Small steps food series
Let’s Pimp Salad
Today let’s go rrroooooooar!
Before I began learning about food/health doing a “raw food” meal really just meant ‘I couldn’t be bothered cooking the veggies’.
Now I understand it to mean so much more. These days, I incorporate raw foods into every day. Raw, living food. Obviously, there are times of the year when this feels more appealing, but still, it’s something I consider for both myself and my children.
And it's not just about vegetables. I seek out other products that are raw – from honey, to milk (I know – very controversial).
When food hasn’t been cooked all the amazing enzymes are still available to us in their natural form. Sure, there’s some foods that are easier to digest once cooked and I’m certainly not a ‘raw foodist’ by any means BUT there is an energy in living food. Harvesting food and eating it soon after means we really get to consume its life force.
As well as all the vitamins and minerals in fresh produce - it’s this life force that fascinates me. I feel more energised after eating it in its many forms.
But today, rather than (just) focusing on that - let’s be reminded of the simplicity and delectability of salads as a nutritious lunch option.
There was a time when I didn’t think a salad could ‘fill me up’. This is before I learned to always add protein and good fats to a salad. Our body often needs these good fats to help us absorb the nutrients in the raw food.
Go-to protein additions:
- Leftover meat
- Sustainable tuna (look for ‘pole and line caught skipjack tuna’
Go-to Healthy Fat additions:
- Olive oil
- Nut butters
I do believe the world is our oyster when it comes to creating a delicious salad. When building a salad I always think about:
Colour - the bigger the colour palate the happier our body.
Variety - don’t be limited by what you think a salad needs to be - ANYTHING goes!
Leafy greens - always
Different textures - nuts and seeds/avocado/crunchy veggies
Saltiness - feta or bacon YUM!
Flavour - with a simple dressing
Below you see me make simple salad dressings - but here another two - not rocket science - just beautiful ways to dress a salad.
- 1 tbls olive oil, 1 tbls apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Experiment with what works. And stretch your ideas of what makes a salad. We all get into salad ruts, so live a little!
Recipes to try
One of the easiest things to ditch from your weekly shop is salad dressings – that’s because it is so crazy easy to make delicious dressings from staple ingredients in your pantry.
Adding good fats to salads helps you feel full and also makes them outrageously delicious.
Tangy Salad Dressing
- 1 tbls apple cider vinegar (nice and cloudy – like the Braggs brand)
- 1 tbls olive oil
- 1 tbls raw honey
- salt and pepper
Mix together until fully combined. To make larger batch just ensure you have equal parts of all the ingredients – can’t go wrong – this is an absolute crowd pleaser!
Salty Salad Dressing
- 1 tbls peanut butter (make sure the only ingredient is peanuts!)
- 1 tbls tamari (similar to soy sauce but wheat free – find at supermarket)
- 2 tbls olive oil
Mix together and add to anything that would suit a salty, nutty hit – sooooo good!
I’ll admit it, I was skeptical about eating raw broccoli. But I thought I’d give it a go because I had a beautiful head that I’d just bought at the farmers market. And I loved it. More than cooked broccoli.
This is a weird combo of ingredients but it TOTALLY works! Trust me. And we used the mango to bribe my two-year-old son to eat the broccoli – worked a treat.
1 head of broccoli uncooked and chopped into small florets
1 mango cut into cubes
1 avocado cut into cubes
1/4 purple cabbage sliced thinly
handful of almonds
handful of pepitas
splash of balsamic vinegar
1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir so that the avocado and mango make things a little mushy.
1 tin chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 tin lentils drained and rinsed
1 avocado thinly slices
2 tomatos diced
2 carrots grated
4 spring onions peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium sized tin of tuna
large handful of baby spinach
1 tbls of olive oil
1 tbls of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1. Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl and mix around with your hands!
2. Mix dressing ingredients together and then drizzle over the salad.
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