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SALAD, SALAD, SALAD

Ever since going GF I have become a salad junkie. If I don’t have a salad for lunch, then I have to have one with my dinner, if not a giant one FOR dinner! Spring and Summer are my favourites because there is always such a variety of fresh vegetables, lettuces, and fruit. Oranges mixed in with my salads are the best.

Of course, with celiac disease, it has now become a little bit more difficult to find salad dressings, and not just because they may contain wheat/gluten. Being forced to read the ingredients on everything that I buy has forced me to start searching for alternatives. In fact there are some things that I simply won’t buy anymore because I now know what’s in it and I’m thoroughly grossed out. Seeing all of the chemimals that are in our foods today is simply wrong and un-natural. I will admit that I do still occasionally buy the not so good dressings, but my dressing recipe list is quickly growing thanks to many other bloggers who share their recipes. I have to admit, I’m not much of an inventor in the kitchen. I have my odd moments (very few), but mostly I am a recipe follower. However, I am confident that this will change soon – I mean it has only been a year since I was diagnosed and probably about 6-9 months since I started making and baking my own food (crossing my fingers that once I have the basics down pat, there will be no stopping me).

My mom is the one who is really good at creating things in the kitchen, saucs in particular. A few months ago she created an amazing ginger sauce to cook Basa fish, and last night she made it again but this time she didn’t cook it and used it as a salad dressing instead. It was delicious! I have been given permission to share it, so I will post it below. But first I would like to share some of my favourite salad combos.

  • Caesar Salad – I LOVE this type of salad, especially with shrimp or chicken. I was ecstatic when I found out that Cactus Club makes their Caesar salad dressing with no gluten (my poor friend probably didn’t know what to do because I was so excited). At home, I use a caesar dressing made by Boccalino Grotto. They recently changed the label to include Gluten Free on it and it’s also sugar and preservative free (no artificial sugar either). I also use Glutino crackers in place of croutons.
  • Greek Salad – I don’t have much to say about this one since it’s only in the past week that I’ve started making my own. I use goats cheese (not a fan of feta) and sometimes I do just tomato & cucumber, but I usually mix it with mixed greens. Sadly, I have yet to find a dressing that I like to make (but I did find one on Karina’s Blog – link on the side – that I’m going to try), so I’ve been using the Litehouse Greek Feta blend (can’t taste the feta).
  • Seedy Salad – Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are delicious in salads and pretty much a staple in my fridge. Pine nuts are also my favourite. They all add a nice crunch and are great for protein and the “good” fats.
  • The Greens – personally, the more greens in my salad the better! Mustard greens, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, romaine, arugula, even spinach. You name it, and I’m sure I’ve had it. During the winter I buy the organic bagged salad (only it’s not bagged but in a big container) and I share it with my dogs (yep, my dogs also love their greens, but they prefer them juiced up).

I know that there are many other salad combos I do, but for now that’s all that pops out of my head. Actually, as I’ve been typing this I’ve been eating a salad – that’s my breakfast.

In Ani Phyo’s new book, “Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen”, she has an Orange-Fennel dressing recipe. I’ll post it below also, but my version is slightly different with no measurments because I’m too lazy to do that and I usually work with whatever is in my kitchen.

Orange-Fennel Dressing

fennel oranges EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) poppy seeds

Juice one orange or squeeze the juice out of it into the bowl/jar that your dressing is going to be in and then peel and chop the orange or oranges and add them. Chop the fennel however you like it and add as well as the other ingredients. I like to let it sit for an hour, at least, in the fridge. Then serve over any mix of greens.

*Adapted from Ani Phyo’s “Shaved Fennel with Blood Oranges, Poppy Seeds, and Micro Greens” in Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen. It is a great book as is her website, where she also shares some wonderful recipes.

Ginger Dressing

ginger olive oil onion dijon mustard lemon agave nectar maple syrup garlic tamari (GF)

Blend all ingredients together in the blender. Then serve with salad or pour over white fish and cook as usual.

I’ll have to get back to you with measurements – my Mom’s not really into measuring either, she goes by taste and what she’s in the mood for.

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Categories: RAW Living
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