Monday, March 23, 2009

Green... The Color of Good Health

Green… The Color of Good Health

As you shop for ingredients for your salads, don’t ignore the bitter greens, such as dandelion, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, field cress, radicchio, spinach and Belgian endive. According to Daniel Vitalis of, the bitter part of plants contain alkaloids, a strong medicine that are the healing part of plants. Alkaloids have been bred out of many of our foods today because bitter is considered an undesirable flavor. If you tend to avoid bitter greens, I encourage you to chop-up some and toss them into any salad. According to Vitalis, it is salt that counteracts the taste of bitter and a good salt will contain all 90 minerals and trace minerals in an easily assimilated form. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how good bitter greens can taste and they are so good for us. Bitter greens can also be blended into green smoothies (I’ll talk about green smoothies in another blog posting) and juiced with other leafy green vegetables.

With knowledge we open-up to new taste, textures and foods we thought we would never eat. With knowledge we can make good food choices for ourselves and for those we love. As our health improves, we add to the collective health of our planet.

Bitter Greens... Getting Off to a Green Start

Bitter greens stimulate digestive secretions and so does chewing. If a few bitter greens are eaten 15 minutes before dinner they will set-up your digestive system so it is super-ready for your dinner. It's easy to do.

Chop-up a few bitter greens (see above), about a ½ cup per person, and dress them up with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (pessed or grated small), and a good whole salt. Use just one green or a combination of greens like dandelion, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, field cress, radicchio and/or Belgian endive. Some excellent salts are Himalayan pink crystal salt, Real Salt and Celtic salt. Enjoy!

Tools for Making the Most Amazing Salads

* Lettuce spinner (not the one with a pull-string as the string can harbor germs)

* Julianne Peeler (this can also take the place of a vegetable peeler, see March 16 posting below)

* Kitchen Scissors (keep a pair just for your culinary needs)

* 8-inch Chef Knife (I like ceramic knives as they are very light and sharp)

* Large Cutting Board (my favorite are the very thin wood composite because they are light)

* Large Wooden Salad Bowl (I love wood for salads, it just feels right)

Kale Salad

Kale… a culinary super star! In this unique salad, kale shows off its uniqueness and versatility by featuring it raw. When serving kale raw, chop it fine and marinate it for about a half hour before serving. Raw kale is packed-full of phytonutrients, life giving enzymes, minerals including calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and a good source of fiber. I add dulse, a sea vegetable, for extra life affirming minerals. I cut the vegetables small or Julianne them. Cutting vegetables small helps with digestion as small pieces require less chewing and besides it creates a nice mouth-feel. Make this salad often. It travels well so take some to work, on a picnic or when you travel. When traveling by air plane do not put too much dressing on your salad and it will get through security. I have done it many times. ♥ Bring a feeling of joy and gratitude into the making and serving of this salad… you and your guests will taste the difference!

Tips to the Cook: I have listed many vegetables that can be added to a kale salad. You can use them all or just the ones you want or have on hand. It is always best to use vegetables in season that are grown locally in a sustainable way. Try your local farmer’s market for the freshest produce.

Dressing… Made in Bottom of Salad Bowl

olive oil or flax oil, about 1 tablespoon per person

raw apple cider vinegar, about 1 tablespoon per person

white miso, about 1 teaspoon per person

1-3 cloves garlic, pressed or grated small

pink crystal salt or Real Salt, to taste

cayenne pepper, to taste

Made dressing in a large wooden salad bowl and whisk together: In a large wooden salad bowl, put all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water, as needed. Now make the salad right on top of the dressing.


8 leaves kale, any variety, chopped small1 handful bitter greens, sliced thi

(dandelion, mustard greens, watercress, arugula)2 medium tomatoes, diced small (if in season)

6 radishes, diced small

1 medium Japanese or English cucumber, diced small

1 medium carrot, Julianne (see March 16 posting on this blog)

1/4 purple cabbage, sliced and chopped small

1/3 cup dulse (a sea vegetable), cut in small pieces (use kitchen scissors)

Add the salad ingredients on top of the mixed dressing and toss: In the bowl with the mixed salad dressing, add the salad ingredients and toss to mix.

How to Serve: Let marinate for 30 minutes before serving. Serve as a side salad or main dish salad.

How to Store: Store any undressed salad in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days.

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