Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Good Eats // Superfoods Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

I love this salad! I enjoy making salads because they are a great way to incorporate healthy items with bursts of delicious flavors despite the healthy factor. I also find them to be forgiving in taste even while getting experimental with the ingredients. While flavoring other foods can be a delicate thing (not too little, not too much), giving salad a kick or twist of flavor usually lends to it becoming a delicious favorite. Plus it's fun to find new ways to combine flavors within a salad that you can then use in other dishes too!

I came up with this salad while taking the Healthy Start 7 challenge earlier this month and I promised the recipe would follow. So here it is packed with the following superfoods:
Spinach:: packed with antioxidants and vitamins, it is anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and a source of Omega-3
Quinoa:: high in protein, contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein, rich in fiber and minerals, and it's gluten-free
Beets:: fights disease, strengthens neural tubes, regulates digestion with fiber, high in immune boosting vitamins A, B & C, and they are packed with potassium
Pomegranate:: filled with B & C vitamins, potassium, and folic acid, anti-inflammatory, improves blood flow, anti-cancer, heart healthy, antioxidant packed, and contains folate which helps repair DNA
Sunflower Seeds:: aid digestion, improves memory, increases energy, provides protein, fiber and complex carbs
Cherry Tomatoes:: a powerhouse of vitamins A, C & K, potassium, fiber, and most importantly beta-carotene and lycopene (a powerful antioxidant when paired with a healthy oil), all while being low calorie
Celery:: Vitamin C, fiber, minerals (potassium, calcium, molybdenum, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron, as well as the B vitamins thiamine, niacin, folate, and B6), anti-cancer/Alzheimer’s, eliminates toxins from the kidneys, anti-inflammatory, low calorie and boosts metabolism
Carrots:: high in beta-carotene, anti-cancer, low calorie, immune support
Red Onion:: antioxidents, banishes free radicals, anti-cancer, helps fight the virus of the common cold, reduce high blood pressure, and can help control glucose levels
Citrus Vinaigrette:: more vitamin C and healthy fat to make those vitamins work at max capacity

Several hand fulls of spinach and mixed greens
1 C cooked quinoa
1 medium red beet, cooked and diced
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 carrots, shredded
1/4 red onion
handful of cherry tomatoes, whole or sliced
2-3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 the seeds from 1 pomegranate 
1 orange, juiced
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp brown mustard

How to make it::
1. Cook your quinoa ahead of time (I usually use leftover quinoa in a salad or it's great for breakfast). Check out some great tips on how to cook your quinoa.
2. Cook beet ahead as well. I roast mine in the oven with skins on covered in EVOO for roughly 40 min at 350, or until fork tender. Then I peel them (while wearing gloves since they stain) once they've cooled.
3. Prep your veggies/fruits. Fill bowl with greens and top with veggies.
4. Make dressing and toss over salad. 
Check out our other recent recipe creations from out Healthy Start 7 journey:  Chili Lime Sweet Potatoes and Fruity Brussel Sprouts

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