This is one of my favorite go-to lunches when I’m running around! 3 simple ingredients. That’s it! Using avocado as a dressing is something I learned from Engine 2. It makes perfect sense. Especially with kale. It’s so rough and hearty that massaging in the avocado into the leaves isn’t going to hurt it one bit and it’s easier to eat. I also love this salad because it’s great for inflammation.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats (good fats) which have been shown to lower inflammation. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels because of this. They also contain vitamin E, vitamin C, manganese, selenium, and zinc which is beneficial to help soothe inflammation.
Kale has a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which is a combo that is balanced so that it is anti-inflammatory. It’s high in antioxidants like beta carotene which is fat-soluble. Which means that it is broke down by fat. So the fat in the avocado in this salad will help break down and be better absorbed into your body. They work hand and hand.
Red onions are high in an antioxidant called Quercetin. You might have heard me talk about this before. It works as an anti-histamine so it’s one of the foods that is great for allergy sufferers. Along with that among other things, not just an allergic response, but it helps with inflammation in the body.
Here is my simple 3-ingredient kale salad that I use for lunch for busy weeks.
Simple 3-Ingredient Kale Salad
- 1 large bunch curly kale, leaves torn into bite size peices
- 1 medium avocado, pitted
- 1 small red onion, about 1 cup
- Juice of 1 large Lemon
- Salt and Pepper, if desired
- Put washed and torn kale in a large mixing bowl.
- Take the flesh of the avocado and add to the bowl. I usually will cut the avocado into small pieces before adding. With your hands, press the avocado into the kale. Since kale is so hardy and rough, it can take being mashed. Massage the avocado into the kale until all the avocado is incorporated and kale is a little softer.
- Add chopped red onion and toss.
- Add lemon juice and salt and pepper if desired. I usually have these on hand always so I don’t see it as extra ingredients.
- Serve immediately, or later that day. It will keep in the fridge for a few hours.
For 4 Large Servings with Lemon Juice
139 Calories | 8 g total fat | 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat | 4.9 g monounsaturated fat | 1 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 43 mg sodium | 15.5 g carbohydrates | 7 g fiber | 3.6 g sugar | 5.5 g protein | 434% Vitamin A | 175% Vitamin C | 799% Vitamin K | 16% Calcium | 21% Magnesium | 10% Iron | 16% Potassium
This is one of my favorite lunch recipes! It’s simple and easy to prep. It’s packed with flavor and easily digestible energy sources to keep you going without the slump of the mid-afternoon. Plus every bite is a mouthful of nutrient dense, high fiber foods. Let’s look at a few nutritious components of this salad.
Per 1 Cup
- 8 grams of Protein
- 5 grams Fiber
- 15% RDA of Iron
- 13% RDA of Zinc
- Contains a small amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
I enjoy baby kale since it’s easier to chew and can have a sweeter, milder taste than regular curly kale, but pretty much has the same nutritious benefits. So if you want raw kale in your salad, use baby kale next time to see how you like it.
Per 1 Cup
- 3 grams of Protein
- 2 grams of Fiber
- 134% DV of Vitamin C
- 206% DV of Vitamin K
- Loaded with powerful Antioxidants
So dig in and enjoy!
Baby Kale & Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey or agave
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 15oz can (1 1/2 c) garbanzo beans
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 5 oz pkg of baby kale
- In a small pot, add quinoa and broth and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. Pour into medium size mixing bowl.
- Add the cranberries, shallot, parsley, and garbanzo beans to the medium bowl and mix with the dressing.
- Once quinoa is cooled, add to the dressing mixture and combine together.
- To serve, take a handful of baby kale and top it with about 1 cup of the quinoa mixture and eat immediately!
- To store, keep the quinoa mixture separate from the baby kale until ready to eat.
449 Calories | 9.6 g Fat | 1.1 g saturated fat | 0 g Trans Fats | 0 mg Cholesterol | 315 mg Sodium | 72 g Carbohydrates | 13.6 g Fiber | 9.6 g Total Sugar | 18.2 g Protein
65% Carbohydrates | 19% Fat | 16% Protein
Dietary Servings per Portion
- 0.4 Fruit
- 2.1 Grain
- 0.6 Meat Alternative
- 2.5 Vegetables
If you are wanting to have this salad for lunches throughout the week, here is how I pack mine. Keep the baby kale separate from the quinoa mixture since it will wilt the leaves, and store in the fridge! As you can see, I have sophisticated meal prep skills. : )
One of my favorite ways to eat kale is in soups. It’s a hearty enough green that it keeps it’s form when cooked and in broth and it add a deep rich green color to your meal. This simple bean and vegetable stew it’s great when you just want to warm up, or are getting sick, or just want a low-fat high-fiber meal. I like to make this recipe this time of year because of it being flu season and the extra nutrition boost it can give. Check out some the benefits of white beans & kale.
Benefits of White Beans
- High Fiber
- High in Plant-Based Protein
- Helps Healthy Weight Loss
- Regulates Blood Sugar
- High in Magnesium for Heart Health, Bone Health, Nerve Health, etc.
Benefits of Kale
- Cruciferous Vegetable – Known to Fight Cancer
- Rich in Vitamin C
- Helps to Lower Bad Cholesterol
- High in Lutein for Healthy Vision
No doubt this antioxidant rich, high fiber, delicious stew is one to keep in your recipe box for emergencies during flu season!
White Bean and Kale Italian Soup
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 small bunch of kale, chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine*
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth, depending on how much broth you’d like
- 1 15oz. can cannelloni beans, drained or 3 cups cooked cannelloni beans
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
*I use a cup of white wine to give it an added layer of flavor. When wine is cooked the alcohol and any sulfites, that many can be allergic to, are cooked off. If you don’t want to put wine in the soup, add another cup of vegetable broth or until it is as thick or thin as you’d like it to be.
- Heat a large pot on low heat, add onion, if you’d like to add a small amount of oil you can or keep the heat on low to allow the onion to excrete all it’s juices. Once the onion is cooking and starting to be translucent, add in the garlic. Cook until fragrant – about 1 minute. Add in carrots and celery and allow to cook for a few minutes until carrots start to get soft. About 7-10 minutes.
- Add in the chopped kale, dry white wine (optional), and vegetable broth. Allow to simmer and the kale to wilt. 5 minutes.
- Add in the cooked beans, sage, thyme, and parsley. Let simmer for a few minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
284 calories | 3.6 g total fat | 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat | 0.6 g monounsaturated fat | 0.5 g saturated | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 1235 mg sodium (depending on broth) | 43 g carbohydrates | 15 g fiber | 6.6 g total sugar | 11.7 g protein | 502% Vitamin A | 88% Vitamin C | 433% Vitamin K | 18% Calcium | 20% Iron