How to Be a Salad Spinner - Mastering Raw Food Everyone Loves to Eat
Posted on June 02 2010 | (4) Comments
Category:Easy Raw Meals
Cool salads are a hot menu item even on a wintry day. How come? I believe it’s because our bodies naturally crave the nutritional goodness of raw foods, especially when the mercury dips below 32.
Salad Days and Nights
If you’d like to enjoy the benefits of eating more raw food in your diet, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a totally raw food kitchen, raw food salad recipes are a good way to go. The vegetable-oriented raw food salads in Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People are created with all-natural ingredients that you can easily find in the produce section of any supermarket.
There’s nothing weird or odd about raw food salad recipes. The focus is on preserving the nutrients and the taste of fresh ingredients with techniques that I like to refer to as ‘minimally invasive.’ A little chopping...a little slicing...maybe a quick marinade or whirl in the blender...and suddenly lunch with the girls or dinner with the family becomes an event...with salad as the star.
My Harvest Salad recipe is a raw food classic in more ways than one. In addition to requiring no cooking and no processed ingredients, it takes advantage of the seasonal bounty: in this case the red leaf lettuce and ripe pears that you can find at your local farmer’s market.
Harvest Salad Raw Food Recipe
This salad makes a delicious first course for dinner. To turn it into a raw food luncheon entrée, include some additional nuts for added protein.
- 2 cups torn red leaf lettuce
- 1/2 ripe pear, thinly sliced (an apple may be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons Classic Vinaigrette (see below)
- 1 tablespoon chopped pecans (unsoaked)
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries that have been soaked for 10 minutes in water to plump
Toss together the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a serving plate. Arrange the nuts and dried fruit on top.
My Classic Vinaigrette is a raw food recipe I couldn’t live without! Apple cider vinegar gives it a full, fruity flavor.
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (you may substitute balsamic vinegar if you prefer)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash black pepper (optional)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the olive oil and whisk until smooth.
Did Someone Say Fruit Salad?
In my books Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People and Raw for Dessert, I have a lot of raw food salad recipes. Are you surprised that there are raw food salads in a dessert cookbook? Many people are...until they remember that fruit salads are salads, too.
According to Webster, a salad is defined as ‘food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing.’ And I can’t think of a better way to end a meal than with a colorful Fruit Carpaccio ‘dressed’ with agave and lemon. It’s a raw food recipe that puts a new spin on the idea of salad and on dessert, too.
"Carpaccio" is an Italian word that refers to ingredients that are sliced paper-thin and arranged attractively on a plate. Try dessert carpaccios made from any fruit you like, such as pineapples, melons, fresh figs, or pears. I especially like to use mangoes for this raw food fruit salad dessert.
Mango Carpaccio Raw Food Recipe
- 2 ripe mangoes, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons light agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Fresh mint leaves (optional)
Arrange the mango slices on a plate. Place the agave syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle over the mango slices. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.
Mangoes from Mexico, India, the Phillippines, and other countries, as well as the home-grown varieties from Florida and California have a wonderfully sensual taste and texture and lots of healthful antioxidant properties to help you fight off winter colds and winter blahs. They come in a rainbow of reds, yellows, oranges, and greens, so color is not the best way to determine ripeness.
Sniff for a fragrant fruity odor at the stem end, or squeeze very gently to detect a firm yet yielding feel under your fingers
Raw Food Salad Special
To make my raw food salads come alive visually, I call on the army of knives and gadgets that I keep in my drawers. You’d be amazed how something as simple as carrot ribbons -- created with a basic vegetable peeler – can really make a plate of everyday lettuce and cucumbers look like it just stepped off a food-fashion runway.