I’m always looking for ways to make salads more enjoyable and supportive for digestion.
Welp, I nailed this one, I must say.
A healthy salad never sounds incredibly appealing to me, at least not the healthy salads I’ve had at restaurants.
They are usually made with some bland green like iceberg or mixed green wilted lettuce, have a too tart/bitter vinegar dressing that doesn’t hit the spot, and boring, out of season ingredients.
That, or they are piled high with unhealthy, processed ingredients.
But when you make a salad at home, you can add whatever gut healing, healthy ingredients you want while layering in some delicious toppings to make it fun.
This Kale and Salmon Caesar Salad has it all-
- gut supporting ingredients
- foods to improve digestion
- a blood sugar balancing combo of healthy fats, protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates
- delicious toppings to make it exciting
This is my kind of salad!
Some Gut Love
There are a number of ingredients that make this salad extra supportive for your gut and digestion.
- Kale- You’ve heard it plenty by now, but kale really is a healthy powerhouse of a green. It’s a brassica (same family as broccoli, cabbage, etc.) so it’s wonderful for supporting healthy hormones and has a good dose of fiber.
- Carrots- Another dose of gut healing fiber and raw carrots are especially good at balancing hormones. They are able to help clear out extra estrogen, something most women that experience PMS, PCOS, or other hormonal imbalances need support with. They also have a bit of Vitamin C to help us absorb iron, among other things.
- Chickpeas- You know by now that I’m obsessed with beans because they are head and shoulders above all other foods in soluble fiber, which is imperative for healthy digestion and healing your gut. I couldn’t skip the beans in this recipe!
- Salmon- One of the most powerful healthy fats you can consume. Our gut needs plenty of healthy fats to heal our gut lining, and it’s helpful in keeping us full.
Making the Salad
Ok, honestly, this salad isn’t difficult to make, but it’s a bit more time consuming than some of my salads, and that is because of the kale.
When you use full lacinato kale, as suggested in this recipe, it takes a while to rinse, cut out the stems of each leaf (necessary as the stems are a bit bitter), and chop them up. This recipes has quite a bit of kale because, when it’s massaged down as it is here, it makes the serving size a bit smaller. We need to use a lot of kale to make enough for everyone.
But, if you take the extra 10 minutes and follow these steps, you will not be disappointed!
Not pictured: chickpeas. I forgot them until after I took the picture!
Kale and Salmon Caesar Salad Recipe
Makes about 3 large servings, takes about 30 minutes
- 3 pieces of salmon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, gluten free preferred
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup pecorino or parmesan, shredded (I use goat sources)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Red pepper flakes to taste (optional for a little spice)
- 4 bunches of lacinato kale, rinsed, stems removed, and sliced into ribbons
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, to taste
- Prepare your kale first by rinsing, removing the stems, and slicing into ribbons.
- Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sprinkle your salmon with salt and pepper. Once the pan is warm, add your salmon fillets pink side down. Let cook for about 3 minutes then flip so they are skin down and continue to cook for another 2 minutes or until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add about a teaspoon of olive oil back to the pan and leave it over medium heat. Add your breadcrumbs and let them toast in the pan until brown. Timing varies depending on how big your breadcrumbs are so keep an eye on them. Once browned, turn off the heat, remove them from the pan, and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, add the 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, pecorino, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix together well. Add the kale to the bowl and massage the dressing into the kale for a few minutes. The kale will start to break down a little bit which is what you want. It makes it less tough and a little sweeter.
- Add the carrots, chickpeas, bread crumbs, and salmon to the bowl of kale. Top it with a healthy dose of everything seasoning and enjoy!
Meal Prep Tips: I like to make the entire salad mix at once and then cook my salmon each day so it’s fresher. The salad mixture stores well for up to 4 days.
Gluten Free if you use GF breadcrumbs.
Please let me know if you make this recipe and what you think!
Thanks for the great article!