A simple side salad should be quick, healthy and easy on the eyes. This particular dish is great for holiday sharing because it’s super colorful, incredibly flavorful and contains a ton of fun textures. All of the ingredients are relatively healthy, and this dish can be made to be vegan, vegetarian and is naturally gluten-free.
The main ingredient, kale, is rich in anti-oxidants, is an anti-inflammatory, and contains a ton of vitamins and minerals. Still considered one the healthiest super foods, kale is naturally detoxifying and has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. Another main component of this dish, pomegranate seeds, are low in calories, high in fiber, high in vitamins and high in phytochemicals that may promote heart health and help to prevent cancer. Lastly, raw walnuts contain phenol-rich skin, a ton of vitamin E, and anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants.
The main carbohydrate used is brown rice, but know that you can substitute white rice, wild rice, and/or quinoa. Organic tricolor quinoa from Trader Joe’s is a great option as well. Feta cheese is going to add some excellent flavor, but if you’re preparing this dish for vegans/vegetarians, it can easily be eliminated and replaced with a tofu-based product. Additionally, if you’re just not a fan of feta cheese, you can try goat cheese or ricotta instead.
The preparation time for this dish is less than 20 minutes. And as always, purchase as many of the ingredients as you can in organic varieties!
Serves 3-4 as a side salad
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 cups chopped kale
2 cups cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
½ cup raw walnuts
½ cup feta cheese (omit for vegan/vegetarian version)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (omit for vegan version / can sub agave nectar)
Couple squeezes of orange juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
- Prep the salad ingredients and chill in the fridge while you prepare the dressing.
- Combine all dressing ingredients and chill in the fridge.
- Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing just prior to serving.