You guys I cannot stop making this salad. It takes A LOT for me to get psyched about a salad, so I have to get reaaaal creative with my ingredients to ensure it 1.) is nutritionally on point, 2.) fills me up (unlike most salads where I want another meal 1.5 seconds after I finish) and is MOST IMPORTANTLY 3.) delicious because food is life, obviously. This summer salad is everything I’ve ever wanted:
- SO EASY to meal-prep for the week
- PACKED with antioxidant-rich BEAUTY FOODS
- FLAVORFUL & SATISFYING AF so you won’t have that lunchtime salad depression
- CUSTOMIZABLE so you can switch it up day-to-day if you need some variety in your life
- GLUTEN-FREE if you’re into that sort of thing
- COLORFUL & SUMMERY because nobody likes an ugly salad
If you’re wondering “WTF is a beauty food?”, these are ingredients that pack a nutritional punch & help you glow from the inside out. Here’s what we’re working with.
QUINOA – This satisfying, gluten-free grain is packed with protein – making it the perfect satiating addition to a plant-based bowl – not to mention it has all nine essential amino acids, 2x more fiber than most grains (supporting weight loss), manganese (an antioxidant that fights free radicals), lysine (promotes tissue repair) and B2 (improves energy metabolism). Shall I go on?
LEAFY GREENS – These guys are brimming with Vitamin A (fights acne, flushes out toxins), Vitamin C (stimulates collagen to keep skin plump & youthful), phytochemicals like chlorophyll (protect your skin from free radicals that cause aging & fights inflammation), and antioxidants like lutein (boosts skin hydration & elasticity.)
BRUSSELS SPROUTS – SO MUCH Vitamin C in these babies which means more collagen & improved skin elasticity, plus these are anti-inflammatory and filled with countless other vitamins & minerals (vitamin K, potassium, calcium, iron – I could go on forever baby.)
STRAWBERRIES – Another Vitamin C powerhouse (hi glowy skin & bright complexion), this berry is also rich in silica which promotes hair growth. Strawberries also contain malica which naturally cleans & whitens your teeth – yes please.
WALNUTS – The omega 3’s in these are not only anti-inflammatory, but they also strengthen the membrane of your skin cells, locking in moisture, keeping toxins out & promoting skin health.
CUCUMBER – One word: HYDRATION. Cucs are literally 95.2% WATER and I love the idea of eating my water, especially in the summer when I’m trying to drink 80+ ounces a day (WHY IS IT SO HARD). Hydrated skin = glowy skin. Cucs are also a great source of fiber, which promotes detoxification by keeping things moving if you know what I mean.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS – These not only add taste and texture, but sunflower seeds support your natural gorgeousness with fiber + B vitamins (helps digestion & weight loss), and vitamin E (brightens skin & keeps your hair thick and shiny).
LEMON – Vitamin C strikes again with it’s skin-brightening benefits here, plus lemon juice naturally promotes healthy digestion & detoxification.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – I put this stuff on everything! It increases satiety so you’re less likely to overeat, promoting reduced belly fat and healthy weight loss.
AVOCADO – I mean obviiiiiously I want to put this on everything too. It’s got 20 vitamins & minerals (B, C, E, K, Omega 3’s, anti-aging antioxidants) and is a source of BOTH fat & fiber. That means brighter skin & eyes, thicker hair, on-point digestion & a smile on your face because you won’t be starving.
If this isn’t a bowl of beauty food paradise I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS. Recipe details are below – can’t wait to hear what you think!
MY GO-TO SUMMER BEAUTY SALAD FOR GLOWING SKIN (GLUTEN FREE)
- 1 cup leafy greens (I prefer spinach, kale or a mix of both)
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, shredded (option to nix this and double down on the leafy greens – you do you)
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
- 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped (about 1/4 large cucumber)
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds (other fave options: pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds)
- 2 tbsp raw walnuts, chopped (other fave options: almonds, pistachios)
- 1 tbsp crumbled goat cheese or feta (option to eliminate if you want 100% plant-based)
- 1/4 avocado, sliced
- 1.5 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (other fave option: red wine vinegar)
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (other fave option: avocado oil)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Optional additions: Organic raw honey, pulled chicken
Here’s how I meal prep this salad for the week.
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and let cool. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week & scoop what you need for your salads each day.
- Trim & discard the stems from your Brussels. Thinly slice Brussels so they have a shaved-like consistency (you can also use a mandolin, or EVEN BETTER buy them pre-shredded – Trader Joe‘s has a great option.) Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
- If using kale, remove leaves from stems, wash, dry well & roughly chop. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
- Wash and dry the cucumber. Slice in half vertically, then scoop the seeds from each side with a spoon and discard. Small dice the cucumber and store in airtight container.
- Wash and dry the strawberries, remove green stems, thinly slice and store.
- Store all of your containers in the fridge & scoop out ingredients as needed throughout the week. Easy!
- In a small bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, EVOO, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Add a drizzle of raw honey if you’re feeling saucy.
- Combine all ingredients in serving bowl of choice & enjoy the post-antioxidant GLOW!
My favorite thing about this salad is that it’s easily adjustable for your mood, hunger-level, dietary focus and energy needs for any given day. Some days I add pulled chicken and less quinoa, some days I add random roasted veggies I have lying around, some days I like honey in my vinaigrette & other days I’m not into it. I don’t count calories – so don’t expect to see a calorie count on any recipes I share – but I do try to eat intuitively based on what feels right for me and my body / whatever makes me feel energized & happy. I hope this recipe is a helpful starting point for you to build your own perfect summer beauty salad. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts or any other variations you guys come up with!
What are your favorite ways to eat for beauty? Tell me all your secrets in the comments below!