Superfood Kale Salad

10414409_10154329289805085_951747425413864045_n It sure is summertime, and I absolutely love it! I'm devouring the sunlight and warmth every single day, after this brutal winter here in NY, which I'm sure many of you know about! Isn't is funny how your eating habits change during different seasons? In wintertime all we want to do is stuff our faces and stay warm (well, at least on the east coast in the colder climates) and in the summertime its all about refreshing cold drinks, salads, guacamole and ice cream (for me banana nice cream!).

My appetite hasn't been what it was during the winter seasons, so salads and refreshing smoothies are my go-to meals at the moment. Salads can get boring after a while depending on your toppings, that's why I've been obsessed with this salad! Its filling, has some sweetness from the apple and sweet potato (my favorite potato!), a nutty flavor from the quinoa, a nice refreshing crunch from the red onion, and a nice sour touch of the apple cider vinaigrette. I've been spoiled staying in upstate New York fort he past two weeks with fresh produce and products everywhere! I'm having so much fun discovering new gardens like Wethersfield Gardens here in Amenia and farm stands in the area.The seasonal produce and quality just tastes so much better, and I love buying one of a kind local products like jam and breads here that you can't find anywhere else.

The more I think about living off the land surrounding that surrounds you, the more it makes sense! Why do we need to ship tomatoes and apples from overseas?! It just doesn't make sense to me. Lets utilize the land around us, and reap the benefits. First of all your tomatoes may actually taste sweet and be deep red , like they are supposed to, and secondly food will actually taste like food rich in flavor and juices.

The further we get from where our diet began, the more we are realizing the negative health effects. Weight gain, cancer, and diabetes to name a few, all aren't helped by the sugary and processed food epidemic that has overtaken our country. I feel like the majority of Americans have become complacent about this issue, and don't feel passionately about taking care of their land or their bodies, because they don't realize how they will be effected, until they are. Meanwhile, we are passing this newfound fast-food way of eating down from generation to generation. No longer are home-cooked meals with the family valued in everyday life. And honestly I don't blame people, people are working too hard and have littlee time to think about how they will nourish their own and their families bodies. This time to think is necessary, and a culture based on real food needs to be formed again in order to improve our health and the health of our land.

I just hope that eating more real and untainted vegetables and fruit will become important to our culture, and that the USDA and FDA will begin to make changes to profit the publics health and not individuals pockets. If I can be someone to help this movement of eating more real foods, then I feel as if I can make a lasting and meaningful  change. Believe me, I didn't always eat like I do now. It took me a while to figure out that the way I was eating, was what I thought "healthy" was but the way I eat now is the way eating healthy should be. Just by eating real untouched food! No preservatives, no additives, no chemicals, no added sugar, nothing processed, just fruits and veggies and grains that are untouched.

Of course you treat yourself from time to time, but you reform your treats to better ones for yourself that don't make you feel like crap after eating them. Now instead of eating a half a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I eat banana nice-cream with some dark chocolate, and it serves my cravings and I don't feel weighed down or bloated. Everyones journey is different, and I feel lucky that I've found my way fairly early in life.

I hope you find your way to health too, because you should't live any day not feeling your best! Hope you enjoy this real food recipe! ;)

Yields two servings 

Ingredients:

Salad

-5 leaves of kale (no stem)

- 1/3 cup cooked quinoa

- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

- 1/4 cup Fuji apple (diced)

- 1 small roasted sweet potato

Dressing

-8 TBSP olive oil

-8 TBSP apple cider vinegar

-Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare salad ingredients.

2. Massage kale with half of the dressing, until soft and well coated.

3. Toss in all of the other ingredients.

4. Pour remaining salad dressing on top.

5. Enjoy!