After last week of non-stop cooking, over-eating and over-drinking, I am ready for a post-Thanksgiving food break. At least for a few days 😉
It takes all my will (whatever is left of it) to not succumb to all temptations of the season. And they lurk everywhere – from your corporate parties, holiday breakfasts and happy hours, to friends gatherings (that seem to intensify with the approaching of the year end). Not to mention the cold weather which makes you lazier and more gym-resistant – it seems the whole universe conspires against you during the last month of the year. And in a matter of days, all your year-round efforts to stay fit and slim crumble down, as the pounds climb up!
I know we’ll get back to that slimming/working out business once again with fierce resolution after January 1st. So I am not so worried about it, plus I know that despite my worry, pounds will add up anyway. But at least in between the parties and celebrations, I intend to eat less, and eat better. Today’s recipe is the perfect post-holiday detox food. It’s a superfood detox salad – nutritious, and hearty, light on calories and big on anti-oxidants. It’s a family favorite, and the salad that we most often put on the table, especially during fall and winter. It’s so packed with fiber that it will keep you full, and satisfied for a long time, which makes it an ideal meal replacement.
It’s a vitamin bomb, with all the different rainbow-colored vegetables. I think it’s not quite accidental that nature gives us cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts during the cold months, as all these cruciferous veggies are the perfect natural antibiotic, and immune system booster. Eating them 4-5 times a week is optimal, especially now. This salad makes it super easy to consume large quantities of one of these – the cabbage – green, purple, or a mix of both.
The humble cabbage is incredibly nutritious – it’s a powerhouse of anti-oxidants, and disease-fighting phytochemicals, and its vitamin C content is even higher than that of oranges. Carrots add a boost of vitamin A, and B, and beets – not only are they packed with minerals and vitamins, but their high iron content has a blood purifying and detoxifying effect. Add to that the natural antibiotic power of garlic, the good fat from avocados, walnuts, and olive oil, and I think you have a superfood salad!
But since this is not a health blog, I would not make you eat this salad just because it’s healthy. This salad just has it all – it’s great for your health and waist, but it’s also super delicious. I love cabbage because it’s so versatile in salads – it’s crunchy texture and slightly sweet, peppery taste make it suitable for endless combinations of herbs, spices, and dressings.
This particular version of the salad has evolved over the years, and was primarily influenced by a couple of good friends of mine, who have perfected it. They were the ones who clued me in on adding avocado which works surprisingly well with the rest of the ingredients. The dressing is simple – just olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and garlic. It’s the texture – from the nuts, the crunch from the veggies, and the creaminess of the avocado that all combine so well in the end.
Go ahead, give it a try, and I guarantee you’ll make it again and again. There’s some shredding, grating and chopping involved but the final result is worth the effort. I put my food processor to good use here and grate all veggies in a matter of minutes – definitely saves me a ton of time. One other time saving tip – I prep a larger quantity of shredded cabbage, carrots, beets and chopped dill, and keep the mix in the fridge for up to 1-2 days in a zip bag. Then I just add the avocado, nuts and dressing the next day or two for a quick salad fix.
- 1 small cabbage - red or green
- 5-6 carrots
- 1 red beet
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- For the dressing:
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Shred cabbage(s), carrots and beets in food processor
Add walnuts to food processor and pulse a few times
Make dressing by mixing oil, vinegar and pressed garlic cloves
Chop avocado and dill, and mix it all together.