with 3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette…
This Rainbow Basil Kale Salad has Got. It. All. A bed of fresh lacinato and curly green Kale, topped with spicy sliced radishes, sweet golden beets, red onions, refreshing cucumbers, green olives, and crunchy sunflower seeds – I mean what???? Drench it all in some creamy 3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette and you’ll be in salad heaven.
Lately, I’ve been indulging a bit more in sweets and other carb-related foods. Yep, this even happens to Nutritionists! I used to be pretty hard on myself when I got “off-track” with my diet, having a lot of negative mental self-talk that led to guilt about my food choices. Now, I’m able to enjoy lots of foods, acknowledge when I’m not dialed into my most beneficial daily habits, and start fresh without shame.
It’s really important to find a certain amount of flexibility with your diet – I don’t mean bingeing on junk or eating gluten when you know you have a bad reaction to it, I mean letting yourself fully enjoy treats that you don’t eat every day, without beating yourself up.
So, on to this delicious Rainbow Basil Kale Salad. Due to my above reasons, I was really craving a super-healthy, detoxifying, fresh, bright salad. This is it, my friends. A bowl of raw vegetables like this has TONS of fiber and nutrients, making it easy to feel full and satisfied, not to mention full of energy.
Why You Should Eat This Rainbow Basil Kale Salad
There are so many good reasons to eat this salad, I can’t list them all. So, let me focus on a few of the major ingredients to give you an idea of the manyyyyy nutrients it has to offer.
Kale is a major superfood – an amazing source of folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin-B6, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C. It’s also a nice plant-based source of iron and calcium. In addition to all these beneficial vitamins and minerals, kale provides anti-cancer compounds, called organosulfurs, along with a nutrient that nourishes your eyesight, called zeaxanthin. AND, did you know that eating dark leafy greens has been linked to a boost in mood? So turn to this Rainbow Basil Kale Salad when you’re feeling a little down, I promise it’ll help you feel better.
You can read some more about the MANY health benefits of kale in my friend Dana’s article, 26 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Kale. It does so many good things for your body!
Radishes are a new love of mine. Over the past year or so I’ve been buying them much more often and enjoying their crunch and spice in my veggie dishes, or even as a snack on their own. These little cuties contribute to the anticancer effects in this Rainbow Basil Kale Salad since they contain isothiocyanates that help your body attack cancer cells. They’re also an awesome source of fiber and they act as a natural diuretic, so reach for radishes when you’re feeling a little bloated.
Some people are just not into beets. I’m not one of those people! But I will say, if you’re not a fan of red beets, golden beets are a much milder, sweeter, and equally as nutritious option for you. I love the bright color and delicious taste they add to my Rainbow Basil Kale Salad. Golden beets are rich in potassium and calcium, plus they’ve got compounds called betalains that have powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifications properties. This salad would be the perfect addition to a detox or cleanse program.
I love the crunch the sunflower seeds add to this salad, along with a little protein, Vitamin E, and omega fatty acids. The green olives add an amazing, savory flavor that compliments all these veggies, and they are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats that will help you feel fuller, longer.
How You Can Make It
Let’s start with the amazing 3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette. Toss your clean basil leaves and balsamic vinegar into a blender and turn on low, then slowly increase to high speed until the basil leaves are totally obliterated. Turn the blender back down to low, and very slowly add the olive oil. Once you’ve added all the oil turn off the blender and pour the dressing into a jar, set aside (don’t refrigerate), while you work on the rest of the salad.
Get your base ready by chopping your Lacinato and Curly Green Kale into thin strips. I find most people enjoy kale salads a bit more when the pieces are smaller and easier to chew. Once you’ve got your kale chopped make sure you rinse it in a salad spinner and dry it well.
Slice your radishes into thin rounds. Then, peel the outer layer of your golden beet, discard that portion, and use your vegetable peeler to make thin slices of the inner portion of the beet for your salad. This is an easy way to get nice, light strips that are easy to toss throughout your Rainbow Kale Basil Salad.
Cut up your cucumbers into rounds and then fourths, then slice a red onion into thin strips, again cutting into thirds or fourths to make smaller strips.
Now, you’re going to toss all the veggies together with ½ cup of green olives and 2 Tbsp. of your raw sunflower seeds. Drizzle with a good amount of the 3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette, start with about half and add more if you prefer. Toss everything together to evenly coat the veggies with the vinaigrette. I find that tossing kale really well in dressing, about a half hour before serving, really helps to soften the leaves.
Once everything is well tossed, scatter the additional olives and sunflower seeds over the top of the salad. You’re ready to serve! This salad complements tons of other recipes, like my Easy Lemon-Seared Wild Salmon, or you could top it with the grilled chicken breast from my Sweet Potato Chicken Sliders.
Have a great week and thank you, as always, for supporting Food to Feel Good!
3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette
Yield 1 3/4 cups
An incredibly easy, flavorful dressing to put on anything and everything! Perfect on my Rainbow Basil Kale Salad.
- 2 cups packed, fresh basil leaves - washed and patted dry
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- Toss basil leaves and balsamic vinegar in a blender and turn on low. Slowly increase speed to high until basil leaves are entirely blended up and no pieces remain. Turn blender back to low.
- Very slowly drizzle olive oil into the blender, while it's on low. Continue until all the oil has been added, then turn the blender off and pour into a jar.
Courses Lunch, Dinner
Rainbow Basil Kale Salad
Yield 6-8 servings
The healthiest bite you can imagine, bursting with the flavors of fresh basil and a rainbow of veggies! Serve with my super easy 3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette.
- 3 large leaves curly green kale
- 2 small-medium bunches lacinato kale
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1 medium golden beet
- 1 cucumber
- 1/4 a medium red onion
- 3/4 cup marinated, pitted green olives, divided
- 1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, divided
- Slice your kale into thin strips, wash, and dry well.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outside of the beet and discard this outer portion. Then, use the vegetable peeler to shave thin slices of beet.
- Slice your radishes into thin rounds.
- Slice the cucumber into rounds, then slice the rounds into quarters.
- Cut a quarter of a red onion into thin strips, cutting into halves or thirds to make smaller strips (do not dice).
- Toss all your veggies into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the green olives, 2 Tbsp. of the sunflower seeds, and half of the 3-Ingredient Basil Vinaigrette and toss well to combine, making sure kale is well coated in dressing. Feel free to get your hands in there and massage the kale leaves to really soften them up. Add more dressing to taste.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup green olives and 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds over the top of the salad and serve!
Courses Lunch, Dinner