Like most, I started 2016 with a couple goals in mind that I hope to accomplish this year; drink more water and eat less sugar. I had a really bad habit of sometimes going an entire day with barely a sip of anything, leaving my body dehydrated and sluggish. Add on top of that my love for sweets and no amount of “clean eating” for the rest of my meals was going to have me feeling like my best self. So this past week I have really buckled down and, no surprise really, am already feeling so much better.
To keep the good feelings coming, I’ve been playing around with more plant-based meals. For this salad I used hearty, rustic vegetables drizzled with a contrasting bright, citrus dressing. I also used lots of ingredients that are hailed for their detox qualities.
I want to pause here for a moment. I feel like the words “detox” and “cleanse” get thrown around a lot. I wanted to make sure that I had a better understanding of how detoxing works so I did a little digging.
I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, but from the reading that I have done it seems to be pretty simple. Detoxing is simply removing foods from your diet that are harmful to the body (sugar, alcohol, preservatives, etc..) while increasing foods that promote healthy organ and body functions. If you detox correctly you should see lots of improvements, including a stronger immune system, increased energy, and better mental and emotional clarity. Sounds pretty great, right?
So why am I calling this recipe a winter detox salad? Because almost every ingredient used is known to promote different organ functions and/or help to flush out and move along toxins that are already in the body.
Just a little peek…
Kale: packed with good for you nutrients and promotes kidney health.
Asparagus: keeps your heart and liver healthy and is a general anti-inflammatory food.
Brussel Sprouts: nutrients support the body’s detox system, antioxidant system, and inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system.
Sweet Potatoes: packed with Vitamins C and A, antioxidants, and fiber.
Lemon: aids healthy digestion and liver cleansing.
Ginger: helps remove toxins by stimulating blood circulation and digestion.
Okay, I think I got my point across.
The other great thing about this salad? The dressing makes it super flavorful and, with all of those vegetables, it is going to keep you full for a long time. You can have it for dinner while the vegetables are still slightly warm or take it the next day for your lunch cold. It’s good either way.
Cheers to starting 2016 out right!
- 2 sweet potatoes, skinned and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
- olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound brussel sprouts, ends removed and cut in half
- 8 sprouts of asparagus, ends of stalks removed and each stalk cut into thirds
- 6 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
- optional: feta or goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped sweet potatoes with enough olive oil to coat, ground chili powder, ground ginger, salt, and pepper. Place on one half of a large baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, place the brussel sprouts in the same mixing bowl, lightly coating again with olive oil, and sprinkling with salt and pepper. Once the first 10 minutes is up, add the brussel sprouts to the other half of the baking sheet and put back into the oven. Roast the sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts for another 10 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts are roasting, place the asparagus in the mixing bowl, tossing lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper. Once the second 10 minutes is up, remove the sweet potatoes from the baking sheet and set aside in a bowl. Place the asparagus on the baking sheet with the brussel sprouts and roast for another 10 minutes.
- Once the third 10 minute timer goes off, remove the asparagus and brussel sprouts from the oven. Set aside all of the roasted vegetables until they are only slightly warm.
- Toss the vegetables with the chopped kale. Drizzle on the lemon ginger dressing and optional cheese.
- 1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, skinned and minced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch of salt
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey if needed.
- Refrigerate in a mason jar.
- The dressing will separate. Simply shake before using.