This is the perfect healthy salad. I know what you are thinking—aren't all salads healthy? No, actually most of the salads and salad dressings that we eat are not even close to being good for us. Think about it—we load them up with bacon, cheese, croutons, and candied nuts. Not to mention the salad dressing. That's where you can really get into trouble. The average store bought salad dressing has about 15 grams of fat PER SERVING! That's only 2 tablespoons. But who puts only 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing on their salad? No one I know. Let's say you put 3 to 4 tablespoons of that ranch dressing on your salad. That's almost half the amount of fat the average woman should have in a whole day—this is just one small element of what you will eat in a day. It also provides virtually no nutritional value. And salad dressings are loaded with preservatives so that they can sit on a shelf in your grocery store for a year.
I love the quote from Amanda Kraft that says, "When you start eating food without labels you no longer need to count calories." That really spoke to me today. We are selling and buying a new house and it is an extremely stressful process. And when I am stressed, I eat junk carbs. Namely, potato chips. And I have put on a few pounds. There's a little more jiggle when I walk. I needed this remind me to fill my grocery shopping cart primarily with fruits and vegetables and lay off the processed packaged food.
Now that I have told you how I really feel about the average American salad, let me build you a better salad. It's similar to a lot of "detox salads" you have seen out there. But this one is more flavorful and light and fresh. The colors are vibrant and it has a wonderful crunch to it. It's also extremely easy if you have a food processor. Here's a link below to mine, which has served me well for years.
First get a large bowl for mixing it all together. You will do each vegetable individually in batches and pour the chopped up veggies in the large bowl for combining at the end.
It doesn't really matter which vegetable you start with. I tend to cut off most of the stalk from the broccoli and cauliflower and cut the core out of the red cabbage and discard. When getting ready for each vegetable, give them a good washing and cut them up into large chunks so they process easier. You will end up pulsing each for about 10 - 15 seconds until no large pieces remain. Dump each in the large bowl; don't bother to rinse the processor after each use before you continue on to the next batch.
Now for the fresh herbs. Throw a cup of fresh mixed herbs in your processor and pulse for about 10 seconds to chop up and combine. I like the flavors of flat leaf parsley, dill, mint, and basil for this salad.
Next chop up a cup of raw almonds in your food processor and add to the bowl. I don't like to have these too finely chopped, so keep an eye on them as you are processing and use your pulse function to control.
Now you should have a nice large bowl full of beautiful colors.
The last step is to make your dressing. Make it in your food processor—no need to clean it yet. Fresh ginger, dijon mustard and orange juice make up the flavors here. Make sure you use fresh orange juice with no added sugars. I also use himalayan salt, black pepper, and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Remember, there should just be enough salad dressing to add to accent the other flavors and moisten the salad. Don't drench it, but if you still find the salad is too dry, just mix in a little more orange juice to your overall salad.
And that's it. Perfect as a side dish or to pack for lunch. You could also easily throw on some grilled tofu or chop up some dried, unsweetened, cherries to add more layers to it.
This is a great salad if you are detoxing or trying to loose weight as it is high in fiber and nutrients. Eating large amounts of fiber from vegetables is important for a healthy weight loss plan. The fiber makes you feel full and you end up eating and craving less. Give this recipe a try—I bet you will love it.
Time: 30 minutes
1 small head of broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower
1/2 head small red cabbage
15 baby carrots
1 c. mixed fresh herbs (parsley, dill, mint, basil)
1 c. raw almonds
1/2 inch peeled fresh ginger root
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 c. fresh orange juice, unsweetened
1 tsp. himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp. course black pepper
Get an extra large mixing bowl out to build your salad. Destem, decore, and cut into large chunks the broccoli, cauliflower, and red cabbage.
In your food processor, in individual batches, pulse each salad ingredient for approximately 15 seconds until no large chunks remain. Meaning you will only have one vegetable type processing at a time. Dump the chopped contents of each batch into your large bowl and don’t bother to wash or rinse the food processor between batches. Continue until all the salad ingredients have been chopped and added to the large mixing bowl.
In your food processor, process the salad dressing for approximately 20 seconds until it is emulsified and no ginger chunks remain. Pour over the salad ingredients and gently stir to incorporate. Add more orange juice if the salad is too dry, but do not over-dress!
Makes 8 servings. Will keep for 4 days stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator.