Around here it’s about feeling our best all year long, inside and out. Including delicious plant-based dishes (as part of a balanced diet) throughout the day is arguably one of the best things you can do, nutritionally, to keep up your health. Call me crazy but I am fascinated by their superpowers. Amongst vegetables, my favourite group is the cruciferous family (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, Napa cabbage etc). Loved by our livers for their ability to help us efficiently detoxify, these vegetables are also anti-aging, too (read on!). I won’t label these detox salads, because most salads, when done right, are detoxifying in some capacity. The other angle (if you need convincing) is the antioxidant content. When it comes to food, a rich pigment (think rainbow colours) is the easiest tell tail sign there is a wonderfully high antioxidant content. Here we have a broad array of colours (orange, greens, red, purple etc.) which translates to a broad spectrum of antioxidants.
These are all delicious paired with a protein – and all hold up well for leftovers. Here is to a long summer of celebrating plant powered dishes!
Sea Salt Roasted Broccoli
Sea salt and good quality olive oil deepen the flavour and make these very more – ish. Extra crispy for a naughty nutrition feel, too!
1 head of broccoli, broken into florets
1 tsp. sea salt
1 – 2 tbsp. light olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375F. Toss the florets with sea salt and olive oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Make sure everything has room to breath or else they will steam rather than crisp up. Bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until your liking.
Marrakesh Carrot Salad
The flavour of this salad is out of this world. The base is shredded carrots and it’s got a zingy lime maple dressing. Toppings are everything, so here we have cilantro, dates, pistachios, feta and optional pomegranate seeds if you can still find them in the market. The recipe is barely adapted from Sprouted Kitchen blog.
1 bunch of rainbow or regular carrots, shredded (with a food processor!) – about 4 – 5 cups shredded
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 cups of chickpeas, cooked and rinsed well
1 cup of pistachios or toasted almonds
¼ cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped into raisin size pieces
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Juice of 2 limes (1/4 – 1/3 cup)
1 tsp cumin
Sea salt + pepper
Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Go a little heavier on the sea salt than normal as this will season the entire salad. In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together with the dressing. You can let this marinate in the fridge. If you don’t serve right away – wait to add the nuts.
Chopped Red Cabbage Salad
I made this salad one morning for breakfast after a beach run. I craved saltiness and crunch and this hit the spot. Light from the red cabbage and vinaigrette but a good dose of satisfaction from the olives, cashews and sweet date bits. We’ll be serving this up as a side all summer long!
1/3 small cabbage, chopped roughly, but small enough to be bite sized
1 cup of parsley, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup of cashews, toasted or raw
¼ cup of black olives, pitted
3 medjool dates, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. olive juice
1 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tbsp. maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper
Whisk the dressing together and add the salad ingredients. This can be kept in the fridge overnight and is delicious as leftovers. Add in the nuts just before serving to avoid going soggy. Enjoy!
Sarah Wight is a patient coordinator at Ocean Rock Wellness and a qualifying nutritional therapist. You can find her on instagram at @ourislandtable.