As you shop for ingredients for your salads, green smoothies and juices, don’t ignore the bitter greens such as dandelion, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, field cress, radicchio, spinach and Belgian endive. It is important to eat a variety of foods for good health and the bitter part of plants contain alkaloids, strong plant medicines that are the healing part of plants. Alkaloids are the protective mechanism for the plant and healing for us. 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 a few leaves and toss them into any salad, add some salt as 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. A great re-mineralizing beverage is to blend bitter greens with other green vegetables and/or fruits to make a green smoothie or juice them with other leafy green and vegetables such as cucumber and celery. Shop at farmer’s markets for locally grown produce in season and unusual varieties that are grown in a sustainable way.
With knowledge we open to new taste, textures and foods we thought we would never eat. Wisdom is making better food choices for ourselves and for those we love. As our health improves, we add to the collective health of our planet.
Tools for Making Salads More Fun!
- Lettuce spinner (a large one, not with a pull-string as the string can harbor germs)
- Julianne Peeler (this can also take the place of a vegetable peeler)
- Kitchen Scissors (keep a pair just for your culinary needs)
- 8-inch Chef Knife (ceramic knives are very light, thin and sharp)
- Large Cutting Board (very thin wood composite boards are light and germ resistant)
- Large Wooden Salad Bowl (wood for salads just feels right)
- Small Hole Grater (1/8-inch hole on a vegetable grater, for grating garlic, ginger and fresh turmeric)
Chopped Bitters … 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 a meal they will set-up your digestive system so it is super-ready for your meal. Create this simple, fast to make salad, using one or more of the bitters suggested, and serve it as your first course. ♥ Take a moment to light a candle, make a gratitude statement and spin around several times with a big smile on your face before making this salad. In this way you share your love through your food creations!
To the Chef: To cut greens into ribbons, wash, spin dry and de-stem your greens. Stack 10 or so leaves and cut across them width-wise, making very narrow cuts for thin ribbons. Cut across the ribbons to chop small, medium or large.
1 bunch Italian dandelion greens, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, watercress and/or field cress
1 small head Belgian endive or radicchio, cut into thin ribbons and chop medium
1 small cucumber, peel and dice small
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 small purple onion, dice small
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 tablespoons fig infused balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, grate small or press
pink crystal salt or Celtic sea salt, to taste
In a large wooden salad bowl, put all the ingredients and toss together to mix well.
How to Serve: Serve as the first coarse to any meal including breakfast.
How to Store: Store in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours dressed or for up to 3 days undressed.
Kale, a culinary super star,shows off its uniqueness and versatility by featuring it raw in this salad. Raw kale is packed-full of phyto-nutrients, life giving enzymes, minerals including calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and a good source of fiber. Including dulse (a sea vegetable) in your salad increases life affirming minerals we need for good health. Make this salad often. It travels well making it easy to take to work, on a picnic or when traveling. When traveling by air do not put too much dressing on and it will get through security easily. ♥ Bring a feeling of joy and gratitude into the making and serving of this salad … you and your guests will taste the difference!
To the Chef:The dressing is made first at the bottom of a wooden salad bowl. The Kale is chopped fine and the vegetables are diced small or cut very fine to aid in digestion as small pieces require less chewing and creates a nice mouth-feel. Kale Salad is marinated for one hour before serving so plan ahead. Other vegetables can be used such as broccoli and cauliflower, just be sure to cut them small.
Bottom of the Bowl Dressing
olive oil or flax oil, about 1 tablespoon per serving
raw apple cider vinegar, about 1 tablespoon per serving
white miso, about 1/2 teaspoon per serving
stoneground mustard, about ½ teaspoon per serving
1-3 cloves garlic, grate small or press
pink crystal salt or Celtic sea salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
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 your salad right on top of the dressing and toss.
1 bunch kale, any variety, chop small
1handful bitter greens, slice in thin ribbons (dandelion, mustard greens, watercress, arugula)
2 medium tomatoes, dice small (when in season)
6 radishes, dice small
1 medium Japanese or English cucumber, dice small
1 medium carrot, dice small
1/4 purple cabbage, slice thin then chop small
1/3 cup dulse (a sea vegetable), cut in small piece using kitchen scissors
In a separate large salad bowl, put all the ingredients for the Kale Salad and toss to mix.
In the wooden bowl with the salad dressing at the bottom, add enough of the Kale Salad to serve all your guests. Add more salad and more dressing as needed. Let marinate for 1 hours before serving.
How to Serve: Serve as a side salad or add avocado and serve as a main dish salad.
How to Store:Store any undressed salad in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.