By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
If (like almost everyone else) your first goal of the new year is to hit the gym to work off those holiday indulgences, I have an alternative suggestion for you… What if you start with healing your body from the inside-out with nutritious, detoxing foods?
Exercise is vitally important to health, of course, but what you eat also plays a major role. This Cauliflower Detox Salad – packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and loads of essential vitamins and minerals – is a great jumping-off point. It’s easy to stick to your healthy resolutions when they taste this good!
Cauliflower Salad Recipe
For best detox, use organic produce when possible. You’ll need:
- 1.5 cups baby kale or arugula
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds or pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 head radicchio, sliced thin
- 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed then shaved (you can use a mandolin)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp Fig Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
- Salt Blend, to taste
- Pepper & Juniper Blend, to taste
Wash and slice or shave all vegetables and herbs. Make the dressing: whisk lemon juice, honey, red pepper flakes, fig balsamic vinegar, garlic olive oil, salt and pepper juniper blend in a large bowl. Add rest of ingredients to bowl and toss well to combine. Serves 4.
Why this Cauliflower Salad Recipe is so Good for You
Cauliflower is one of those cruciferous vegetables I’m always talking about because it’s just so good for you! For one, it has two kinds of powerful antioxidants that potentially protect against cancer, indoles and isothiocyanates. In a nutshell, these antioxidants work together to prevent carcinogenic enzymes from causing critical cell changes, depress harmful hormones in our bodies that can cause breast and prostate cancers, and boost our good hormones. Cauliflower’s also full of omega 3s that can reduce blood vessel inflammation, which has a huge impact on heart health. Add in the Vitamin C, K, B, folate, magnesium and fiber and you can see why I’m so in love with these types of veggies!
Another key player in this recipe is baby kale, which is probably a much easier sell to children (and even some adults!) instead of the thicker, tougher regular kind. Kale’s a “healing green” since it also contains those same two important antioxidants as cauliflower, but eating it causes our bodies to produce phytoestrogens called lignans, which help protect us against cancer. If you suffer from arthritis, kale can also ease joint pain by curbing the activity of enzymes that cause inflammation.
I also really like radicchio and parsley, not just for their bright crimson and green colors, but because both offer vitamins C and K, various minerals and B vitamins, fiber and other health-supporting nutrients.
Pomegranate brings even more antioxidants to the mix! The jewel-like seeds of this gorgeous fruit add strong anti-inflammatory benefits that can help preserve the integrity of blood vessels, which is music to a cardiologist’s ears! Studies have also shown pomegranates can help slow the progression of prostate cancer. This tart and naturally sweet treat is a much smarter choice for indulging your sweet tooth!
Lastly, we tie it all together with a garlic olive oil and fig balsamic dressing that’s so good you might be tempted to drink it straight. Ah, olive oil – that delicious superfood I can’t get enough of. High-quality, cold-pressed olive oil is a healthy fat with antioxidant polyphenols that offers so many benefits for the heart, brain, and whole body. You’ll never go wrong when you add olive oil to your diet.
I hope you enjoy this beautifully textured and colorful salad – it’s simple to prepare, tastes great and above all, detoxes, protects and nourishes your body naturally. What a way to welcome a brand new year with a health-focused mindset!
© 2020 Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.