The Best Winter Salad Recipe

By: Flayre Spring

The good old greens and veggies in general might seem boring to many of us on cold winter days. Some might think salads are not filling enough in the winter to keep us warm. With no disrespect intended, I'm afraid I have to disagree! As a warm-blooded species, we humans have a temperature that changes with the weather or outdoor temperature. When the weather turns colder many of us tend to crave comfort food, which feels more filling. This includes food items loaded with yummy carbs, like bagels, fries, doughnuts, and the list never seems to end. Or you might be someone like me, who spends way too long on the DoorDash app ordering delivery from the next door food joint because you are just way too cold to drive a minute or two and avoid that overcharged delivery and service fee! Carb overload can really put us off track when maintaining the daily nutrition intake that our body needs to keep us healthy and going. That is why it is essential to change our perspectives on salads in the wintertime and incorporate them into our meals every day. With just a few tweaks here and there and some creativity, we can make a dull bowl of veggies interesting and more filling.

I want to share my all-time favorite salad recipe that I have almost perfected over the years, which is just perfect for those cold winter days. The show stoppers for this salad are the green goddess of the produce aisle — kale — and beans. I love this salad because it provides tons of protein and fiber. Beans are known to be one of the healthiest foods out there. For this recipe, you can use any beans you would like. I prefer a combination of three or four. My all-time favorite combo includes kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and white beans. Some people prefer to keep their kale a bit larger in their salads due to the crunchiness it adds. Finely chopped kale works so much better for this recipe, but it is up to your preference. We will add some other accompanying goodies to this salad: finely chopped green or red capsicum, chopped green onions, zucchini cut into small cubes(can be substituted with cucumbers), two 16 oz boxes of cherry tomatoes cut in halves, and a can of sweet corn. For the dressing, we need half a teaspoon of thyme, fresh or dried, half a cup of tomato juice or purée, three tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of powdered sugar, white or brown, one teaspoon of crushed red peppers, one tablespoon of white vinegar, a few pinches of crushed black pepper and some salt to taste.

In a cup, combine all ingredients for the dressing and mix them thoroughly. To get the best flavor, use a blender. It makes a huge difference by helping all the flavors from the ingredients to merge and give a uniform taste and kick to the dressing. After that, we are almost done! We just need to combine the kale, all the other vegetables and the beans in a large bowl and drizzle the red dressing we prepared while stirring everything with a wooden spatula. Just make sure the beans are thoroughly soaked in the dressing because some might argue, "beans don't have much flavor on their own!" The prep time for this salad is minimum. This delicious salad recipe is amazingly filling and will keep you warm and healthy at the same time.

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