Have I really gone this long without posting a salad?! Considering I eat them all the time and they are the easiest and most versatile meal, loaded with lots of raw nutrients and enzymes, it surprises me as much as you! We had some pretty crazy winter-weather here in Calgary this past weekend, however, the sun is back out, the snow has melted (again!) and it’s actually warm enough for spring clothes! Woohoo! Time for some cooling and cleansing foods.
Kale’s popularity has exploded in the last couple of years and we nutritionists couldn’t be more thrilled that everyone is taking this wonderful veggie under their wing. My friend always thinks its funny when I talk about “massaging” my kale, or “softening” it: rubbing a bit of salt and lemon or even some mashed avocado into it. By rubbing the kale between your hands (really massaging it!) with a bit of salt and lemon or a healthy fat like avocado, it will soften the kale and even cause it to shrink. Keep massaging the kale until it has shrunk to almost half the size, turned a darker green color, and there is a bit of green water in the bottom of the bowl. Your massaged kale is relaxed and ready to go!
I actually created this salad for a school assignment on healthy skin, although I used salmon instead of manchego cheese. Salmon would be a great source of Omega 3’s however dairy is a great source of selenium and zinc; both are wonderful for skin luminosity and to help repair the skin (unless you have a diary sensitivity, then stay away from the fromage!). I’ve included brazil nuts as they are also high in selenium (you can actually get your daily requirement of selenium with 2 brazil nuts a day!). Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and E: both powerful antioxidants ready to rid your body of nasty free radicals which will age the skin. Selenium and vitamin C are utilized for collagen formation, helping to make the skin look luminous and young. And we have all heard of carrots and vitamin A but what does vitamin A really do for our skin? It actually helps to regenerate our skin cells and if we don’t get the required amount of vitamin A, our skin will become dry. The wild rice provides zinc for the utilization of vitamin A and B vitamins for protecting the skin against infections and stress. In one of my school books it also says basil is beneficial for the skin, but I am sorry, I have no idea why. But hey, I’ll take it! Basil goes great with fruit and cheese!
I had a friend in town for Easter this past weekend and she racked my brain for holistic skin care info. I was very excited to tell her all I have learned and introduce her into the world of natural skin care. So why not share all this fun info with you guys too?! There are certain nutrients the skin requires to protect itself from damage and replenish dead skin cells (see above!), however the easiest thing we can do is just drink water! Lots and lots of pure water with lemon. The skin is our largest elimination organ so if our liver and kidneys are having problems eliminating toxins, what do you think will?! We all know what happens when our skin is used to get rid of toxic waste: acne! The water helps keep our system hydrated so toxins can be eliminated easier and the lemon aids liver detoxification enzymes. Fibre from the wild rice in this salad is also important for gut health and ridding toxins through the bowels properly.
Skin health is also dependant on what we slather all over it. I used to be the girl who ran out and bought the latest makeup and skin care, basically anything that promised perfect, younger looking skin. When I began this class and learnt of what toxins and chemicals do to our body, I began researching other alternatives for makeup and skin care. I can finally say I have found some great options that I am very happy with! Yes, I’m using all that hippy-dippy stuff but my skin is actually looking better than it ever has! I’m not paid to endorse these companies, but I wanted to share some of my favourite products:
- Skin care by Odacite (LOVE LOVE LOVE them! You can by a 2 week trail of all their products for $30!)
- Deoderant by Routine (I tried quite a few brands and this is by far the best! My favourite scent is “Maggies Citrus Farm”.)
- Shampoo and Conditioner by Rahua which can be purchased on this site: Saffron Rouge . It took me quite a few samples to find an all-natural shampoo and conditioner that still kept my hair hydrated, but this is the one!
- Saffron Rouge is also a great website for various all-natural, organic, cruelty-free makeup and skin care brands. With each purchase, they send you tons of samples so you can try new products. I have found the W3LL People cheek colour stick and lip colour balm to be my faves.
- Andalou Naturals has amazing smelling body washes and body lotions.
- Don’t forget about toothpaste! I use Kiss My Face; first one I tried and I love it!
- Still can’t find a mascara I love as much as my Loreal brand…so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!
The EWG website’s “Skin Deep” section is also a great resource. You can look up most brands and it will give you a 1-10 health rating and even breaks down each ingredient while telling you the negative side effects it may have, like hormonal imbalances or cancer risk. Pretty amazing website! Give it a try and look up your go-to products and let me know what you find! Until then, enjoy this delicious and easy salad that will get your skin on the right path to health. And don’t forget the lemon water!
- 1/2 a bunch of kale, ribs removed, chopped small or chiffonade
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 a lemon
- large handful of mixed greens (optional; can just use extra kale)
- 1/2 cup cooked wild rice
- 2 small blood oranges, skin removed and sliced
- 1/2 a small carrot, grated or peeled with a peeler
- 4 brazil nuts, crushed
- Manchego cheese, grated or sliced (feta or goat cheese would also be great on this salad)
- pumpkin seeds, to garnish
- 4 basil leaves, chiffonade, to garnish
- 2 Tablespoon of Pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar (preferred) or red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 2 teaspoons Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
- 4 Tablespoons flax seed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor, combine all dressing ingredients, except the oil, and pulse until well combined. Gradually poor in the oil until emulsified into the dressing. Taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Massage the kale with the salt and lemon as per my instructions in the blog post.
- Divide between two plates and combine with the mixed greens, wild rice, blood oranges, carrot, brazil nuts, manchego cheese, pumpkin seeds, and basil. Toss to combine. Top with the dressing.
- HEALTHY PREP TIP: Precook a large portion of wild rice at the beginning of the week and use in soups, salads, side dishes, casseroles etc throughout the week. Switch up your whole grain each week to get a wide variety of nutrients!