Raw and cooling salads

Ever wondered why is it that when the weather is warm you naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fibre and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning when its warm. At this time of year we also need less dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

There is no better time of year to experiment by creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favorite raw veggies, naked or with a delicious dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.  herbs_1-1

  • Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless.
  • Fresh herbs are a fantastic option to mix in, as they are packed full of flavour. All the better if you have some growing in a window box or in your garden. 
  • Experiment with adding diverse forms of protein to your salads, such as nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, fish or poultry. Protein can help to keep your blood sugar stable and helps you feel satisfied for longer.
  • Try a new healthy dressing from your local health food store (make sure you read the label), or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil.

salad_plate_3This is a great opportunity to try a new vegetable from your local market. What are some creative flavours you’ve never tried before? Fennel and mint? Rocket and orange? Summer squash with watercress? Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and help yourself to stay cool. Enjoy the sun!

 

 

Two suggestions to try:

Bok Choy Apple Slaw

6 stalks bok choy (about 1/2 head), thinly sliced

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 granny smith apple, sliced

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey or brown rice syrup

salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. First make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking well.

2. Chop all the salad ingredients, leaving the apples until last. Mix in a salad bowl.

3. Toss salad with half the dressing. Add additional dressing if desired.

4. Eat immediately, or chill for up to one hour and then add the apples just before eating.

Asian Watercress Salad

1 bunch washed watercress

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup baked tofu

1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2/3 tablespoons plum vinegar or other vinegar
Directions:

1. Tear watercress into desirable size pieces.

2. Mix with carrots in a salad bowl.

3. Drizzle sesame oil and vinegar over salad and toss.

4. Dice tofu into bite-size strips.

5. Serve in individual salad bowls, sprinkle tofu on top of each and serve.