Sunday, July 17, 2011

Salad—the Best Part of the Meal . . .

Fresh Dinner Salad

About 30 years ago our invited dinner guest informed me that she didn't eat Iceberg lettuce—it gave her indigestion. I think she mentioned that Iceberg compared to other leaf lettuces, was inferior in enzymes and nutritional value. Anyway, what did I serve her? An Iceberg lettuce salad. She may have thought less of me, but she didn't say a word, and continued to be a friend for a long time. It took a few years but my salads have since morphed into a variety of superior greens with colorful veggie, fruit, and seed additives.

Don't be afraid to include fruit. Fruit goes well with greens—it's the meat and fruit mixture you want to stay away from (very gas forming). Recently I was with a friend at Wendy's. I had the salad with fresh blueberries and strawberries. I felt like I was eating somewhere other than a fast food joint—it was SO good and fresh tasting! I had never had blueberries in a salad before.

Do I buy all organic you may wonder? I think I'll save that for a separate posting, but no, I am branching out and buying more organic than ever before, but I've not arrived there yet. Wash your produce well. I was just given a list in class of the must buy organic foods. I'll share more another time.

Kim-chee (Korean Spiced Cabbage)

If you like hot and spicy, no doubt you've had this at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant. My husband used to buy a jar of Kim-chee (there may be other spellings for this) from the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store—at a high price. He hunted down a recipe off the Internet that I have modified (well, it's a little different every time I make it). Wilted napa cabbage and cayenne turns this fermented Korean salad into a hot dish alright. I  used crushed pepper this time and it was too hot for my liking, but my husband said it was perfect for him. 

It's an ancient traditional dish and though I can't find the recipe I orginally used here's one you may like: How to Make Homemade Kim Chee This recipe is very close to my modified recipe. I usually use 1 tsp cayenne (1 tsp of crushed red pepper made my medium-size napa cabbage too hot for my liking but ideal for my husband), lots of fresh minced garlic, and we love fresh ginger if I have it. I also add a little oriental toasted sesame oil and tamari for soy sauce. It's actually very good without letting it sit and ferment, but the recipe calls to let it sit in a glass jar on the counter for 24 hrs. or more, then refrigerate.

So, what was in mine? 1 med. head Nappa cabbage, 1/2 T salt (pour over cut-up cabbage in bowl and leave to stand for 4 hours, then squeeze out and discard liquid and place cabbage in a glass jar). I then added 1/2 small yellow onion, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1 grated carrot. Mix the following ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture: 2 T minced garlic, 1/4 c tamari (soy sauce), 3/4 tsp raw sugar, 1/2 c vinegar, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 T toasted sesame oil. Let sit for at least 24 hours and eat.

Layered Salad

I bought a  clear, see-through bowl to use for my layered green salads and fruit parfaits. Layer one ingredient at a time and mix up the colors (purple cabbage, grated orange carrot, red tomatoes, etc.). Top by arranging items in an attractive design or mix up your favorite batch of dressing and pour over the top letting it settle into the salad layers. From the side of a clear bowl you will see the colorful layers which makes for an inviting pot luck salad or anytime meal. If you are not eating all raw, you could add a layer of veggie macaroni for more variety. Use your imagination along with what's in your fridge.

My Favorite Salad Dressing:

1 cup Veganaise (purple top)
2 tsp. Dijon style mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T fresh basil chopped (herbs of your choice)
1-2 fresh garlic minced
1 T fresh lemon or lime juice

Mix all ingredients together. You may add 1/4 cup water if you like it thinner.

Apple Pie Salad

Apple Pie Salad is delicious as is, or scooped into a nut crust lined pie plate, cobbler style. I've made this several times using the food processor and making my pieces a bit smaller. In class, the ingredients were hand-cut, chunky-style. Ten-year-old Nick couldn't wait to get his spoon into this and he was rightly rewarded!

  • 4 apples, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1/2 cup organic oats
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Just mix, spoon, and enjoy!

Nick Mixes the Rawcaroni Salad

Nick and his mom, Chris, made this in our raw recipes class. It really did have a surprising macaroni-like taste. I didn't think I'd especially enjoy this salad, but I did. I'd make it again.

Chop all the vegetables into small pieces and put in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir. Serve.

  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T agave nectar or honey
  • 2 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated

 Close-up view of Rawcaroni Salad

Mock Chicken Salad Stuffed Cucumber Boats
Cucumber boats, tomato rosettes and half red bell pepper cups are the perfect complement to mock chicken (or tuna) salads. My husband and I were at a vegetarian potluck dinner where one of the guests brought mock salmon salad arranged in the tip of baby bok choy leaves. He dripped a spicy tahini/tamari sauce on top. My husband actually thought it was salmon. Very gourmet and palate pleasing.

Here is an easy recipe for Holly's Tomato Rosette (mock chicken salad). You can also do a search for raw mock tuna salad on the Internet and come up with many more recipes. 


  • 1 medium Ripe Tomato
  • 1/2 cup of Raw Nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.)
  • 1 cup Raw Mixed Veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet onion, celery, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon Health Mayonnaise (Vegenaise or Nayonaise)


  1. In a Food Processor, with the S blade in place, put in the nuts and veggies, and process only until coarsely chopped.
  2. Stir in a little mayonnaise—just enough to moisten.
  3. Take the tomato and cut it into a rosette. Don't cut it all the way through, but leave a little on the bottom to hold it together.
  4. Open up the rosette and spoon the vegetable/nut mixture on top, or into a cucumber boat, etc.
 Quote to ponder:
"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny."
—attributed to Thomas Jefferson (1778)
Next Time: Raw Pizza and Zucchini Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce . . . you wouldn't believe how wonderful these are!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear your comments. They will appear after awaiting moderation. Thank you for visiting.