This Superfoods Salad is loaded with healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables, protein-rich quinoa, and omega-3 packed salmon!
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? I tend to eat a lot more sugar over the holidays, so I’ve added this adaptable Healthy Salad Recipe to our menu rotation. Scroll down to see what you can add to boost your immune system, too!
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, quinoa, almonds, grapes, and more were topped with a champagne vinaigrette. I just had to make my own version at home.
This Marinated Vegetable Salad is simple and delicious, plus it’s also known as a “detox” salad due to all the veggies and fiber! It’s another healthy favorite to try.
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 superfoods salad recipe 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: a 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 healthy salad recipe is 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!
Other Ingredients to Add to Boost Your Immune System
This time of year, colds and influenza run rampant. Foods won’t necessarily prevent a viral infection, but they can definitely help keep your immune system healthy which is vital for helping you recover. And daily exercise is key, too, along with good sleep, plenty of water, and decreasing daily stressors.
- Citrus Fruit like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and their juices provide vitamin C which can aid cells with clearing viruses, possibly by increasing white blood cell production. Tomatoes, cantaloupe, broccoli, kiwi, papaya, and bell peppers are also excellent sources of Vitamin C.
- Elderberries are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Studies suggest that an elderberry concentrate may fight off the flu.
- Garlic has immune-boosting properties due to the abundance of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. You must use real garlic, though, not powdered or granulated.
- Ginger helps decrease inflammation which can soothe a sore throat. Add ginger to Tea, which has flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that seeks out and destroys cell-damaging free radicals for a double immune booster. Green Tea, specifically, may help with forming a compound needed for T-cells (a white blood cell).
- Poultry and Homemade Chicken Broth or Soup are sources of Vitamin B6, which helps in the production of red blood cells. Cooking chicken to make soup draws out compounds like chondroitin and gelatin that may help with immunity.
- Mushrooms, both caps, and stems, contain selenium which may lessen the severity of the flu, and niacin and riboflavin can keep your immune system healthy.
- Oysters are a good source of zinc which assists in creating and activating white blood cells.
- Other potential immune boosters include spinach, miso, pomegranates, yogurt (immune-boosting Vitamin D), and spinach.
Tools I Use When Making Superfoods Salad:
More of My Best Salad Recipes
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Summer Panzanella
- Corn Basil and Tomato Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Summer Vegetable Salad
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
- More Salad Recipes
Disclaimer: The immune-boosting suggestions come from research and personal experience. These will not prevent a viral infection but may help keep you healthy longer or help with recovery. There is no guarantee that these foods will change any outcome of an illness. My wish for you is to stay well.
- 5 ounces of greens (I used a mixture of baby kale, spinach, and arugula)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 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 6-ounce broiled salmon fillets
- Marinated artichoke hearts, optional
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey (local if available)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 927Total Fat: 69gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 54gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 11gSugar: 10gProtein: 44g