Here it is! I promised to do a week of fresh salads with the goal of inspiring us all to eat healthier, cleaner and prettier! I’m preaching to the choir here, let’s be clear. I am not holier than thou and don’t pretend to be a conscious eater. Cook, yes. But when it comes to eating, I don’t like restrictions. I love what I like and will generally indulge with some measure of awareness. In fact, I was going to kick off this series last week of salads but I got busy. Conveniently so, I was out of town all last week and didn’t plan accordingly. In my mind I think I was reluctant to do this. Committing to a solid week of only salads was a major challenge. Plus, I just shared this crazy good super greens salad just two weeks ago.
My travels always inspire me. I come back with this elevated sense of creativité. Last week didn’t prove any different. A super quick visit to LA toward the latter part of the week sealed the deal and motivated me to get this done! I had samples of three of four raw and vegan salads at The Spring which blew my mind and got me excited about this salad project. My body was telling me I had to do this. No irony at all that I ended up there.
SALAD WEEK SERIES
And here we are! SALAD WEEK: A week full of salads inspired by my need and genuine desire to change my eating habits; to eat better and embrace a more raw diet. My idea is to invite you to think outside the box. Salads don’t have to be limited to leafy greens, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons. The possibilities are endless if you simply take a bit longer to be creative. Use ingredients you already love and eat regularly and play around with textures, colors, chemical balance and nutritional value.
Kale doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but aren’t we tired of the same combination? A friend on FB told me she wanted to see other ways she could munch on the super thick leaves other than in chips. This creation was fueled by the complete lack of creative options using kale. I love it in my smoothies but have a really difficult time eating it raw or even cooked.
This vibrant concept is a combination of a berry salad I used to eat over a decade ago at a fancy restaurant in D.C. and ubiquitous berry salads… I don’t remember anything about that DC resto salad, other than it had pears, raspberries and blueberries. The berry salads we all know are uniform and always made with Spinach, though. How predictable, right! Strawberries, almonds, cheese and spinach. Yes, it works and yes it’s good, but why do that all over?
I figured I’d start the week with something familiar but with a heightened twist.
Raw kale, strawberries, blueberries, toasted pine nuts, shaved Gruyère, avocado, raw red onion and a spectacular truffle honey dressing, I conjured up during the process!
Goodness me. This was it.
It has texture, colors, sweetness, acidity and fat. The good kind.
The pine nuts work because they’re subtle but high in protein. The avocado chunks are creamy and compliment the cheese. The berries break up the bitterness of the raw onion and kale. They simply work wonders with the raw green.
Mint is always easy but serves different purposes. In this case, it was delicately balanced against the onions but also softened the truffle drizzle.
And even with these ingredients, imagine what else we could use or substitute. Don’t have pine nuts? Sure, use almond slivers. Don’t have blueberries, blackberries are good but make sure to consider size and scale.
Just play. But I guarantee this right here works!
You’ll love it. You’ll be excited about eating salads. You’ll look at kale differently. You’ll be eager to make your own dressings.
This is the first of five. After a week’s worth of sharing different ways to enjoy salads, you’ll be thrilled to see how good it feels to each clean, maybe even raw! Use this as a guide, though. I won’t have a proper recipe so that you can play with quantity. This is a blueprint for your own idea. Stack as you wish. Drizzle as much or as little as you’d like. Just enjoy the kale its pure form with other ingredients that make it shine!
I hope you enjoy this one and come back every day this week at 4pm EST for more!
Cheers to eating better, cleaner, and leaner! More anecdotes later.
Here are a few fun salads for you to try!