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I go through an overwhelming amount of cruciferous vegetables each week. I’m a kale hoarder, picking up many bunches at a time and storing them in both the refrigerator in the kitchen and the handy basement refrigerator. These veggies are a big part of my life, to say the least. 

Every day for lunch, I'll have a large kale salad bowl, with oodles of plant goodness, like roasted butternut squash, tomatoes, hemp hearts, hummus, chickpeas, brown rice and other delectable goodies from the ground. It’s a veritable plant party.  
I'll often post my lunches on Twitter. They look a little something like this (taken with my iPhone):
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I’d love to give you a recipe for them, but really, it’s more of a formula. I just make sure I’m getting plenty of different colours in my bowl (green, orange, red, white, etc.); some protein, usually chickpeas, hummus, leftover falafel and hemp; a grain, generally my favourite, brown rice (which I now make a large batch in the pressure cooker and it takes a mere 20 minutes instead of 1 hour!); and a very acidic dressing, with miso, flax or olive oil, lemon and balsamic. And always topped with avocado for good measure, because I can’t go a day without it.

Or, in my house, we also love baked sweet potato fries (see: bottom left) for lunch and that in-between-meal-times-meal. I have nothing to do with this recipe, my sister is the brains behind these crispy delights. She also makes a creamy lime dressing for them and claims she can’t cook. I beg to differ, these look and taste pretty profesh.  
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Super Sulfur Salad 

Cauliflower and kale are members of the cruciferous vegetable family and make a hearty base for a health-promoting salad. These vegetables all have a distinctive, sulfurous smell. These sulfurous compounds are key to this vegetable family’s health benefits. When cut, crushed or chewed, a greater amount of the beneficial, sulfur-rich phytonutrients are converted and activated. This nifty chemical reaction turns sulfoxides into thiosulfonates. Other sulfur-containing foods, like garlic, actually become more beneficial if chopped and left on the cutting board for 10 minutes before consuming.

The sulfurous compounds in these and other foods, are cancer-preventive. A study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed sulfurous compounds guard against tumor proliferation, carcinogen bioactivation and work to suppress carcinogen formation. Another study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed “substantial evidence,” for the compounds in cruciferous vegetables to “...effectively block chemical carcinogenesis in animal models, ...reducing susceptibility to carcinogens.”   

These super sulfurous compounds include: glucosinolates, thiocyanates, isothiocyanates, thiosulfinates and thiols. One compound that's released from sulfurous compounds, indole-3-carbinol, is particularly beneficial to human health, in terms of its anticancer and detoxifying properties. This compound is especially helpful for estrogen and other hormone-related cancers, as it works to detoxify and sweep away excess estrogen (and other hormones), instead of circulating in the body, potentially causing problems down the road. Indole-3-carbinol is found in abundance in cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and kale. 

Apples, which also make an appearance in the crazy good salad, have been found to posses dozens of anticancer compounds, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It's important to note that these compounds were found in apple peels, making it important to keep the skin intact, when eating and cooking with apples (if it's the apple's health benefits you're after). 
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Something that seems to be quite trendy right now are creamy, dairy-free dressings made with nuts. I think you really need a high-speed blender for this (I use a Blendtec), but if you don’t mind a little texture (and less creaminess), a regular blender or mini-food processor will work fine. 

This creamy mustard dressing recipe uses vitamin E-packed almonds, for creaminess and antioxidant power; vitamin C-rich orange, which helps to absorb all that irony goodness from the kale, and sweetens the deal; and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, from extra-virgin olive oil. It also contains sulfur-packed raw garlic, to boost this salad's health benefits even further. Mixed with cancer-kicking cauliflower, kale and sweet apple, this salad is a meal in a bowl, which I'm clearly very fond of! 
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What do you love to have for lunch? 

 


Comments

04/03/2014 12:10pm

That dressing looks the nuts! My lunches and sometimes dinners also tend to resemble a good old plant party too. I love the different colours, textures and flavours you can wack in one bowl - and it is so quick too! In fact you have inspired me to have a plant bowl party for dinner as I had leftover curry for lunch :)

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04/03/2014 12:23pm

Hey Lauren,

I love a good nut pun! I'm nuts about them ;)

Meals in bowls are always quick. I just open up the fridge and toss as many things as I can in one bowl. I love leftovers too! I have those for lunch a lot as well.

I hope your bowl of goodness at dinner is incredible!

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04/03/2014 5:24pm

I make a lot of creamy vegan dressings, but I usually make mine with vegenaise. I've never tried making them with nuts, I really love almonds though, so maybe I will try it that way next time! These photos are making me really hungry!

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04/03/2014 6:37pm

Hey Isadora! I use vegenaise a lot in dressings too. I love it! If you give it a go with the almonds, I hope you like it :)

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04/13/2014 7:26am

Looks like a good way to spice up my kale salads. I usually just use lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper and rub into kale...but it does get boring after a while. Will have to give this a go I think!

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04/13/2014 10:42am

Hi Samantha! That's my go-to as well for kale salads! This is definitely nice for a change though :) I hope you love it if you try it!

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Simone
08/13/2014 11:33pm

I'm here in rainy Queensland, Australia eating a slightly different version of your salad. Made it with broccoli, carrot, apple and the awesome dressing. Wowwww it's fantastic! It's a keep, thank you!

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Allison
08/14/2014 7:52am

Hello from the other side of the globe, Simone! I love connecting with readers :) So happy you're enjoying it. I bet it would be AMAZING with broccoli -must try that! Thanks for stopping by!

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