Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by Miss Be Fit2
Kicking the Salad ‘Blahs’ to the Curb
We all know we should eat more vegetables. Veggies are the magic! When it comes to our health, vitamin & mineral intake, there is nothing like fresh vegetables, nothing.
The problem is, how boring does the same old salad get?? How many ways can we dress up some greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, or whatever it is we are accustomed to throwing onto our garden plates?
Luckily, there are a few little tricks to keep the love alive with our veggies.
One thing that changed my concept of salad was my new favorite little gadget, a hand held spiralizer that kind of looks like a double ended pencil sharpener. (one end for thin, the other, more wide) This magic device allows me to make ‘pasta’ like strings out of zuchinni, carrots, parsnips, or whatever else fits into the ends, which in turn helps the vegetable absorb the flavors from any dressings or herbs you add, at a much better rate. So on top of a bed of greens, I’ll pile on my tri-colored pasta, pour over a fresh made dressing, sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds and voilà! Other times I’ll toss the ‘pasta’ with a bit of olive oil, fresh basil or oregano, throw in some halved cherry tomatoes, a little himalayan salt, and instant heaven! After tossing a few times, let it be for 5 minutes. The acid in the olive oil along with the salt will break down the veggies, giving them a real pasta-like texture. 😉
Another secret: Nutritional yeast flakes. Sounds kind of weird, yes. But these flakes when sprinkled on top of the your salad (mmm, especially the salad mentioned above) have a parmesan cheese-like flavor! Who doesn’t want that! Not to mention Nutritional flakes are loaded with B vitamins. So much better than swallowing a supplement. They add a great texture as well so you feel like you’re eating more than some chopped celery and lettuce. These also make a blended avocado or gazpacho style raw soup, super yummy. So sprinkle away. Only good things can come of it!
And my final quick tip for today is the blessed Nori sheet. Not just for sushi anymore. These are great! Especially if you are trying to kick the bread or pita wrap habit. It’s more of a hands on approach to your salad. Make yourself a big bowl of greens, chopped tomatoes, spiralized carrot & zucchini, fresh dill, some capers perhaps, chopped avocado. Pour on a dressing of apple cider vinegar blended with some ginger and shoyu sauce, or maybe you’re into just a squeezed lemon with a dash of himalayan salt. Add in a tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds. After that sprinkle on your Nutritional Yeast flakes. Toss it together well. (I do like to add a 1/2 cup of raw sauerkraut on top of this) Then….take a nori sheet, scoop a bunch of your salad mixture, roll it up, and enjoy. Seriously delicious! Another option is to cut your sheet into 4 smaller squares and scoop your salad. Either way, you win. Nori contains protein, calcium, iron & minerals, and vitamins galore. In fact, Nori is often referred to as a vitamin reservoir because it contains high levels of 12 different vitamins including A,B and C. Fun Fact: 2 sheets of Nori contains the same amount of iron you would get from one egg!
The idea is to get creative, invest in a few different goodies to gussy up the old stand by. There are no rules. If you have the right ingredients you can mix up just about any creation!
I’ve attached a pic of my lunch today. Which was exactly that: a big mixture of all things yummy, greens, tomato, avocado, Nutritional Yeast flakes, simply topped with lemon and a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper, rolled up in a couple of Nori sheets. This is my new go-to salad for the week!
If you come up with any ‘gotta have’ salad concoctions or any tips, please please please share here with me and the rest of the crew;))