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5 Clean, Green Salad Recipes

Tired of the same old salad? SoulCycle rider and chef CANDICE KUMAI shares 5 fresh new recipes to toss into your routine… 

When flavors come together in such perfect harmony as these do, I fall in love from the very first bite. The combo of tart strawberries, crunchy walnuts, and salty cheese just does it for me! It’s even more fabulous when tossed with my homemade zero-fat (yep, zero) balsamic vinaigrette.

1/2 cup walnuts
4 cups fresh spinach, stems trimmed and roughly chopped
8 large strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup crumbled feta (about 1 ounce), optional

1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Place the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
2. Toss the spinach with the strawberries in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the honey, mustard, vinegar, and salt. Drizzle 3/4 of the dressing over the salad and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Serve sprinkled with cheese (if using) and with the remaining dressing on the side.

Packed with nutrients, natural diuretics, and fresh flavors, this salad will leave you feeling satisfied — without added calories or guilt! 

Lemon vinaigrette
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 small (5-pound) watermelon, or
1⁄2 large watermelon, rind removed, sliced into thin 3-inch triangles
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced (preferably on a mandoline), and julienned, radish tops reserved for garnish
3⁄4 cup hearts of palm, thinly sliced on the bias
1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, crushed, to garnish

1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, agave and salt for the vinaigrette.
2. In a large salad bowl, combine the watermelon, radishes, and hearts of palm. Toss with half of the vinaigrette. Reserve the other half of the dressing and use more, if desired. Top with the hazelnuts and reserved radish tops.

Dubbed the queen of salad making by one of my best friends, Meredith, I’m determined to continue to surprise and inspire my besties, one green plate at a time. This winner has the girls’ seal of approval. My tip: Triple the batch of gingered almonds and save them in an airtight container for the perfect snack!

Gingered Almonds
1⁄2 cup slivered almonds
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon agave nectar

2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil

3 cups baby spinach
1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
2 blood oranges, segmented
1⁄4 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place almonds on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss the almonds with ginger and 1 tablespoon of agave. Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
2.  In a small mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk well to incorporate.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baby spinach, pear, oranges, and dried cranberries. Add a light coating of the Almost Naughty Dressing and toss to coat. Finish off with the gingered almonds and serve!

Lox, or smoked salmon, is lean, mean and mega flavorful. It’s loaded with omega-3s, protein, and an arsenal of other benefits. You can’t go wrong with this delish fish.

Caper-lemon dressing
1⁄4 cup caper brine (from the caper jar)
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar (optional)
4 cups wild arugula
1⁄3 cup capers
1 cup cannellini beans
1⁄4 cup chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled
12 thin slices lox (wild smoked salmon)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the caper brine, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Add a touch of honey or agave, if desired.
2. In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, capers, and cannellini beans. Toss with half of the vinaigrette.
3. Top the salad with the chèvre and lox. Serve additional dressing on the side, if desired.

I created this recipe as a simple, immunity-boosting dish to kick colds and the nasty flu. With raw butternut squash ribbons, crisp kale, delicate Swiss chard and an orange vinaigrette, it’s simple yet exotic at the same time. Not to mention healthy and delicious!

Orange vinaigrette
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1⁄4 cup pulp-free orange juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

2 medium bunches kale, or about 4 cups chopped
1 medium bunch Swiss or rainbow chard
1⁄2 medium butternut squash
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds

6 ounces fresh chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled

1. In a small mixing bowl, place all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and whisk to combine.
2. Clean and thoroughly dry the kale and chard. With a sharp knife, remove the woody stems from the kale. Chop both greens into bite-size pieces.
3. Peel the butternut squash. Halve it lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, and use a vegetable peeler to slice thin ribbons from the inside of the squash.
4. In a large bowl, combine the greens, squash ribbons, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Toss with half of the vinaigrette.
5. Transfer the salad to 6 plates. Top with the crumbled chèvre. Serve additional vinaigrette on the side.

Candice with instructor Nicholas Wagner at Soul Fidi

Check out Candice's new book Clean Green Drinks. Questions or comments? Email!

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