Sleep-Supporting Salad is perfect for those late night summer dinners because it won’t keep you up all night tossing and turning. It is a simple, nutrient-rich salad to calm the mind and support sleep. The avocado, walnuts, and olive oil in this salad are all high in omega-3 fatty acids which are vital to deep, satisfying and restorative sleep. Sleep is so important if you want to feel energized during the day.
Sleep and Energy Levels
When I hear busy people say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” it drives me nuts! Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for your overall health. While you sleep, your body is working really hard to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.
When you aren’t getting enough sleep, carbohydrate metabolism can become impaired. This affects energy levels because you aren’t properly transforming carbohydrates into energy. Have you ever woken up from a terrible night’s sleep and felt super hungry all day? When you don’t get enough sleep, the hormone that makes you feel hunger (ghrelin) increases and the hormone that makes you feel full (leptin) decreases.
A good night’s sleep can make it easier for you to solve problems and remember things. This is because your brain is organizing everything you took in today and preparing for tomorrow by forming new pathways. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep your brain function can become impaired. You may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions, and dealing with change. You will take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and you will make more mistakes.
Want more salad recipes?
Healthy Fresh Salads contains:
- Over 30 gluten-free, unique, and fresh salad recipes created by Holistic Nutritionists
- A delicious cookbook with full-colour vibrant pictures
- Guide to creating the ultimate salad
- Instructions on how to clean fruits and veggies
- Information about GMO foods and how to avoid them
- Importance of eating the rainbow
- Guide to buying fresh produce on a budget
(sugar-free, no soy, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian)
Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes to 1 hour | Serving Size: 4
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight (or one 14oz can of Eden Organic)
- 3 cups chopped kale, 4-6 big leaves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup cucumber, in cubes
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, shredded
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- ¼ cup raw walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
For the vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 8-10 basil leaves, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Rinse canned chickpeas. If using soaked chickpeas, rinse them and place in a pot with water (cover 1-2 inches). Bring water and beans to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour then drain.
- In a separate bowl, massage kale with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- For the Sleep-Supporting Salad vinaigrette, combine all ingredients with a whisk.
- In a mixing bowl, combine quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, carrot, red onion and massaged kale.
- Add vinaigrette to sleep-supporting salad and toss until well-coated.
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts.
This recipe was contributed to my cookbook Healthy Fresh Salads by Lidvina Rajabalan. Lidvina Rajabalan is a Holistic Nutritionist who is passionate about helping women sleep better, reduce stress naturally and enjoy more energy. Check out her Instagram account.