Salads have gone from being a side you order with your meal…mainly unexciting, just something cold and crunchy… boring iceberg with ranch for example… to masterpieces and meals in themselves. Famous chefs now name salads after themselves, and whole restaurants have cropped up serving just salads.
We still feel a little reticent to serve salad as a ‘meal’ in our homes, I feel. And yet you wouldn’t hesitate at a fancy restaurant. Part of the reluctance may be that you need to plan the ingredients ahead of time and do quite a bit of prep… picking, washing, chopping, etc..
And yet, you can create one of the most health-filled, creative bowls of food possible with the myriad of choices from your farmer’s market or organic produce section, and an added item or two.
Each vegetable contains powerful nutrients, some happily target different parts of our body. You can choose vegetables that benefit the liver, or the brain for example. Your dressings can compliment the salad both in flavor and in function.
Anyway you decide to go, you’ll be the winner.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense food. It’s an excellent source of vitamins C, K, A, E, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. A very good source of protein, phosphorus, zinc, and dietary fiber. In addition, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. This leafy vegetable is a brain protector.
Broccoli and the brassica family (bok coy, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) are great for the liver. They are cancer preventive too.
You can’t go wrong with any choice.. so here are a few tips to get you started.
1. 8 Ingredient Salad: Combine two or three leafy greens with carrots, cucumber, celery, sprouts, parsley, red or orange bell pepper and your choice of sardine, or salmon. Dress with a lemon/rosemary/garlic/olive oil vinaigrette.
2. Chopped salad: Choose green leaf or romaine lettuce, chop thinly. add organic corn, black or pinto beans, hot peppers, diced onion, diced tomatoes, cilantro and baked organic chicken breast (opt.). Dress with a lime/lemon/cumin/garlic and olive oil dressing.
3. The Kitchen Sink (liver happy veggies): Baby greens of your choice, watercress, shredded beets, shredded carrot, onions, thinly sliced bok choy, broccoli florets, chopped parsley and cilantro, and a handful of garbanzo beans. Dress with orange/lemon/dried mint or thyme/olive oil dressing.
4. Mediterranean Salad: Romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, shredded cabbage, halved kalamata olives, sliced cucumber, fresh chopped mint leaves, red onion and a sprinkle of pine nuts. Dress with apple cider vinegar/garlic/olive oil dressing.
5. Veggie Frutti Salad: Spinach and kale leaves, snap peas, diced celery, diced red apple with skin, kiwi slices, sprouts, sliced pear, mint leaves, a few orange sections, toasted nuts of your choice. Top with a Meyer lemon/vegenaise/black pepper dressing.
You can add beans for protein to any salad, or a lean piece of organic meat or wild caught cold water fish. A small slice of gluten free, high fiber bread and you’ve got a Masterpiece meal!
What combo will you create?
Take a photo of your Masterpiece and share it here!
~ Cheers! ♥