By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
Some salads are rabbit food, others are hearty and jam-packed with nutrition. This one – made with kale, shaved Brussels sprouts and cabbage – is the latter, and may be one of the healthiest dishes you’ll eat!
C-Power stands for cruciferous veggie power, because – instead of traditional lettuce greens – the base of this nourishing salad is an antioxidant-packed, cancer-fighting trio of kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Complete with carrots, avocado, walnuts, parsley, tomatoes, or whatever else you choose to add, it’s a crunchy meal to which you can easily add beans, cheese, chicken or steak for more satiating protein.
With this kind of cruciferous goodness, your teeth will get a workout – but the dressing tastes so good, you won’t care!
How to make kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts salad
Choose organic produce when possible, especially kale.
- Brussels sprouts – shredded or shaved into thin rounds
- Green or red cabbage, slivered or chopped
- Kale, slivered or chopped
- Chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
Optional additions or substitutions:
- broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
- Orange/tangerine segments sliced
- Grapes, halved
- Dried cherries or cranberries
- Crumbled goat cheese
This time around, I made a kale and Brussels sprouts salad with carrots, avocado, parsley and yellow tomatoes, then added some chopped walnuts and drizzled the salad with blood orange fig-balsamic vinaigrette. You could easily add cabbage and top the base instead with oranges, dried cherries, goat cheese and walnuts for a completely different experience with a garlic-balsamic or EVOO-fig balsamic vinaigrette.
How to make a delectable vinaigrette
*Note: this recipe contains links to products sold by Vervana, a fine food company I founded and co-own.
A luscious vinaigrette made with a few high-quality ingredients can transform any salad into a scrumptious treat!
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin, garlic flavored or blood orange flavored
- Balsamic vinegar or fig balsamic vinegar
- Natural salt and pepper
In this recipe, I made a vinaigrette with blood orange flavored olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar. The citrus from the blood orange olive oil paired beautifully with the sweetness of the fig balsamic vinegar.
Another favorite combo is garlic flavored olive oil with fig balsamic vinegar. Of course high-quality EVOO is awesome too with the fig balsamic or classic balsamic vinegar.
Since I prefer more olive oil flavor than vinegar in my dressings, so I make them with 2 to 3 parts olive oil and 1 part vinegar. If you prefer a sweeter or more piquant flavor use 1 part vinegar to 1 part olive oil.
Using classic balsamic vinegar will give a less sweet flavor. With this uber-healthy salad, I like to indulge in extra sweetness from the fig balsamic vinegar.
To make the dressing, simply whisk with a fork in a small bowl your desired amount of oil and vinegar with a few grinds of salt and pepper. Alternately, pour the olive oil & vinegar into a small jar, add a little salt and pepper, then shake the jar until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust any ingredients to your liking. Then simply drizzle or spoon onto your salad!
More about Kale, Brussels and Other Cruciferous Veggies
We know Brussels sprouts are “good” for us because they’re green veggies and our parents said so, but what about them is so healthy? In a nutshell, these “little cabbages” are nutritional rock stars with powerful cancer-fighting compounds.
Along with kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous veggie family, which contains sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. It’s these very same glucosinolates that contribute to cruciferous veggie cancer-fighting power. It gets even better…cruciferous veggies are also packed with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds that nourish your body while helping you detox. Did I mention they’re also full of vitamins? Plus, with lots of fiber, they’re natural gut health supporters, and studies have shown that high consumption of brassica veggies is linked to decreased cancer risk.
Eating cruciferous veggies raw in salads is a preferred way to consume them as overcooking can degrade their nutritional value. With some high quality olive oil vinaigrette, you’ve got one heck of a healthy high-vibrational meal – Mangiare!
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© Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.