When I was returning home from Moab, Utah, this past fall, I had a layover at Denver International Airport. I needed a meal and found a healthy kiosk tucked behind a McDonalds. Their superfoods salad looked intriguing so I ordered it topped with chicken and savored every bite. Kale, quiona, almonds, grapes, and more was topped with a champagne vinaigrette. I just had to make my own version at home.
What are Superfoods?
Power Foods or Superfoods are those known to have a high nutrient value per serving. Whether vitamins, minerals, protein or fiber, there is potentially some health benefit from any ingredient labeled as a superfood. This salad happens to contain a number of these powerhouse foods:
- Kale, Spinach: A good source of folate, calcium, magnesium as well as high in Vitamin K (good for bone health), and iron. Kale has more antioxidants than most other produce and one of its phytonutrients may reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- Avocados: high in monosaturated fats, helps with weight loss
- Red Bell Peppers: rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C
- Salmon: high in omega 3 fatty acids, helps with brain and heart health plus salmon may help prevent skin damage from ultraviolet light as well as reduce inflammation and cancer risks.
- Tomatoes: source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from sun damage and may also fight cancer and lower cholesterol
- Berries: high in Vitamin C, fiber, cancer fighting antioxidants plus blueberries may help with memory and neutralize free radicals
- Quinoa: a vegan source of protein, has ALL 9 essential amino acids
- Honey: local honey may help with seasonal allergies
A Terrific Way to Kick off a Healthy New Year
This Superfoods Salad was customized with a variety of my favorite ingredients. Feel free to swap out any of the vegetables to reflect your preferences or just leave out what you don’t like. Salmon is one of my favorite proteins so it beat out the chicken that was in my airport salad. I’m already brainstorming on how to tweak my next version. Maybe ditching the berries and roasting some of the veggies. The options are endless!
- 5 ounces of greens (I used a mixture of baby kale, spinach and arugula)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ½ English cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- Grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Fresh berries, whatever looks good in the market
- 3 broiled salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
- Marinated artichoke hearts, optional
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey (local if available)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Pick and choose the greens and superfoods you'd like in your salad.
- Place greens in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients.
- Make dressing by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Slowing drizzle in olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Pour over salad before serving. Toss and plate salad, then top with salmon.