Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There is a whole world out there! (amazing salads)

Escarole and mixed green salad with olives, sunflower seeds, carrot, avocado, kidney beans, and (leftover) mahi mahi.

My focus (for a while now) has been all things green. I actually can't seem to get away from it, the dishes are endless! Although I am going to try to shift my focus as not to bore anyone, but before I do...

There is a whole world of salads out there! I always feel so sad when I ask people if they like salad and they answer, "um, yeah I guess. but it never fills me up." I think part of that answer is stemmed from an innate fear that me, their health counselor, is about to put them on a diet and suggest salads for lunch and dinner. Then I ask what people like on their salad. I am surprised by the amount of people that answer, lettuce or spinach, cucumbers, tomato, maybe some carrot, maybe some onion and chicken. Some people put dried cranberries (or "craisins") but that is pretty much the extent of it. There is a salad world out there and I want to wake people up to it!!

Salad World Welcoming Gate (it is a welcoming place):
Step 1: Every time you go to the market buy yourself a new type of nut, seed, or dried fruit. This collection will grow and not only will you have a beautiful collection of healthy snacks (easy trail mix) but also a great salad topper collection.
Step 2: Buy Organic mixed greens or baby spinach that are washed and dried for you. Easy to grab a handful. Stay away from the salad mixes that are full of ice berg or romaine with a few colored lettuces thrown in, they are glorified heads of ice berg, no nutritional value, no flavor, and overpriced (alot of times they have been sitting there forever and the leaves are a dull lite green)
Step 3: Have a nice collection of dressings. And by nice, I mean dressings that you may pay a little more for, but are made with real olive oil, vinegars and spices. Read the ingredients and avoid dressings made with canola oil, "fat free", sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or preservatives.
Step 4: In the fridge keep any or all of the following: kalamata olives, goat cheese, hummus, Parmesan, pesto, or sprouts (explore the world of sprouting your own at my friend Ali's blog easy and so rewarding).
Step 5: If you like avocados, always have avocados (they make anything better). Avocados have lipase in them which is a natural fat dissolvent. So you are cutting the fat of the avocado and then some, and getting a healthy fat which your body and brain needs.
Step 6: Canned wild salmon is delicious on salads, cheaper than any other form of wild salmon and it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (farm salmon is not).
Step 7: Canned beans, a great protein and filler minus the saturated fat of chicken (despite common belief chicken has only 3% less saturated fat than red meat), remember to rinse the beans well, then store them in the fridge in water.
Step 8: Now, combine any or all of the above ingredients for a delicious, filling, really tasty and satisfying meal. Really, I'm telling you, no combination will let you down.
Have wraps on hand and you can turn any salad into a wrap. This one is topped with a garden burger.

Simple salads. Apple cider vinegarette, strawberries, and sunflower seeds. Even really beautiful salad greens drizzled with only a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and shaved parmesan (not shown here) taste amazing.
For more great salad ideas check out my friend Hannah's blog. Beautiful food and pictures.


Bethany said...

Yay salads. You always inspire me. You should submit this article to a magazine, like ASAP. It rocks.

persephone said...

Thanks Bethany! What a compliment. Perhaps someday...