Damp and dreary is the best way to describe the way it’s been around here lately. After being hit with an ice storm last weekend Mother Nature hasn’t let up. Between intermittent showers and a lingering fog the days have been down right gloomy. While it is easy to let my mood be influenced by the weather, I’ve found that a consciously shifting my mind to find the positive in everyday and quite literally counting my blessings help me find the light in even the darkest of days. That, combined with the vibrant whole foods in my kitchen have a incredible way of making me feel better almost instantly. So that’s just what’s been happening around here lately. I’m packing my plate with the brightest, nutrient-dense whole foods to keep me energized and my spirits up.
With that being said, this salad has been on repeat ever since I made it this week. The vibrancy of the ingredients puts a smile on my face and the taste has me dancing around the kitchen. The hearty winter greens are balanced out by the bright citrus and little bursts of sweetness from the pomegranate arils. I was able to get my hands on some blood oranges over the weekend so that’s what I used, but tangerines, cara cara oranges or even red grapefruit would be a wonderful addition. Really any winter citrus will do, so pick your favorite. I chose to segment my blood oranges so that each slice was left free of its skin because presentation (food blog). This tutorial is helpful if you’ve never segmented citrus before. But if you are short on time or don’t want to hassle with this detail, you can simply peel the citrus as you normally would with the skin still covering the fruit. For some added crunch and nutrition boost, I topped the salad with pumpkin seeds, but I think walnuts would be a nice addition. To go along with the winter citrus salad I made a simple lemon tahini dressing, but my goodness does it amp up the flavor. The nuttiness of the tahini is balanced out with the acidity of the lemon and mild miso gives it the slightest savory edge. I’m crossing all my fingers that you take the time to make this dressing to go with this salad. My recommendation would be to double the recipe and keep some on hand for other salads, veggies or bowls you make that week.
I’m curious, what do you do to make yourself feel your best during the winter time or on those gloomy weeks where the sun refuses to make an appearance for days at a time? Leave your tips or tell me what works for you in the comments! I’d love to hear from you and possibly give your methods a try in these next wintery weeks to come.
Winter Citrus Kale Salad
- 1 bunch kale
- 1/4 small red cabbage
- 4 radishes
- 2 blood oranges or other winter citrus segmented
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped
Rinse and dry all the vegetables. Roughly chop the bunch of kale into manageable pieces. I like to grab half the bunch at a time and cut the kale horizontally starting from the top, working my way down cutting 1/2 inch width strips. If you choose, you can message the kale with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt to help break down the fibers, making the kale more palatable. Slice the cabbage into strips just as you did with the kale. Next, slice the radishes as thin as possible. Add all the chopped vegetable to a large bowl. Add the segmented oranges, pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds, and parsley (if using).
Drizzle with the tahini lemon dressing (recipe below) before serving. If planning on keeping this around for the week, store the dressing separately and drizzle before serving. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mild miso
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- salt & pepper to taste
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.