw beetroot in my salads, because of its high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content, especially betalains, involved in both phases of the natural detoxification of our body cells. Beet is also rich in minerals that triggers the cleansing process, and also has blood sugar regulation and energy-balancing properties.
If you’ve ever embarked on a detox before, then you’ll relate to that clean, high energy feeling that can’t even compare to the manic high-energy that comes after eating refined foods high in sugar.
The secret for constructing a filling salad without meat is adding a rich vegetal protein source, and even better – combining two of them for getting all the amino acids the cells needs for building the protein blocks. Roasted chickpeas and lightly toasted seeds and nuts provide a good dose of protein, alongside monounsaturated fats to balance the hormone production and fiber for a healthy digestive process and a natural cleanse.
In case you’re curious, walnuts alone have around 15g of protein per 100g! They also add some nice texture to the salad, which completely changes the game!
An abundance of plant-based foods can truly cleanse your entire body from the inside out. What better way to start your clean diet new year resolution than a filling, nourishing salad!
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh mixed greens (chard, arugula, spinach, beet greens or any available)
- 1 small broccoli head, finely chopped
- 1 medium beet, cut into cubes
- ½ medium head red cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into slices
- 1 tbsp cup lightly toasted walnuts, crushed
- 1 tbsp lightly toasted mixed seeds
- 5-4 fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch sea salt
- For the roasted chickpeas
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (you can use canned)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 175C/356F.
- Add the chickpeas onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Add the spices and drizzle with coconut oil, toss to combine and roast for 20 minutes, until they turn crunchy on the outside.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl add the vegetables, avocado, chickpeas, greens and seeds, and mix to combine.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and toss to combine.
- Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to combine, then serve.