As in "Detox."
Time to hit the gym, eat healthy and work off all that holiday weight.
But let me set things straight: I'm not a believer in juice cleanses or anything of the sort. If you're one of those people who like to drink cayenne-laced lemonade for a week straight, then more power to you, but I'm not one of those people and you would not want to be around me if I was.
I need food. Real food. Good food.
But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste. There are things you can eat that naturally help detoxify the body without depriving it of necessary nutrients!
For the third year in a row, I hosted a Christmas dinner for any of my friends and co-workers who were also stuck in Connecticut with no family in the area. I did craft cocktails with lots of citrus and for dinner: a kale caesar salad, roasted brussels sprouts (with bacon, duh), a rustic pork ragu with penne pasta, and a butternut squash lasagna (definitely not the noodle-free variety, haha). While most of these things would not qualify as detox foods, I did have a few leftover things that worked great for my detox salad.
I decided to use some of the leftover kale, along with leftover citrus from the cocktails and some garlic leftover from the Italian dishes. The rest were things I had lying around the pantry/fridge. Pretty much everything you see here have great detoxifying qualities and appear on this list of "36 Foods that Help Detox and Cleanse the Body."
Kale: "Now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body's detoxification system."
Apples: "You get fibre, vitamins, minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids. All of these substances are used in the detox process."
Grapefruit: "The big takeaway on grapefruit is that it gets your liver fired up and ready for action, while infusing the rest of your organs with nutrient-laden fruit juice."
Lemon: "This wonderful fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily excreted from the body."
Garlic: "Many detox diets list garlic as a crucial piece of the puzzle. The reason is that garlic boosts the immune system as well as helping out the liver."
Sesame Seeds: "Sesame seeds contain minerals important in a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems. Sesame represents one of the top 10 healthiest seeds on Earth."
Olive Oil: "Olive oil should be your go-to oil when you’re trying to detox the body. Use it as a salad dressing to help things like dark leafy greens go down."
I also added a little cayenne to the dressing because it helps with digestion and metabolism, along with some quinoa which is a superfood and packed with protein and nutrients. I'm not sure if golden raisins fit into any of these categories, but they are delicious and I had some in my cupboard... so into the salad they went.
Other things you could consider adding: blueberries, avocado, broccoli, beets.
First thing's first. Give your kale a massage. Yup, you heard me. Squeeze a half lemon and drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over your prepped kale. Rub it together between your fingers until kale is coated in the lemon/olive oil mixture and it starts to turn a brighter shade of green. You will be amazed how it changes the flavor and texture of this leafy green. Do this at least 30 minutes before you plan to eat it. You can even let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a heavy-bottomed pan. Keep an eye on them. They'll burn if you turn your back.
For the quinoa... I recommend thoroughly rinsing it and then cooking in broth to achieve the best flavor and eliminate the slightly bitter "quinoa" taste.
When you're ready to eat, toss everything together, along with a light dressing made of olive oil, vinegar, cayenne, sea salt and garlic.
Get your detox on... and happy new year!!
Detox Salad with Kale, Quinoa, Apples & Grapefruit
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Keywords: salad appetizer gluten-free low-carb vegan vegetarian apple kale quinoa grapefruit
Ingredients (4 large salads)
- 1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed and chopped into bite sized pieces
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite vinegar (I used pomegranate vinegar)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 fuji apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
- 1 pink grapefruit, segmented
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- Drizzle lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil over the kale and massage with your hands for 3-5 minutes, or until well coated and leaves turn a bright green.
- To make dressing, vigorously whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, cayenne and sea salt. (I used the whisk attachment of my immersion blender)
- When ready to eat, toss together all ingredients and serve!
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