Saturday, 8 September 2012

Salad Days

Salad Days

The term ‘salad days’ referred to happy days from one’s youth, once upon a time.  Now that I’m on this vegan train, it means something else.  You might think that I’d be miserable and hungry, but I’m not.  I am feeling great, and weirdly, my fingernails are getting really strong.  They used to bend in the wind, I swear.

Always obsessed with getting enough protein, I am sure to include just enough nuts, and the avocado keeps me more than satisfied.  In fact, if I had to choose between avocado and meat, I’d take avocado any time, and ditto for avocado and cheese.  Yay for avocado! 
The big surprises in this salad come from the kale and purple cabbage.  There are tons of anthocyanins in these, which are very, very good for our health and appearance!  In fact, this salad is full of all sorts of other magic bits, also very high in these amazing nutrients.
What's prettier and healthier than red kale?  I could have added the flowers too, I suppose...

In my early twenties, I didn’t realize that an avocado had to be ripe before one tried to make guacamole with it.  I just assumed that Mexicans all had terrific biceps, able to squash those hard objects into nice soft guacamole. 
When choosing them, you don’t need to feel for softness, although if you find one with a bit of give, buy it to eat right away.  I buy a bag full of hard dark green avocados, and they do ripen on the counter after three days or so.

More anthocyanins!
In addition to the nuts and avocado, I’m also concentrating on colour.  I’ve written about this before, but research is showing the incredible health benefits of eating the bright coloured foods, red peppers, purple cabbage, red kale, pomegranates…  Strangely enough, purple cabbage is also associated with being an appetite suppressant, which can’t hurt either, at least not for a glutton like me!

Anyway, to get on with a salad that feeds this greedy woman—you can multiply these amounts according to how many mouths are open:

Turmeric and Black Pepper go together!
3 leaves kale (red is great if you have it, but green will do), ribbed and torn into pieces
2 thin slices purple cabbage
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 thin slices thin red onion, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 chilli, finely diced
7 mint leaves, finely cut
small bunch of cilantro, finely cut
several shakes of turmeric
many grates fresh black pepper
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds*

1 lemon wedge


1 lemon wedge
1 teaspoon tahini
½ teaspoon water

from my greenhouse!
You can switch it up by using any of these morsels:

1/3 pomegranate (seeds)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 zucchini, sliced
¼ cup pine nuts*

Turmeric adds anthocyanins, just toss before you eat!
Because I’m putting this together every day, I’m switching it up from day to day.  Sometimes I eliminate the sunflower seeds, and go with the pine nuts instead.  Sometimes I don’t use sweet red pepper, and go with the pomegranate and tomato instead.  It’s all flexible. 
On some sad, sad days, I have no avocado, so I add more seeds.  So far, I’ve never needed to make the fancier dressing, content to squeeze the lemon wedge over the salad.  But if you’re really hungry, use a fork to whisk up the juice from the lemon wedge, along with the tahini and water.  You will be amazed at how the concoction turns white and expands!  Pour that over the salad.  It’s also delicious, and very filling.

You should be warned that this will not be a meal to eat in a hurry.  The chewing involved in this salad will burn many calories, I assure you.  The great news is that it takes so long to chew through this salad, that your body gets the message that you are very satisfied.  Luckily with this assortment of delicious tastes, you will be well satisfied, and stay that way for many hours!


  1. Looks delicious! I will try it. Do you ever use pumpkin seeds? I have them often in my salads.

  2. There aren't any in my pantry right now, but when there are, yes I do use them. In fact, when I'm cooking any kind of squash, including pumpkin, I keep the seeds. Will be posting about roasted squash soon, with the seeds. Tons of nutrition in the seeds, so it's crazy to throw them out. Thanks for reading the blog, Jenny!

  3. I am eating your salad right now and it is fabulous! You're right - all you need is the lemon wedge. Yummy!

  4. After five months of eating this salad I still eat it as often as I can - sometimes every day like this past week. It is always delicious and filling.