Superfood Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing- This Superfood Salad is a big bowl of crunchy goodness. Protein rich quinoa, red bell pepper and edamame on a bed of chopped Swiss chard. Sweet ripe blueberries, mango, a touch of coconut flakes give a tropical taste to this healthy salad. Top it all off with a creamy cashew dressing for a perfect way to get 7…yes 7 superfoods in one bowl.
So, what exactly is a “superfood” ? it’s a nutritional powerhouse! A nutrient dense food packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and/or phytonutrients. Things that have been shown to be beneficial for our health and well-being.
The seven superfoods in this salad are:
Quinoa– provides all 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves, and is full of protein (8 grams in 1 cup)
Blueberries– have one of the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits and vegetables, with specific benefits for the nervous system and brain health.
Swiss Chard – High in vitamins K, A, C & E as well as magnesium and fiber. Has 13 different polyphenol antioxidants which have shown to help with regulating blood sugar levels, help with bone health, blood circulation and brain health.
Edamame– is a “complete protein”(meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids your body needs but cant produce). Edamame is rich in protein, carbs, fiber, omega fatty acids. The isoflavones found in edamame (soybeans) have been shown to improve bone strength and improve cholesterol levels.
Red Bell Pepper– High in vitamin C (good for immune system) and A (good for skin and eyesight). Also contains lycopene which has been shown to prevent many cancers, and sweet red peppers have also been shown to activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate.
Mango– are an excellent source of vitamins A and C,potassium, carotenes ( including Beta-carotene) and fiber. Mangos contain an enzyme that helps to break down protein which helps with digestion.
Cashews– Rich in Omega 3’s (good for heart health) high in iron, and a good source of folate and Vitamin K. Cashews contain proanthocyanidins (a class of flavanols) which has been shown to have some pretty stellar results in starving tumors and preventing cancer cells from dividing.
O.K…I have a confesstion…I’ve been eating this superfood salad every day this week! The mixture of crunchy and a bit of tropical flavor from mango and coconut…all topped with the creamy cashew dressing (which is also delish to dip veggies in btw) yummm…I just cant get enough!
Superfood Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing
For the Salad
- 3 cups chopped Swiss chard or Kale
- 1 cup cooked quinoa *
- ½ cup red bell pepper seeded and diced
- ¼ cup shelled edamame
- ¼ cup red cabbage sliced
- ¼ cup fresh mango diced
- ¼ cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup red onion diced (optional)
- 2 Tbsp coconut flakes
For the Creamy Cashew Dressing
- ½ cup cashew pieces raw and unsalted
- ½ cup water more if necessary
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
* to yield 1 cup cooked quinoa you'll need 1/3 cup dry quinoa + 2/3 cup water and cook according to package directions .
For the Dressing
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and let set for 5 min. (to let cashews soften, while you assemble the salad).
- Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender) blend until completely combined.
For the Salad
- Toss all ingredients together in a medium salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and mix thoroughly