Healthy Salads to Start the Year Right

Photo credit Illinois Farmers Market Association

Those looking for a way to meet new year’s health goals may consider adding a nutrient-packed salad to the day. Salad is simple, and can be a nutrient powerhouse of beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.

        “Salads can be made out of whatever greens and vegetables you have on hand, but for maximum nutrition and taste, pick up most of the vegetables for this recipe at a winter farmers’ market,” says Lauren Woodbridge, a member of the Illinois Farmers Market Association’s board of directors and co-owner of The Kitchen Sink (, a bagel company specializing in organic, local bagels sold at Chicago farmers’ markets.


Kale Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Yields: 2 to 4 servings

1 small head (about 1 cup) of broccoli, chopped and roasted

1 small bunch of kale or whatever looks best, chopped and massaged ½ beet, roasted and slivered

1 Tbsp feta cheese or cheese of choice

1 Tbsp olive oil or 1 Tbsp lemon for massaging the kale


A few slices of onion

¼ avocado

Orange vinaigrette:

½ orange, juiced

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp dried herbs

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cracked black pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

Set oven to 400°F.

Roast beet for about an hour or until tender and peel away the skin. Set aside to cool.

Lower the oven to 350°F.

Toss chopped broccoli in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for about 20 minutes or until cooked and starting to get browned. Remove and set aside to cool.

Rinse and chop kale. Massage kale until becomes tender and a darker green color.

Whisk together orange vinaigrette – start with red wine vinegar, orange juice, salt, herbs and pepper. Add olive oil and mix. It’s alright if it stays a little separated.

Toss kale in the vinaigrette. The amount made should be the right amount for the salad, but add half first, taste and add the rest as desired.

Build salad with kale on the bottom and top with broccoli, beet slivers, onion, feta cheese and other desired toppings.


The Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) supports local food and food systems by giving Illinois farmers’ markets and producers access to resources, education and connections in order to grow healthier and economically vibrant communities. For more information, visit




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