Apple Cilantro Salad that the "Salad Me" Approves

When it comes to salad, there are two versions of me: the me that "hates" salad, and the me that craves salad. I swear, I don't really hate salad! I hate bad salad. The salad spectrum is a wide one: from soggy, tasteless salads filled with seemingly nothing (why?!) to salads that are crisp, colorful, and full of flavor and nutrients. Salad should be something that you love, something that boosts you up and makes you feel amazing (and full! If you eat a "good" salad, you should never be hungry afterward). It should never be something that you eat because "it's the healthy choice," while hating every mouthful. You need to love what you eat and love why you are eating it to truly reap all of it's benefits. To me, a great salad has the following components:

  • A strong base: it should be fresh, crisp, organic, and nutrient-dense. If you're eating a salad, make it worth it! The darker the greens, the better! In this version I opted for kale and cabbage. I love the crispiness they offer and the color combination of them together is incredible.
  • It's colorful: speaking of color, every color we eat gives us different vitamins and minerals, in addition to making the salad visually more appealing. We eat with every sense, and the more we consider this when we create, the more we will get out of our foods. See how many colors you can squeeze onto your plate!
  • Includes a protein: while we do get protein from vegetables, I love to add extra with a whole grain or beans. In this version I chose to include farro, one of my favorites that I always have on hand. 
  • Has a great dressing: a great dressing is delicious, good for you, and made for the salad in mind. Dressing doesn't need to be full of sugar, and one size does not fit all! I find that making my own dressings is cheaper, I know what is going into it, and I don't end up with 15 half-used dressing bottles in my refrigerator.
  • Has avocado: obviously.

The following salad is a version of a "Greens and Grains" salad that I make quite a bit. My base is almost always kale and farro. From there, the "switch up" is based on what I have on hand, what I'm craving, and what colors I have in my kitchen. This one really hit the spot! The dressing is one what I whipped together a few years ago with leftover cilantro, and one that I never really cannot get enough of. 

 

Apple Cilantro "Great" Detox Salad

Serves 4 // Vegan

Ingredients:
Keep in mind that the best thing about salad is that there are no rules! These are guidelines. Feel free to add more or less of an ingredient or add your favorites that aren't listed here to make it a bowl of goodness that you truly love and can't wait to dig into.

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 Bunch Kale, stemmed & thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Head Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 Avocado, pitted & chopped
  • 1 Cup Farro, cooked
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Sweet Potato, chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, chopped
  • Handful Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Apple (I used Gala), cut into matchsticks

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 Apple (I used Gala), chopped
  • Handful Cilantro
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 Shallot (I've made this without the shallot and it's still great, but if you have a shallot or a bit of yellow onion, it adds great taste to this!)
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea or Pink Salt & Pepper, to taste

Method:

1. If your farro needs to cook, start with that! Farro cooks like pasta, so grab a medium-sized saucepan, warm it over medium-high heat, add water and a bit of salt. Make sure you rinse your farro well, add it to the saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Cook until al dente, anywhere from 15-25 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside. 
2. Next, cook the chopped sweet potato. Warm coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat, add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for roughly 10 minutes or until tender. 
3. Prepare your dressing: simply add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend to smooth or add ingredients to a bowl and blend with an immersion blender. Season with sea or pink salt and pepper to taste.


3. Add all prepared salad ingredients to a big bowl (or prepare them while your farro continues to cook): kale, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, apple, and avocado. Toss to combine. 
4. Add farro, sweet potatoes, and dressing to big bowl, toss to combine, and serve!