Spicy Kale Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

photo 2 copy Where do you get inspiration for your recipes? A lot of the time I get my inspiration from seeing whats in seasons at the local farmers market. What looks the most fresh and ripe, and I also think about what food combinations will go well together. In the summer time I like to eat lighter and make refreshing smoothies, juices, and salads. Especially when its hot outside.

I bought a bunch of beautiful locally grown kale for $2 and it lasted me about 6 meals! With the right food portioning and mixtures, your options for kale recipes are unlimited. I'll use a leaf in the morning in a smoothie blended with almond milk, banana, and berries. For lunch or dinner I'll massage the kale with olive oil and mix in seeds and other veggies. Its a good idea to use ingredients you already have in your kitchen so they don't go bad and are wasted.

I'm an advocate of eating a nutrient rich plant-based diet no matter what diet you follow. Ever since I've become vegan, I've made sure to eat plenty of iron rich foods as well as foods rich in calcium. You have to be mindful when beginning any new way of eating. You have to be prepared and know what foods will provide you with certain nutrients, because you shouldn't feel tired and weary, you should feel rejuvenated and great! Thats the whole point of eating, to nourish your body, and give it the fuel it needs to run and heal properly.

My dream one day is to be able to have a big backyard and live off the land as much as aI can. Grow a garden and create beautiful dishes from produce I grew! I think the more we realize how harmful man-made and genetically engineered food is, the more we go back to our roots. Our bodies have always been used to breaking down whole foods, so when we introduce highly processed food with chemical additives in them, our body doesn't know what to do and prepares for the worst. It doesn't know how to break down those foods, so they clog you're digestive system and get turned into fat. Your body also puts on weight so that in case you get sick from these foods it has fat to feed off from. When man used to hunt and wasn't able to find food it would eat the stored energy (fat) that was stored in your body. Our body's ecology will not change this way of working. So the thing we need to change most is what we put in our mouths.

We now look at food as something to treat our taste buds and cravings, and no longer see it as nourishment and medicine. Yes, food should taste good, but it also shouldn't become an addiction. Sugar is 7 times more addicting than cocaine! That just blows my mind! And we allow our children to grown up with this poison, and feed it to them all day long and see it as rewards or just meals. When children receive a good grade on a test, what else do they receive with it? A lollipop, cupcake, a party filled with snacks like processed cakes and chips. What happened to enforcing good eating habits and rewarding kids with un-harmful food? This is where addiction begins. Society plays a big role in our children's future, which is very much dependent on sugar. I hope that  diabetes and obesity epidemic will make parents and children want to learn about nutrition and ways to eat healthier . Health coaches are great sources for this kind of information. I would love to help you learn how to reduce your sugar cravings and get rid of them completely!

This recipe includes many of my favorite ingredients! Sweet potato, kale, quinoa, black beans, pumpkin seeds, and the most delicious Serrano peppers and cucumbers found at the farmers market. Its packed with so many yummy flavors, each bite will have you wanting more!

 

photo 1 copy

Spicy Kale Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 5 Leaves of kale (de-stemmed)
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • ½ cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • 1 pepper (diced)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 2 cups Serrano peppers
  • 4 TBSP olive oil (for sweet potato)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (for Serrano peppers)
  • ½ ripe avocado (for garnish)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 6 TBSP olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 400’F. Cut sweet potato into small cubes and coat with 4 TBSP of olive oil and minced garlic. Cook for about 30 minutes, until cooked through and caramelized.

2. Sautee Serrano peppers in olive oil and salt and pepper on medium-low heat in griddle pan until charred on all sides, about 20 minutes.

3. Cook ½ cup of quinoa and ½ black beans together with 1 cup of water on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until cooked.

4. To make salad dressing, mash avocado, and stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

5. Roughly tear kale leaves into bit sized pieces. Massage kale with ½ of salad dressing mixture for about 3 minutes.

6. Mix in quinoa and black beans, cucumber, pepper, Serrano peppers, roasted sweet potato, and pumpkin seeds. Finish dish with sliced avocado and pour the rest of the salad dressing on top. Add salt and pepper to taste.