This Detox Salad recipe with Lemon-Parsley Dressing is a clean and nutritious light meal that is packed with Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Vegan, paleo, whole30 and requires less than 30 minutes to prepare.
Whether you’re looking to press the re-set button or simply enjoy big bowls of salad, I’m here with my absolute favorite detox salad.
While I don’t subscribe to any specific diet, I find my body craves fresh vegetables and lean protein after I’ve gone through a long stint of eating sugar or processed foods.
The thought of clean eating can often seem daunting or boring, but I’m here to tell you eating whole foods doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.
In fact, this great salad is a perfect balance of flavors and textures to make consistent clean eating (or detox day) a blast.
Cleaning out the digestive system with high fiber whole foods and quality protein is just what the body needs to rev up the metabolism, regain energy and lift brain fog.
In my subjective opinion, the best salads are those that contain a variety of vegetables (and fruit!) with a delicious homemade dressing and some type of nut or seed for a little crunch. I also love adding goat feta to salads for that creamy tang, and/or animal protein like salmon or chicken depending on what I feel my body needs.
Did you know adding fibrous vegetables to your diet can help immensely with blood sugar control? Not only is dietary fiber very filling but it also helps blunt the insulin spike that comes with eating big meals. In this sense, simply adding quality vegetables to your meals can help achieve balanced blood sugar.
Combining lots of fresh produce is a great way of taking in a ton of nutrients in one healthy meal. The next time you feel you could use a little detox, whip up this rainbow of delicious ingredients!
What Does it Mean to Detox?
The word, “detox” is thrown around quite a bit and there’s much debate in the health community as to whether food actually has many detoxification properties.
The process of detoxification is your body’s system of cleaning your blood, removing toxins. Toxins are filtered through your liver, so consuming herbs and foods that are high in antioxidants while abstaining from alcohol and processed foods help ensure your liver stays clean, strong and does its job properly.
While eating clean helps keep your organs functioning efficiently, there are many other ways we can help our bodies detoxify.
Circulating blood through exercise and sweating in a sauna are both powerful ways to detox.
In addition, fasting, dry brushing, drinking plenty of water, and deep breathing are great for detoxification.
This chopped detox salad features a blast of antioxidants to make healthy eating a great time.
Which Foods are Detoxifying?
Foods that are high in antioxidants help eliminate free radicals from your body and aid in cellular repair or autophagy.
Some great examples of the most detoxifying foods are turmeric (be sure to combine it with black pepper), beets, fresh herbs like parsley, garlic, artichoke, green tea, and cabbage.
Kale, red cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, and parsley are all very dense in Vitamins K, A, C, and B6, folate, and fiber.
That said, any food that is low-inflammatory (meaning it won’t cause inflammation) will help throw a bone to your immune system. In this sense, you don’t need to eat detox food in order to give a little boost to your body’s detoxification system and energy level.
How to Make a Detox Salad:
Step One: Pick Your Favorite Vegetables
First, select the vegetables you enjoy eating that are high in antioxidants. Cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, radishes, carrots, bell peppers, etc. are rich in nutrients.
Also select your favorite herbs, like parsley, basil, and/or mint, as they contain powerful detoxification properties as well.
Step Two: Add Plenty of Flavor
To add extra deliciousness, be sure to add your favorite nuts, seeds, avocado, animal protein (if desired) and/or organic raw cheese (if desired).
Step 3: Make Your Own Dressing
Simply whip up your own homemade dressings using a small blender, food processor, or mix them up in a small bowl. You can store homemade dressing in a sealed mason jar in the refrigerator for several weeks!
Making salad dressing at home is a surefire way of taking in healthy fats. Many store-bought dressings use low-quality inflammatory oils like canola oil.
Making dressing homemade also ensures you end up with your desired flavor. I love making lemon-parsley dressing not only because it tastes amazing but also because both lemon juice and parsley are amazing for detoxification.
Step Four: Toss it All Together
Chop up your veggies and toss everything in a big bowl with your swanky homemade dressing. That’s it! you now have a crunchy detox salad to provide a boost to your immune system.
Can I Make This Ahead Of Time?
Making hearty salads ahead of time is a genius way to stay on a clean eating plan.
If you have a busy workweek, you can easily make mason jar salads ahead of time. I recommend adding the chopped vegetables and nuts to a large jar and keeping the dressing and avocado on the side.
Once you’re ready to enjoy the salad, you can transfer it to a large bowl or simply add the dressing inside the jar and shake it up. This way the salad doesn’t get soggy and the avocado doesn’t turn brown on you.
Prepare your salads the night before in any kind of airtight container like meal prep containers or large jars and enjoy them the next day or the following 2-3 days.
Let’s dive into the ingredients I like using to make the ultimate detox salad.
Ingredients for the Best Detox Salad:
Vegetables: Raw kale, red cabbage, broccoli, red bell pepper, carrots, radishes, and green onions.
I love this combination of fresh vegetables because we’re getting a large variety of color and vitamins. Each of these veggies is packed with antioxidants to revitalize your immune system.
Delicious Flavor: To bring crunchy texture, creamy texture and yummy flavors, I add avocado and raw almonds. Remember, you can pick your favorite nuts and seeds and even throw in cheese like feta or goat cheese if you’d like.
Homemade Dressing: Avocado oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, stone ground mustard, pure maple syrup, and sea salt.
This combination brings a burst of citrusy flavor with a powerful detoxifying punch from the fresh parsley and a touch of sweetness from the pure maple syrup.
- Add protein like baked chicken breast, black beans, garbanzo beans, or tuna salad for a boost of protein.
- Replace the raw almonds with sunflower seeds, raw walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
- Use any of your favorite seasonal vegetables. If you enjoy red onion, it is a great option here!
- Any type of kale or power green can be used, including baby spinach, rainbow chard, etc.
- Get creative with herbs in the dressing! Use basil, thyme, and/or sage or any combination thereof.
- Make Salad Low-FODMAP by omitting the red cabbage and decrease green onion to 1 stalk.
- Make recipe Whole30 by omitting the pure maple syrup from the salad dressing.
- Swap the fresh parsley for fresh cilantro if you like the flavor of cilantro.
- Use any homemade dressing instead of the lemon dressing.
Raw Vegetables and Gut Health:
More often than not, I eat my vegetables cooked because I find they are easier to digest.
If you’re prone to gut issues, you may want to skip the raw veggies. Don’t worry – you can still make a detox salad without going all raw!
To do so, opt for spring greens as your only source of raw vegetables and add roasted vegetables for the remainder.
I love roasted broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and radishes for salads! I also add white or brown rice for resistant starch, which I find helps tremendously with digestion.
Listen to what your body needs and never force a tremendous amount of vegetables on it when you’re going through a period of difficult digestion, as vegetables are very difficult to digest.
Looking for more healthy salads to enjoy for weeknight dinners or work lunches? Here are some of my favorites.
More Healthy Salad Recipes:
- Crispy Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- Pear Apple Avocado Spinach Salad
- Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad
- Cod Salad with Basil Walnut Pesto
- Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Avocado and Jammy Egg
- Balsamic Baked Chicken Caesar Salad
What are your favorite salad ingredients? I hope you enjoy this colorful, delicious salad!
The Ultimate Detox Salad
- 1/2 cup raw almonds roasted and chopped
- 2 cups baby kale
- 2 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
- 2 cups broccoli florets finely chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and grated
- 1/2 red bell pepper cut into match sticks
- 3 radishes thinly sliced
- 4 stalks green onion chopped
- 1 large avocado diced
Make the Lemon Parsley Dressing:
- Add the ingredients for the lemon-parsley dressing to a blender and blend until well-combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the Salad:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Roast 5 minutes, until golden-brown. Transfer to a cutting board and chop once cool enough to handle.
- Add the ingredients for the salad to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle desired amount of lemon-parsley dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well-coated. Serve immediately as an entree in bowls!