There seems to be a trend going around the food world, juice cleanses.  No offense to all those who have done/are doing/will do a juice cleanse, but that is something I would NEVER do.  In case you aren’t aware of what a juice cleanse is, basically you drink only juice for X number of days, I’ve seen 3 days most often but up to 7 or 10.  You can either spend bunch of money buying a ton of juice, or you make your own juices each day with fresh ingredients (this I see as way more reasonable).  We’re not talking OJ & apple juice, but special juices made from kale, beets, ginger, lemon, etc, etc.  I’m not saying these juices are not delicious, and I’m not saying a juice cleanse isn’t good for your body.  I just think it would be just as healthy & WAAAY cheaper if you just bought a TON of fresh vegetables & fruit and filled up on them.

My suggestion for a super healthy meal to fill up on?  This raw kale salad.  You’ve got raw, healthy veggies with the kale, carrots, & tomato, protein from the beans, healthy fats from the olive oil, and a zing of healthy flavor from the lemon.  I could see these ingredients blended into a juice for those juice people, but I’d much prefer to eat it as a salad.  That way you get to experience the textures of the food you’re eating.  We’ve really been into greens the past couple years, but mostly in a cooked form.  Eating kale raw is a totally different experience than cooked kale, and the key here is to really work the olive oil into the kale by massaging it, as kooky as that may sound.


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Raw Kale Salad with Lemon & Cannellini Beans

Ingredients:

1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (use the highest quality stuff you can afford, you'll taste the difference)
1 bunch curly kale, washed, dried and thinly chopped
1 can cooked cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 roma tomato, chopped

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil until thick, about 45 seconds.

Drizzle most of the dressing over the kale. Gently massage the dressing into the kale for 1-2 minutes. Add carrots, beans, tomato, and remaining dressing, toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

adapted from What's Gaby Cooking