Spring Detox Salad

Healthy Recipes

29 April 2014

So far, this spring has been a busy one! In the past month I’ve jetted off to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for a week with the MLB,

trekked to Minnesota (where it SNOWED) for a business trip,

and spent last weekend wine-tasting in Walla Walla with my main betches.

My adventures included tons of good eats like veggie tacos at El Fogon in Playa Del Carmen,

a yummy vegan/ glutenfree wrap (made with chickpea flour) with avocado, veggies, melted vegan cheese and cilantro garlic sauce at the Vegan Garden Cafe in Walla Walla,

and last but not least an incredible seven-course vegan and gluten-free tasting menu at The Marc Restaurant in Walla Walla (check out that eye candy below #fancypeopleeatflowers).

But alas vacation/traveling for me is usually synonymous with heavy booze consumption (If you like Pina Colaaaaadas (which apparently I do every day in Mexico)) and some food that is less than what my friends commonly refer to as “Lauren-friendly” (but hey, on the road you have to be flexible and make due with what you can). So although I’ve had one hell of a month my gut has been feeling less than stellar and in desperate need of a serious detox session.

Enter in my Spring Detox Salad. I love that this salad incorporates so many flavors of spring, which also happen to be abundant in healthy nutrients that contain cleansing properties. Check it-

  • Radishes- low in calories (less than 20 per cup), high in nutrients (fiber, vitamin-c, phytonutrients and minerals) and have toxin-purging effects by helping to break down and eliminate toxins and cancer-causing free radicals in your bod
  • Fresh herbs like dill and chives– dill is a fantastic source of antioxidants (such as beta-carotene) and chives help boost your immune system and can lower your risk of developing cancer
  • Spring onions- Sulfur compounds in this vegetable help in reducing and controlling blood pressure levels and the chromium content controls the blood sugar levels and improves glucose tolerance.
  • Asparagus- has 288 mg of potassium and is very low in sodium, which means it assists in creating the proper electrolyte balance in the body- i.e.- reduced puffiness and bloating.
  • Avocado- pretty much the best thing mother nature ever created, these babies provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein (crucial for vegans) and help improve your absorption of nutrients when combined with other foods. They also help to reduce signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and improve eye health.
  • Lemons (in the vinaigrette)- extremely detoxifying, this fruit increases peristalsis in the bowels, helping to create a bowel movement thus eliminating waste and helping with regularity. And let’s be real- who doesn’t want that?

So, back to the awesomeness that is this salad. It’s also very simple to make and you can customize and improvise with it super easily. Want to add a grain? Quinoa would be perfect. Feel like some additional protein? Add chickpeas, almonds or pistachios. Something cooked? Roast the asparagus before tossing it in. You can really tweak this salad to make it light or on the substantial side. My favorite way to enjoy it is at lunchtime (it can easily be prepared ahead and taken with you to work) with some quinoa and Kite Hill Almond Milk aged vegan cheese (pictured above). If you want to turn it into a bowl I recommend adding some vegan yogurt dill sauce. I also like including both fresh and pickled radishes for additional flavor depth.

MLB has yet to try this salad, but it has become my lunch staple lately and I’m just too selfish to share.

Spring Detox Salad Ingredients (Serves 1)

Handful or two of leafy greens (bibb lettuce would also be fantastic)

1 spring onion, chopped

1-2 tbsp chopped chives

1-2 tbsp chopped dill

1-2 chopped radishes

5 pickled radish (see recipe below)

2 asparagus spears, chopped

5-10 pieces of cucumber, chopped

1/4-1/2 of an avocado, chopped

handful fresh pea shoots, if available

Additional Topping Options

Cooked quinoa

chopped almonds or pistachios

Roasted chickpeas

Kite Hill Aged Almond Milk Cheese, crumbled (OBSESSED)

Roast asparagus prior to putting it in salad

A spoonful or two of Dill Yogurt (see recipe below)

If you’re not vegan- a soft-boiled egg or smoked salmon would work well

Salad Dressing Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp sea salt

fresh cracked pepper

Quick Pickled Radish- must prep 12 hours in advance

1 bunch easter egg colored radish, chopped

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

2 tsp maple syrup or honey

3 garlic cloves

2 tsp sea salt

Yogurt- Dill Dressing

1/4 cup water

1 carton Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp honey

4 tbsp fresh dill

1 garlic love, minced

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

fresh black pepper

1.  Prep your pickled radish first. This needs to be done the day before as the radish needs to marinate over night. Combine all the ingredients in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the fridge.

2. Chop up all salad ingredients and toss in a large bowl. Prep or add any other optional toppings. If you’re doing quinoa keep in mind this takes about 2o minutes to cook.

3. Blend all dressing ingredients and toss lightly in salad.

I promise you detoxing never tasted so good.