Kale Apple Pomegranate Salad

KaleSalad

The crunch of the apples. Creaminess of the feta cheese. Tartness of the pomegranate. The textures within this salad complement each other very nicely and make for easy substitutions.

Recently, when I’ve been looking for healthy recipes I have two goals in mind:

1) easy prep

2) visually appealing 

This kale apple pomegranate salad hit both- it was easy to make in less than 20 minutes and is a work of art. Pair it with protein like shrimp or salmon, or even quinoa and you can make this salad as meal prep for the upcoming week. Whip up stress-free salad as the perfect finishing touch to your dining table!

Did you know? Kale has twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange!!

Kale Apple Pomegranate Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette 

    • 5 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salad

    • 1 bunch of kale (about ½ lb, leaves thinly chopped, stems removed)
    • 1 large apple, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • ¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
    • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
    • seeds from one pomegranate
    • ½ cup feta cheese (2 ounces)

Directions

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the kale and toss to coat.
  2. Rub the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Toss the kale with the pecans, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate seeds. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad and arrange the apple slices along the edges.

Tips:

-Add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp for more variety 

-If preparing the salad for meal prep, make the vinaigrette on the side and put in little containers. 

-If you don’t have pecans, swap it for walnuts or almonds

-Kale is relatively inexpensive (I bought a bunch of kale for $0.98, or for easier prep you can buy a bag of shredded kale)

-Try to find a block of feta cheese as it is more flavorful compared to the pre-crumbled kinds. Other types of cheese like blue cheese can be substituted. 

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Shrimp Avocado Salad

Avocadoshrimp

There are some people who are always on the lookout for a quick and easy meal. One that tastes just as good as the time that was saved. Even better- a recipe that can also be used for meal planning!

The creamy texture of the avocado blends well with the crunchiness of the cucumbers peppered in with the occasional cayenne spiced shrimp. To elevate the experience, consider adding some sliced almonds or feta cheese.

The elements of this salad are very simple (serving size varies based on amount of ingredients):

  • Salad greens: spinach leaves, spring mix (neutral), romaine lettuce (crunchy) or try arugula (spicy bite)
  • Avocado: diced (Pro tip: you can tell a ripe avocado by removing the nub of the stem; if it is ripe it will be green underneath, if overripe then it will be brown, and if it isn’t ready then the nub wont come off)
  • Cucumber: peeled and diced
  • Shrimp: 1 pound seasoned with cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, pepper, and tossed in a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice; sauté for about two minutes per side or until pink
  • Other options: sliced almonds, raisins, cranberries, figs, feta cheese, black beans, tomatoes 

Simply toss all of these ingredients together and drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper!

**Remember: avocados have more potassium than bananas! Remember that the next time you hear someone say they are low on potassium and need to eat more bananas (which are carb heavy!).

Click here to read about my Asian Inspired Shrimp Salad with a Peanut Sauce for another variation.

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Hope you enjoyed today’s simple recipe of the day!

What other quick meal plan ready recipes would you like to see posted on the blog?

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

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A colorful recipe packed with antioxidants and fiber that you can make with one bowl. I love having this quick and easy recipe to make for potluck meals or as a side dish for dinners. This salad goes great with salmon or can be served alongside tortilla chips. With the refreshing summer months approaching us quickly, this will be a great dish to have in your back pocket!

So what kind of nutrients are inside this salad?

  • Avocados (not pictured)
    • contain vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium and are packed with 2 g of protein, 15 g of health fats (monounsaturated fatty acids similar to that found in olive oil), and 7 grams of fiber
    • they have more potassium than bananas!
  • Tomatoes
    • contain 95% water
    • lots of antioxidants especially lycopene which is mostly found in the tomato peel; lycopene has been linked to lowering cholesterol
    • contain vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium
  • Black Beans: great source of fiber, protein and folate
  • Onions
    • contain vitamin C, folate, and potassium
    • colored onions have more antioxidants than white onions and it is the antioxidants that give red onions their color
    • the main fiber, fructans, can be used by good bacteria in the gut

Sources: healthline.com 

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Southwestern Black Bean Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Ingredients

  • one 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • one 15 ounce can corn (or frozen, thawed corn)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 medium avocados, chopped
  • Optional Additions: 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped), 1 bell pepper (chopped), diced jalapeno, quinoa (1/2 cup cooked), garbanzo beans

Directions

  1. Combine black beans, corn, tomato, red onion, and scallion in a large bowl.
  2. Mix together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder and stir into the salad.
  3. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Lightly mix in the chopped avocado before serving.

Tips:

-Add salt/pepper and chili powder to taste. After you sprinkle a bit, mix the salad and then taste it to see if you need more or not

Asian Shrimp Salad

Asian Shrimp SaladThe new dish of this week is: Asian Shrimp Salad with a Creamy Peanut Dressing! On the side is a Japanese Hokkaido Milk Roll (recipe coming soon for those). I decided to cook with seafood this week and got a bag of jumbo frozen shrimp and some ahi tuna steaks. I used the jumbo shrimp first and made a delicious salad with them. I was a little doubtful about how the peanut sauce would turn out because I’ve never made a dressing like that but I actually loved it and look forward to making it again in the future. The peanut taste is not too strong due to the variety of sauces and honey that you add to it. This dish would also look great in a mason jar- if you wanted a quick to-go lunch for work or school.

I first added the chopsticks as a prop just for the picture, but I ended up eating with them and it made for a complete experience. You’d think that lettuce leaves would be hard to pick up with chopsticks, but it was easy and worked out nicely. The cilantro-lime shrimp balances out the peanut dressing and the lime juice drizzled over the salad adds the perfect hint of acidity. Enjoy this dish and add your own special twist to it!

Asian Shrimp Salad w/ Creamy Peanut Dressing

Serves: 2

Printable Recipe Here

Ingredients

-For The Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

  • 1 lb tail-on jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

-For The Peanut Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

-For the Salad

  • 3 cups mixed leafy greens
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Other optional additions: sesame seeds, cashews, bean sprouts, sliced onion

Directions

  1. If frozen, place the shrimp in a colander or sieve and thaw by running cold water over them for about 5 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt, black pepper, and chili powder and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet and add in the garlic. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes and then stir in the shrimp.
  3. After 2 minutes, add in the cilantro, butter, and lime juice. The shrimp will be done when they turn pink and opaque and you no longer see any grey. Keep in mind that if using smaller shrimp, they will cook faster.
  4. Remove the shrimp from heat and prepare the creamy peanut butter dressing.
  5. To make the dressing, mix together all the ingredients until smooth and incorporated.
  6. Add the leafy greens to a bowl and top with the shrimp and optional sliced mango and diced avocado. Drizzle the dressing and lime juice over the salad and serve.

Adapted from Rasamalaysia and FoodsofOurLives

Tips

-Jumbo shrimp means that a 1 pound bag will have 16-20 shrimp. Choose another size based on your preference but keep in mind that the cooking time will change. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp as they cook rather quickly, 4-5 minutes for the jumbo shrimp and less if they are smaller.

-If you don’t live near water, I would suggest not to buy “fresh” shrimp because it would have already been frozen and thawed at least once. In this case, it’s better to buy frozen shrimp and thaw it yourself.

-What type of shrimp to buy? Wild is better than farmed as majority (94%) of our farmed shrimp supply comes from India, Indonesia, and Thailand and these suppliers are not regulated in the antibiotics/harmful chemicals that they add (prohibited in the US). If buying farmed US shrimp, make sure it says no antibiotics on the package.

-Have fun with the salad. I made it with mango/avocado because that’s what I had on hand at the time. Other nice additions could be red bell peppers for that nice pop of color or even bean sprouts for that slight crunch.

-You can also blend the peanut dressing instead of mixing it with a fork. Mix it quickly and you will notice the texture of the dressing change as it all starts to combine and take on a smooth texture.

Nutritional Content of Shrimp

-low in fat and carbohydrates

-low in calories (7 calories per shrimp) and high in protein (3 grams per shrimp)

-contain selenium, B12, and phosphorus

-have antioxidants- selenium (fights damaging particles) and astaxanthin (color pigment in shrimp that reduces inflammation)

Asian Shrimp Salad

 

What twists on the everyday salad have you made?