The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom again, filling the streets and sidewalks with gorgeous purple flowers. Sometimes I honestly feel like I am in a different world! I had this great vision of posting a beautiful bowl of fruit sprinkled with these stunning petals … but apperently they are poisonous. Like deadly poisonous. So scrap that and let’s do a salad (without decorative petals)! Salads are easy go to meals and pack a lot of protein and vitamins. Our salads are made from our weekly CSA boxes so I use whatever greens we get including beet tops, carrot tops and herbs. Once we started adding cilantro, basil, parsley or mint to our salads things went up a whole new level. Greens are what our bodies thrive on and are the most important glow food! I mix two or three greens into one salad and the key is to chop it finely. The finer you chop the less you have to chew and the more you can pack into a glass container to take on the run or prepare ahead of time.
Our favorite toppings also come from the CSA box and consist of a combination between cooked veggies, raw veggies and beans. Some ideas may be steamed beets, water sautéed onions and zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, grated carrot … whatever is in our box for the week. I also include at least 1/2 to 1 C of beans (garbanzo, edamame, navy beans) for fiber, anti-cancer properties and some great texture. We usually eat beans instead of grains because the nutrition quality is much higher!
I make our no oil salad dressing weekly (my husband doesn’t use dressing at all). I LOVE dressing.. it’s half the reason I eat my salad. It was a revelation once I realized I could make them delicious without the added fat of oil. We use oil in the house very very sparingly (like to lightly roast veggies if necessary). I have included my favorite no oil dressing below. Remember that the salad IS the meal. Make it the main dish and your body will thank you with better digestion, better skin and lots more energy. Happy salad munching!
The salad pictured above is a mixture of romaine, beet greens and parsley with steamed chopped beets, garbanzo beans, some green olives and shallots. Easy meal!
SWEET DIJON DRESSING (NO OIL)
adapted from Dr.Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Eat to Live
1 cup organic pure apple juice
1/2 cup raw cashews
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. no-salt seasoning
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 garlic clove (optional)
Measure out the juice in the blender (I love my Vitamix) and add all the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and store in a jar in the refrigerator. If it gets too thick add a bit of water and shake.
*Local Juice Ranch bottles are my favorite storage for dressings :)