What’s not to love about a holiday completely dedicated to eating?
It’s the best! Thanksgiving makes me feel some type of way.
But I don’t always love the way I feel after a weekend spent gorging on too much sugar, butter, carbs and wine. It feels so good in the moment – and I’m all about living in the moment – but sometimes it leaves us feeling less than our best when its all over.
To make up for the overindulging I did this weekend, today I’m going to make a big green smoothie, take a long jog and then dive face first into this salad.
It’s super bright and colorful and just looks like the picture of health. With lots of raw veggies like kale, carrots, apples and beets, it really packs a nutritional punch.
But! It also tastes rich and indulgent from the walnuts, dried cherries and blue cheese.
Because lets face it, this is December not June, and we aren’t exactly craving fresh light fare these days.
This salad hits all the marks!
I’ve been making different variations of this salad ever since my sophomore year in college (aka a really long time ago) when my parents and I took a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit family friends Tom & Julie Cook.
One day for lunch, Julie made us a salad that had apples, blue cheese, nuts and dried cranberries. I absolutely fell in love with it, and when I returned home, I made that salad almost every single day.
My Mom and I nicknamed it a “Julie Salad,” and she got a kick out of how often I was making it at school. I’ve often wondered if Julie ever knew how her humble lunch created such a legacy in our household (and in my diet).
I’ve reincarnated this salad into a million different versions over the years, simply by changing up the produce, dressings and accoutrements. But the base flavors stay the same: greens, crisp fruit, nuts, dried fruit, and tangy cheese.
With the holiday season now in full swing, cookies and cocktails will be taking the wheel for the next month. And for the record, I’m completely okay with that.
This little detox(ish) salad can be your secret weapon to keep you feeling on top of your holiday game.
But of course it’s not too detox-ey, because, you know, this is still a time to be festive and indulgent. Lots of raw cruciferous veggies to give your body a tune-up, but enough cheese and nuts to keep it from tasting like its really good for you.
Look at us! Being all healthy in December. We’re so ahead of the game. Waiting until January to think about health is so 2013. High five!
Life’s all about balance. Have pie and champagne for breakfast one day, then jog and eat kale the next. It’s been working for me so far, and I’m fairly certain both my Mom and Julie would agree.
Julie’s Detox(ish) Kale Salad
Adapted from the inspiring and fabulous Julie Cook.
Yield: 2 large servings or 4 small servings
Time: 20 minutes
I really like the texture achieved from julienning (non-intended pun, I swear!) the vegetables, as the thin matchsticks create such a pleasant crunch. I use the julienne tool on my mandolin slicer to make it quick and easy, but you can also do it by hand. If it seems like too much work, you can just slice the vegetables nice and thin or cut into cubes. Just be sure to keep the beet pieces extra skinny, as they can be a bit much to chomp into.
To make this salad vegan and even healthier, just leave out the cheese. But personally, I never leave the cheese out of anything.
Not feeling this one? Lighten up with these other salad recipes: Spanish Kale Salad, Grilled Vegetable Panzanella, Roasted Beet and Green Bean Salad with Fennel, Toasted Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese.