Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby Ruby Salad with Blood Orange Cashew Dressing

A baby greens salad with blood orange sections, strawberries, dried apricots, pistachios in a blood orange cashew dressing.

This post is dedicated to my lovely niece, Claire who asked me the other day what to do with the baby kale she just bought. First of all let me just tell you how excited I am that she bought kale in the first place. She is a young mother with two precious little ones and she actually is making green smoothies for them now.... with kale! Woot Woot! and little  2 1/2 year old Victor is asking for "more." Love it!

See it's really adults that freak out over green looking drinks in the beginning, not the kids.

So this is a recipe I put together when I stumbled across a new looking container in our store:

Baby Kale Medley

I am really partial to tender baby greens, and this baby kale medley is no exception. It's not as hard core as the big leaf kale, in case you are new to the more powerhouse greens.  And also because it's a baby leaf, you don't have to worry about bitter stems, like the full leaves.

While you may not have a Sprouts/ Henry's Farmer's Market where you live, I think baby kale is catching on in the stores, especially ones like Whole Foods.

But if not, any baby greens (spinach or romaine) would work fine and mix them up for more variety too if you feel like it.

Raw Coconut Vinegar

I also stumbled across this new-to-me product:
Raw Organic Coconut Vinegar by Coconut Secret,
which claims to be even more nutritious than organic apple cider vinegar, so I decided to give it a spin for something different.  I do like it.

So this recipe I'm about to share moves away from oils in the salad dressing. Since I am new to this idea,  I turned to Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Eat For Health for recipe ideas.

I LOVE this book as it covers not just the nutritional research side and lots of recipes but also explores the emotional component of food addictions and how to stop their control over our diets.

This book was just recently republished from what I have as a two book set into a single paperback.  Highly recommend!

Dr. Furhman is an advocate of a low fat diet but is a big fan of using nuts (in limited amounts) in the diet for the good fats and benefits. His research shows that nuts are especially beneficial to consume with greens, as they help you to absorb more nutrients from them. So his plan is to use the nuts in place of oils in salad dressing and not as snacks.

So that's what I did. This recipe is adapted from Dr. Fuhrman's MishMash Salad with Orange Cashew Dressing in Eat For Health.

Baby Ruby Salad

Baby Ruby Salad with a Blood Orange Cashew Dressing

I decided to call it this because of the baby greens, and then because of the beautiful ruby colors of the blood oranges and the berries. Dr. Fuhrman's recipe calls for using his Blood Orange Vinegar but since I did not have any, I decided to go for the real thing and add the blood oranges directly to the salad and in the dressing.

Baby Ruby Salad Ingredients


Blood Orange Cashew Dressing:

2 blood oranges (regular is fine too), peeled and seeded
1/4 cup cashews
2 tablespoons organic vinegar (apple cider vinegar, like Bragg's would be good too)
2 carrots grated (for sweetness) 
orange juice (optional)


1 container of baby kale medley or mixed greens of choice
1 cup of blood orange sections
1 cup sliced organic strawberries (organic is important as these are like little sponges for pesticides.)
1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons raw pistachio nuts, unsalted and shelled


Blend dressing ingredients in a high power blender until smooth and creamy. This should be fine in a regular blender too. It may just take a bit longer to get creamy. Add some orange juice if necessary to thin it a bit.

Toss salad ingredients in a big bowl and use dressing to taste. Extra dressing should keep in a covered container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Baby Ruby Salad Close Up
So there you have it. A lovely and colorful salad brimming with all the goodness of kale and other greens but in tender bites. I'm a sucker for the ruby color of the veins in the swiss chard. 

I hope you give it a try.  Do you use nuts in your dressing to replace oil? It gives it a creamy texture don't you think? Would love to hear from you.

Until next time, Happy Healthy Eating.

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  1. Jodi, Your blog looks great! I've been so busy with school, but am happy that I got to catch up on your posts tonight. I love reading about Rip, making soup, and your blood orange dressing looks amazing. Eat For Health is on my to-read list. Is it much different from Eat To Live?

  2. Hi Nikki. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. Eat for Health is a toss up for maybe my favorite Dr. F. book, with Eat to Live. It used to be a two book set but now has been republished in one paperback. I really Like the added info on how to change the mind set or the behavioral aspect. Also there are many more recipes.

    Good luck with school.