fig & kale salad + feta, almonds & quinoa.

12 Sep

With figs in season, I have been using any and every excuse to incorporate them into a recipe. I have been putting them in pasta, on pizza, in salads, everything! However, the salad I made on Monday night is a game-changer. The dressing is light and sweet, but not too sweet. It balances out the saltiness of the feta but compliments the sweetness of the figs. The almonds also add a great crunch! If you wanted to go more sweet, agave-roasted walnuts or pecans would be amazing! Sliced pears, gorgonzola cheese, strawberries, raspberries, dried cranberries and goat cheese would also be great additions! Feel free to play around and add in or take out whatever you like!

Not only is this salad delicious, but it is also full of ingredients that are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals! Here are a few of them along with some of their health benefits.

Kale: I love to use kale as often as possible because of how nutrient dense it is. It is packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C & K,. Kale also contains glucosinulates, which have been shown to prevent numerous type of cancers, such as breast, bladder, colon, ovarian cancers, prostate, and gastric cancer. It also has a high sulfur content so it helps in detoxifying the body (source).

Figs: Figs are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are full of anti-diabetic properties and lower Triglycerides, which lowers your risk of heart disease and obesity. Figs are a great source of fiber and calcium, and are a potassium powerhouse. One study found that by eating just two dried figs a person significantly increase antioxidant activity in the body (source).

Quinoa: As I have previously mentioned, quinoa is one of my absolute favorite foods and I eat it pretty much everyday. Unlike any other seed, quinoa is a complete protein which means that is contains the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. They are very rare in the plant world so this makes it an excellent option for both vegans and vegetarians! It is also very high in iron and calcium, and is a great source of maganese, magnesium, copper and fiber. It is also naturally gluten free and therefore a great option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities (source).

salad

Fig & Kale Salad + Feta, Almonds & Quinoa

Salad Ingredients:

1/2-3/4 of a pint of fresh figs, stems cut off and quartered (this varies depending on how many figs you want in your salad)

1 bag Trader Joe’s chopped kale (I use the curly, not Tuscan kale)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

3/4 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Sweet Dressing Ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp. agave

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt + pepper

Savory Dressing Ingredients:

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. honey

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt + pepper

Directions:

For both salads dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. De-stem your chopped kale (if the woody stems bother you, if not skip this step). Put kale into a large bowl and add salad dressing on top. Massage dressing into your kale for a couple minutes. (This helps to wilt down your kale so it isn’t so fibrous). Next, add in fresh figs, feta cheese, quinoa and slivered almonds. Toss to combine and serve!

Buon Appétito!

 

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