Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Transform Your Salads

Salad is subjective; from the dressing to the individual components, my salad may very well not be your salad.

Truth be told, I'd really all but abandoned salads for the most part, preferring zucchini or cucumber pasta as my entree of savory delight. It isn't that I don't love salads, I'm a raw vegan, to not LOVE salad would be blasphemous! (It's bad enough I'm kind of anti-kale, lest it be the chip. I tried to like it, but it gets caught in my throat and feels like what I can only imagine a hair ball feels like to a cat.) It's just that salad can often be...boring..and unless you have a really maj. dressing it can often leave one feeling unsatisfied. (Most certainly if one is new to this way of eating. Substantiality is key!)

In the world of clean-eating we learn that the less crap we saturate our bodies with whether it be processed food, meat, dairy, dyes, artificial sweeteners, salt, spices, oils, vinegars, etc. the more we can taste the "real-ness" of the food we eat. And it's true, which is ultimately kind of scary, in that -"holy ish THIS is what {insert said food} tastes like"-kind of way.

This may or may not quantify as food snobbery, but to know how good a head of lettuce can taste or to be able to differentiate between the varieties of tomatoes, albeit be able to enjoy them alone, WITH NOTHING ON THEM, is something very special.

And while I have learned to appreciate and enjoy the taste of food prepared simply, with minimal ingredients, dressings are still important. Personally, I love me a good creamy dressing-- tahini, always being my fav. but these days I've been leaning more towards creamy, overt-fat-free dressings.

Enter, the most amazing salad of my life. Literally, transcendent.

Spinach & Arugula Salad w. Celery Banana Dressing and Fig "Cheeze"

I chose spinach for its earthy taste and paired it with arugula which has a nice peppery bite that also balances out the sweetness from the dressing and the fig "Cheeze"

3 ripe spotty bananas
4 stalks of celery
Sprig of fresh dill, optional

{OK, before you click out of the blog because you're like, "bananas?? Dressing??? Wth is this girl on?! TRY IT!! It will blow your mind! This was the first time I used this combo and I couldn't believe it took me this long to try it. It is awesome sauce, most definitely for those of us who either A. Are addicted to fatty, creamy, oil based dressings or B. Have a hard time letting go of salad drenched in dairy and cheese. The banana is so creamy and the celery offers that nice punch of natural sodium making for an exceptionally delicious pair. Plus, you add your herbs and your set. Simple and tasty!)

Blend the bananas and celery until creamy and smooth. Then pulse in the dill or whatever herb you choose. Pour over greens and mix until all leaves are fully coated with the dressing.

Fig "Cheeze":
Process 1 cup of soft, dried figs in your food processor until it becomes a paste. Form into little balls or just leave as a paste and spoon into salad whe ready to use.

The sweet, peppery, earthy combination of greens plus fruit will literally transform your idea of what salad can be. It's a gem. It's delicious, full of healthy carbs, sodium, protein, and plant-powered sugars that will properly give you the energy you need and ultimately, leave you feeling satisfied.

For a slight variation, add in some more chopped bananas and a swirl of date sauce like I did!