August 6, 2014

Healing food: kale, blood orange and tahini salad

I apologise for not posting for a while, you see I’ve had minor hiccup…I slipped over in a produce store of all places on a green bean and I’ve herniated a disc in my lower back. Not fun you say? Yes it’s not fun, especially with two active boys on my hands.

So after two surgeries in the space of a week, I am going to do what I probably do best and create a healing recipe to help manage the pain and speed up the recovery process. Let’s think of it as a symphony of ingredients that will work towards excellent health; on the road to recovery.

I’ve read on several websites that there are foods in particular you can increase to support your back and disc health as much as possible…many of these are already in my diet, but this weekend I’m going to ramp it up and inject myself with loads of nourishing goodness to speed up my recovery.

Clearly, when the body is in a state of stress from an accident or injury it needs rest, it needs good nutrition to help repair and regenerate.

I am back in the kitchen and I’ve experimented to create the bomb of healing salads! I don’t think there is alot more I could add into this to make it more nourishing and more healing. Here is the hit list of ingredients:

Calcium to support the health of the vertebrae; sources I will use are kale, tahini, almonds in this mystery salad dish!

Blood Oranges need a special mention right now as they are beautiful and currently in season and also bursting with calcium and Vitamin C, A and other antioxidants. I think I am obsessed with blood oranges so you’ll be seeing more many more recipes with blood oranges!

Anti-inflammatory foods such as pomegranate and garlic are in the mix.

Omega 3 Fatty acids have collagen-forming properties and are used by the body to repair and prevent damage to cartilage and discs caused by inflammation so I will be using flax-seed oil in my recipe too. Brussels sprouts are very good source of Omega 3 fats and they too are just in-season.

Fibre helps digestion to remain smooth and not place strain on the discs that are vulnerable to increases in pressure in the abdomen. Many of the foods above include fibre, however I am including avocado to my list as well. Where would I be in Orange, NSW without including apples? They are full of fibre as well as providing many health benefits.

Cayenne Pepper – known as a joint pain reliever, so had to throw some in for good measure!

So I’m ready to start creating in the kitchen now that I have my ingredients planned out; all motivated by healing and supporting my back, discs and body on the road to recovery.

Healing salad – kale, blood orange and tahini salad.

1 bunch kale (washed well with some apple cider vinegar, stems removed and discarded)

5 dutch carrots or 2-3 standard carrots (quartered sliced lengthways into batons)

1/2 cup almonds (roughly chopped)

1 pomegranate (arils only)

6 brussels sprouts

1 avocado sliced

1 apple (grated)

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 blood oranges – segmented into pieces

2 Tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

Tahini dressing

3 Tablespoons tahini

2 Tablespoons flax seed oil

2-3 Tablespoons water

1 lemon (juiced)

1 garlic clove

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blood orange – finely grated rind


1. Finely chop prepared kale into ribbons/chiffonade (tiny strips). Place into bowl and massage for ten minutes with olive oil.

2. Steam brussels sprouts for five minutes, peel outer layer, slice and place into a bowl with red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

3. Place salad dressing ingredients into blender or alternatively whisk really quickly.

4. Mix together all ingredients excluding avocado and almonds and toss through dressing thoroughly.

5. Finish with avocado and almonds on top of the salad and serve.

Serving suggestion: This salad has plenty of punch with the cayenne pepper, however would work well with the addition of sardines, mackerel or another type of oily fish for added benefit.

Husband was super hungry at lunchtime and so I served with a wholemeal sourdough bread on the side.


kale, blood orange and tahini saladni









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