When it comes to salads, fresh is the best.
One of the easiest, healthiest and delicious dietary changes I have made is eating raw salads 4-5 times per week. During the fall, winter and spring seasons my salads are always mixed greens based. And I gleefully use a cucumber and tomato base for about two months out of the summer. Salads are great in so many ways. The raw veggies are filled to the brim with fiber which keeps you feeling full, cleans out your digestive tract and is a prebiotic, food for the bacteria and yeast that make up your gut microbiome. A variety of raw veggies will provide you with a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The more colorful the salad the greater the variety of antioxidants you will receive. Antioxidants squelch free radicals, cause cancer cells to commit apoptosis (cell suicide) and are key to protecting your skin from overexposure to the sun.
Local, fresh vegetables are going to make the best tasting salads. I like to purchase local or regional organic vegetables. Too many times I have eaten mixed greens that taste like the bag they came in…yuck!
This is one of my newest salad creations. It is so flavorful, fresh and teaming with health that I’m thinking of naming it The Grace.
The Grace recipe
1/2 small red onion
10 basil leaves
1/3 lb fresh mozzarella
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp turmeric
Yields 3-4 servings depending on the size of the vegetables and your appetite.
Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches and fresh mozzarella into SMALL bite size pieces and put in bowl. Slice the red onion into very thin rings or pieces. People tend to make salads with big chunks of vegetables which makes it difficult to eat and chew and thus less appealing to eat.
Mince the basil leaves and add to veggies.
In a small bowl combine the balsamic vinegar and salt. Mix together to dissolve the salt and dip a finger in to give it a taste. If it is too sour for you add a bit more salt. Then add the oil, pepper and turmeric and beat well. I started adding turmeric to my oil and vinegar dressings lately because turmeric is so full of health and the kids can’t taste it!
Pour the dressing over the vegetables, toss well and enjoy!