Some days, you just need to cleanse. Detox. Reboot. But when you’re like me and a total food lover, you know you’d never last on a juice cleanse. (Especially now that this food lover is pregnant…and boy, oh boy, does this baby love to eat!)
So needless to say, cleansing in the traditional way is out of the question. But who decided that cleansing meant no food? There are so many amazing and powerful foods out there that can help our body feel refreshed and renewed without feeling hungry! I’m talking about antioxidants, good fats, vitamins, and protein. That’s the fuel that our body really needs, right?
Enter this simple and refreshing cleansing quinoa salad.
If you’re a fan of quinoa, you probably know that it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chock full of good fats, and a complete protein.
Quinoa is an extremely versatile grain, and is as easy to cook as rice.
Added to the quinoa is kale, which brings more protein, fiber, folate, omega-3s, Vitamins A, C, and K, and a whole host of other minerals to the salad.
Kale is simple to prepare, and in this salad it is simply shredded or cut finely. If you don’t usually use kale, remember not to use the stems in this salad, as they’re quite fibrous and a bit bitter. (Don’t let the stems go to waste though! Use them in a stock or blended up in a smoothie.) A quick search here on Scratch Mommy brings all of these kale recipes up to inspire you and teach you a bit more about this powerhouse.
For more vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as a beautiful punch of color, there is a whole red bell pepper added to the salad.
Sunflower seeds and flax seeds add beautiful flavor while also increasing the nutritional profile of this already supercharged salad. The sunflower seeds add a dose of vitamin E, while also helping reduce cholesterol and provide antioxidants. The flax seeds are full of omega-3s, fiber and protein.
Because this salad is all about simplicity and cleansing, the dressing is very simple – just olive oil, avocado oil, and lemon juice! The avocado oil here is essential. If you have never tried avocado oil, you need to! It provides amazing flavor while also being more nutritionally powerful than olive oil. It can be used as a cooking oil, but is amazing in a dressing, providing a delicious and almost tangy flavor!
And an added bonus, avocado oil is UhMaaaZing for your skincare regimen! A quick search on Scratch Mommy brings up two pages of both real food recipes and DIYs utilizing avocado oil.
This salad is great as a side, on its own, under salmon or grilled chicken, or in a wrap. It’s also a great make-ahead meal, and can be stored in the fridge for up to two days…but honestly, I don’t think it’ll last that long before you eat up this simple and nutritious cleansing quinoa salad!
- Cook quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool.
- While quinoa is cooling, combine kale, bell pepper, sunflower seeds, and flax seed in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, make the dressing by mixing together olive oil, avocado oil, and the lemon juice.
- Add cooled quinoa to the vegetable mix and combine completely.
- Add dressing to salad and toss to cover evenly. Add salt to taste.