Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Food That Hits The Spot!

It's getting HOT out.  If you can't stand the heat... turn off the stove and oven and add some crisp, fresh, raw foods in your life. I'm not talking about a raw recipe with 500 ingredients that needs dehydrated for 20 hours. I'm talking about SALAD.



Are you bored now?

Salad used to bore me. Iceberg Lettuce, ranch dressing, processed cheese and stale croutons.  Blah- never appealed to me.
I could never imagine being satisfied for a whole meal with the "salad" I just described above.
But...
A salad made from crisp organic leaves in varying shades of green with a sweet fruity dressing that is so nutrient dense that it leaves you feeling refreshed and satisfied. Sign me up!

*Before we get to the recipes, let's talk about some-

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT SALAD 
Salad should never be eaten for lunch. There are not enough calories (aka- ENERGY) in it to get you through the rest of the day. If you skimp on your lunch calories, you will undoubtedly be reaching for a coffee or a candy bar from the snack machine by 3pm.
[I know what you are thinking.... but if you are trying to lose weight, DON'T skimp on your calories from breakfast or lunch. Eat all the calories you care for as long as they are from low FAT plant sources!]

Salad should be eaten for dinner. As the day winds down, so does your need for energy (calories), so a salad is the PERFECT dinner time meal. It's a nice way to cool down after your commute or evening run. It is also easier on your digestion than a heavy meal, so it will help you sleep easier.
Although greens lack in calories, they certainly make up for it in the nutrition department. I just wrote about it on my Facebook page at "The Empowered Way" check it out!

TIPS FOR MAKING A PERFECT SALAD
- Always buy local organic greens! Large leafy vegetables are sprayed with SO MANY pesticides and it's impossible to wash off all the poisons. Obviously leaves have no "protective skin" to peel away so there is no avoiding a toxin overload. Rinsing under the tap, just won't cut it. Greens are cheap- splurge on buying good quality.
- Adequately drain all water after washing your greens. Use a salad spinner or just let them drip dry in a colander. No one likes a soggy salad with water in the bottom of their bowl!
- Add a variety of different types of leaves. Greens range from sweet to spicy and have all different colors and textures. Variety is key to an interesting final result! Check out the some of the greens that went in our salads tonight.


- If you realize your leaves have turned floppy and lifeless, don't throw them out! Put them in a cup of water. The same way you would flowers! They will perk up and be back to perfection in an hour or so depending on how far gone they were. Some lovely friends taught me that and I will forever be grateful to them for it. [Shout out to Tina and Monika <3] 
- Eat your salad with chopsticks. They are the PERFECT tool for salad munchers :)
  [Yes I live in Asia] ^^





Want some easy and delicious salad dressing ideas that you will LOVE? Here are a few of my faves...


FUN AND EASY DRESSING RECIPES

Orange Tomato Celery Dressing



Ingredients:
Navel Oranges
Cherry Tomatoes
The TOPS of Celery Stalks

Don't throw away those leafy celery tops. Throw them in the blender with peeled oranges and tomatoes! You will still have a slight hint of celery in the dressing and they won't go to waste! Blend until smooth (or not).. it's all about making what you like!








Mango Pico de Gallo Dressing



Ingredients:
Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes
Chopped Mango
Dill Weed (optional)

Put cucumbers and tomatoes in the food processor until chunky (like Pico de Gallo). Then mix in the chopped mango and the dill with a spoon.




Tropical Fig Dressing


Ingredients:
Bananas
Mangoes
Figs (fresh only, please)

Blend all ingredients together. You may need to add a little water in this to get the blender going.


**NOTE: I have purposefully left out measurements for the dressings. You really CAN'T go wrong here. Just listen to what your body wants!  Am I the best recipe giver or what!? :)

If none of these recipes tickle your fancy, try blending your favorite smoothie and pouring it over your greens. Greens make for a good digestive combination with just about anything, so as long as your smoothie follows good food combining rules, you should be good!

Just get in your greens and you will reap the benefits!


Be on the look out for my new video coming out in a week or so! I'm going to talk about how to begin a healthy lifestyle... it may not be how you think!

Like "The Empowered Way" on Facebook to get daily tips and inspiration!


Love and Crispy Salad Greens,

Meg


Tonight's salad. Mixed greens with the Mango Pico Dressing!!
YUM!


2 comments:

  1. Great post!! Bold that tip about perking up your dead salad! Can't believe we went our whole lives without knowing that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow ditto about perking up the greens! Never knew that!!! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete