Simple Winter Greens With Blood Oranges. Are you looking for an amazing, healthy salad to get you through these winter months? This salad is it. Also, have you ever tried popped grains before? I used popped amaranth on this one. It is super healthy, adds great texture and flavor, and is so easy to make! The best part, it is made from start to finish in under 10 minutes, the dressing and popped amaranth included.
It is much easier for me to eat healthy in the summer, but it is JUST as important to eat healthy in the winter. In summer, I get a lot of veggies and fruits in salad form. I don’t do this as often in the winter, but love it when I do.
Popping grains is a lot like popping popcorn…well, minus the lid. You don’t want steam to develop. All these little babies need is heat. If you aren’t familiar with amaranth, it is a great ancient grain you should try. Its earliest known use was with the Aztecs, but today is most commonly seen in Indian Cuisine. It is considered a superfood. You can cook it like other grains- although technically it is a seed, like quinoa. I add it to soups and chilis often. It is a small grain but packs a big punch nutritionally. It is also gluten-free, so this salad is good for anyone!
So, why pop the grain? I mean, probably because it is so easy! Throw it in a hot pan and it pops in seconds. So, why not? Let me give you the basics of cooking these tasty little seeds. Heat a pan with high sides, I am telling you, the amaranth will pop everywhere! I heated my pan over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Once it is good and hot, add the amaranth. It should start to pop immediately. If it isn’t hot enough, the amaranth will burn in the pan before it cooks. I have had plenty of ruined batches for this reason. Add a teaspoon-tablespoon, depending on the size of pan you are using. Once the amaranth is in the popped- remember this takes about 10-25 seconds, remove from pan.
Once it is cooked, let it cool for just a minute 2. Then it is ready to go!
You can use any greens you prefer, but I have been on a kale kick lately. But…the only way I enjoy kale is when it has been massaged. Have you tried this method yet? It is actually really simple. Start by rough chopping your kale first. Then, drizzle with a touch of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Then gently massage. This should only take a minute or 1 at the most. You don’t want to turn it to mush.
I love the creamy texture of avocados, so I add them to salads whenever I can. Cut them in chunks, or slices like I did.
Next up, I threw in a few finely sliced red onions. I like that crunch and a little bite. For crunch, I also added chopped almonds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds.
Last up is our citrus. I used blood oranges and navel. The color combo of the 2 against the greens is just so pretty. If you have another orange variety you like, you can use that as well. I love Cara Cara, pomelo, and many others. So use whatever you prefer. I simple cut off the peel, then cut it into circle sections.
The assembly is simple. Layer with the massaged kale, thinly sliced purple cabbage, avocados, orange slices, pepitas, chopped almonds, and popped amaranth. It is best served right away.
I went with a citrus dressing for this one. The recipe is included below. I also included a recipe for a maple dressing I love. If you don’t feel like making a dressing and want to buy one, I would suggest using a vinaigrette. Especially a fruity one. Here are a few premade ones I love- Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette is great. As is Newman’s Raspberry Vinaigrette.