A delicious gluten free and dairy free salad filled with kale, blueberries, radishes, almonds, and a tasty chia seed dressing!
The Vitality Kale Superfood Salad
This delicious gluten free and dairy free salad has been begging for a revamp on the blog and it’s finally time! I originally created my vitality kale superfood salad in 2016 after I had a nutrition client tell me about the “batch superfood salads” she had been making at home. This idea intrigued as batch cooking or meal prepping typically doesn’t line up with salad because salads don’t often last much longer than a day as the lettuce wilts and the dressing makes everything…soggy. Blehk, nobody likes soggy salads, am I right?! But when it comes to these special superfood salads, they actually can be made in a batch and do last a few days in the fridge because they are made a little differently than your typical run-of-the-mill salad.
The Steps To A “Batch” Superfood Salad
When it comes to creating a batch salad that will actually last in the fridge for more than a day (and even get better tasting with time) there are a few key steps to follow:
- Always include superfood ingredients. Of course to make a good superfood salad there must be superfood ingredients used, around 10 or so is great as that will bring in lots of flavours and textures to the salad.
What is a superfood?
Superfood (su·per·food) Definition:
a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
Essentially this opens up a whole world of variety, as there are plenty of superfoods to choose from for your batch superfood salad!
2. Always choose a dense, hearty green as the base. Skip the lighter leafy greens like spinach and arugula and instead go with kale, collard greens, broccoli raab, or Swiss chard. This will ensure the greens stay mainly crispy and dense versus soggy and wilty.
3. Add an ancient grain or legumes. I skipped this step for my Vitality Kale Superfood Salad, but I do highly recommend it as whole grains are another great fibrous ingredient that will keep for several days in the fridge. Great options include quinoa, wild rice, farro, millet, amaranth, teff, chickpeas, or black beans.
4. Add in lots of crunchy, bright vegetables. When choosing additional veggies for the salad go with crunchy textured veggies like radish, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, and cauliflower. The crunchier the better as again this will keep the salad fresh and crispy versus wilty.
5. Throw in nuts and/or seeds. To bring in another element of superfood crunch and healthy fats, nuts and seeds make a great addition. Walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, or sunflower seeds are all great.
6. Choose one or two fresh herbs. Fresh herbs combined with the vegetables and greens add in even more flavour and nutrition. For my vitality kale superfood salad I went with mint and parsley, but you could also choose cilantro, dill, or chives.
7. Sweeten it up with fresh or dried fruits. A touch of sweetness goes a long way in a superfood salad so adding in a crunchy fresh fruit like diced apple, blueberries, strawberries, or grapes is always a great idea. Dried fruits are also smart because they keep their consistency and also won’t go soggy in the salad – chopped dried apricot, cranberries, or raisins are all wonderful additions.
8. Add a protein or healthy fats. Chopped chicken, seared tofu, diced hard-boiled egg, or more legumes can all bring in more protein to a superfood salad, will keep for a few days in the fridge and make the salad even more filling and satisfying.
See, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating a delicious and hearty batch superfood salad that can keep you fuelled for lunch or dinner a few days in a row. The combination of superfood ingredients is totally up to you and your tastes and will allow you to experiment and get creative in the kitchen. When it comes to my own ideal superfood salad, this is the combination that wins it for me:
Hearty kale, organic chicken breast, crunchy bell pepper, cucumber, radishes, and blueberries, creamy avocado, nutty almonds, fresh parsley and mint, spicy green onion and a delicious, dreamy dressing with honey, lime, and chia seeds…
I’m sure I could think of a million other ideal combinations but this is the one that came alive when I put my pen to the paper in the kitch!
Dairy Free Salad Dressing for a Superfood Salad
I love to make my own dressings at home (even though it doesn’t always happen), so for my vitality kale superfood salad I chose to whip up an incredibly simple dairy free dressing that combines 4 simple components; fat, acid, sweet, and salt. Including these four components seems to be a pretty safe bet when creating any kind of vinaigrette dressing at home. For the fat I went with olive oil and would also use avocado oil if I had it on hand. For the “acid” I chose to use lime juice freshly squeezed from a lime and for this step you can go with any kind of citrus (lemon, lime, or even orange) or stick with a vinegar like white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar. For the sweet I chose to use honey in my dressing and here you could sub in maple syrup or agave nectar (or coconut palm sugar), and lastly for the salt… just salt, ha! I also added in a little bit of pepper and one more superfood, chia seeds! The chia seeds in the dressing make it thicker and makes all the ingredients blend together wonderful when the salad is tossed in a bowl.
Have I convinced you that a salad can actually be a batch meal?? Vitality salads are great to make all year round using seasonal ingredients and a mixture of bright, vibrant superfoods. If you were to create your ideal superfood salad what would be in it? I’d love to read about it in the comments! Be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this post for later and of course, share the love!
- Kale Salad:
- 4 cups kale, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup chopped cucumber
- ½ cup thinly sliced radish
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 green onion, diced
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- ½ of an avocado, pitted and sliced/diced
- ¼ cup slivered or chopped almonds
- 1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken (optional)
- Honey Lime Chia Dressing:
- Juice from ½ lime
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a bowl.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
- Stir dressing once more and pour over salad ingredients. Toss well to combine.
- Enjoy and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Have a lovely Sunday!