With healthy fats that are great for your hair, skin, and nails, Tomato and Olive Salad With Arugula and Carrot Turmeric Ginger Dressing makes a great dish that you can serve with any entrée of your choice or it can be used as a bed for any protein source you prefer. Rich in flavor and light on your system, this recipe is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
Well, hello there!
Does anyone else feel as though they’re nearly dying from the heat of summer yet?
All of the rest of you southerners out there like myself are likely shaking your heads, “yes,” and many of you are probably dying for some fall relief soon. I know I sure am. I spotted the first pumpkin spice seasonal tea at the store this week and got giddier than you can imagine!
However, I’m doing my best to hold off on the fall dishes for you. At least for another month—that’s all I can promise! So I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes that I’ve been enjoying all summer long instead. It’s quick, simple, but something different to shake things up.
This salad is incredibly healthy for you and it features one of my very favorite fruits that I often forget to pick up at the store—olives!
Olives are one of the absolute most nutrient-dense fruits you can buy and eat. Sadly, they’re often packed with tons of iodized salt and additives that should never be found in the same proximity as these precious fruits.
Olives have a lot of health benefits worth giving a try if you can find a good option at the store or if you can find fresh olives.
Here are some of the top health benefits of olives:
- One of the best sources of monounsaturated fats (the kind of fat best for your weight and heart), although olives are lower in total fat than the refined version, olive oil
- High in Vitamin E, an antioxidant that improves your immune system and your heart health
- Starch and sugar-free, which can help provide a balance in your diet between various types of food groups
- High in oleic acid, a type of fatty acid that protects the brain, heart, and improves metabolism
- Good source of potassium and fiber
- One of the highest sources of antioxidants which you can see by their dark purple, blackish color
There is also a lot of ancient health wisdom that believes dark foods like those that are purple, black, and blueish in color nourish the colon, entire digestive system, blood vessels, heart, and the brain. When you look at all the varieties of produce that fall into that category (plums, blueberries, blackberries, acai, dark cherries, black figs, olives, etc.), you can see this is very true based on the researched benefits that these fruits have.
I love how Mother Nature is smart like that! 🙂
Olives are also really tasty on salads, by the way. They’re a little briny, a little chewy, and just sweet enough to be tolerable without tasting like you’re eating fruit with your salad. I love them paired with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a huge bed of greens for a Mediterranean-style salad that’s also heart-healthy and balanced in nutrition.
Olives are also low in calories per serving while being nutrient-dense, and while I don’t count calories, I do believe in eating mostly whole foods instead of refined versions like oil and sugar as much as possible. You could (technically) eat 10 servings of regular olives for the same amount of calories that you would only get from 1 tablespoon of olive oil!
I’ll take the whole fruit, please!
I found these olives at the store, which were the lowest sodium option I could find (No, this post is not sponsored). I also love the Sunfood brand of olives that are vegan, raw, organic, and also non-GMO. They’re just hard to find in stores and a bit pricier than what I was looking to spend this week.
Some canned options like the ones I purchased were lower in sodium, which I recommend, and also free of added sugars or funky additives which I also appreciate. If you give them a good rinse before use, most of the sodium is also gone by the time that you end up using them, so I negotiated on this brand since it’s a pretty clean option (overall).
I’ve had some really bad olives before and these were absolutely delish!
I paired them with arugula and romaine greens, two of my favorite leafy greens.
Arugula has a pretty distinct, peppery bite to it (not hot, just bold), so I like to pair it with a sweeter green like romaine for more balance. Romaine and arugula are also great sources of Vitamin C and fiber, plus they’re two greens especially good for your digestive system and not too fibrous (like raw kale, for example). Romaine and arugula are also some of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens you can buy and eat, despite them not being as popular as spinach and kale.
I also added one of my favorite superfoods, raw sauerkraut which is one of my must-haves for a healthy gut. Tossed with the flavors in the dressing, it adds just the right touch that makes this salad complete!
Finally, I whipped up a quick carrot, turmeric, and ginger dressing that is a rendition of my Beauty-Boosting Turmeric Tahini Salad Dressing. Turmeric and ginger contain antioxidants and specific compounds that help your body absorb more iron and Vitamin C from your foods (like greens) and olives, tomatoes and greens work together to help your body absorb the most antioxidants from one another.
See how plants are smart like that?! 🙂
You can serve this salad with any entée of your choice.
I’ve been loving it with this Red Lentil and Red Pepper, Lentil, and Split Pea Stew lately, but it’s also tasty with a bed of wild rice and red lentils too. Or, just use this as the base of your salad and add whatever protein source or whole grains you like!
- 1 cup baby arugula, washed and finely shredded by hand
- 1 head romaine lettuce, washed, stem removed, and shredded by hand
- 1 stalk celery, washed and finely diced
- ¼ a seedless cucumber (or ½ a small regular cucumber) washed and chopped into small pieces
- ⅓ cup grape tomatoes, washed
- ¼ cup olives (about 5-6 olives), rinsed off after straining from can
- ¼ cup raw sauerkraut or raw kimchi
- optional : ¼ cup (2-3) artichoke hearts (rinsed after straining from can)
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 tsp. raw coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- ⅛ tsp. ground ginger (or ¼ knob of fresh and finely diced fresh ginger)
- ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¼ cup carrot purée or 5-6 baby carrots
- 1 tsp. your favorite mustard (I like Annie's and Eden's brand)
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted raw cashew butter or raw tahini (such as Artisana brand)
- optional: dash of dried basil, oregano, and parsley
- Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss slightly and set aside.
- For the dressing, add all the ingredients to the order listed into a mini food processor or blender. Process or blend until completely creamy, then add to the bowl with the salad.
- Toss all the ingredients together, and mash well with a spatula to create a more dense, juicy salad. I like to do this for a minute or so in order to combine the ingredients together so well that it's more compact and easier to eat.
- Serve this salad with your favorite entrée or enjoy as the bed for your favorite source of protein such as lentils, chickpeas, white or black beans, or quinoa!
Have you ever used turmeric in your salad dressings?
What’s your favorite way to eat olives?