There is truly nothing better than pulling the vegetables from your own garden. The next best thing though is a surprise visit from your neighbor who happens to be an organic farmer. My neighbor and friend Lisa had a huge bunch of swiss chard just pulled from the soil. Gestures like this for sure make my day- or I should say week because this kicked off a swiss chard salad craze that lead to the creation of these super nutritious raw salads.
The first is the swiss chard cherry surprise:
only because these cherry tomatoes that I picked up from the farm were so diverse and beautiful. I cut them each in half or fours and tossed them in with the swiss chard. Just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean you don’t have to wash it well. I washed the swiss chard, drained it well and cut it up into nice bite size pieces. Of course a salad is not a super impressive vegan salad without some add-ons so I threw in pumpkin seeds and chunks of avocado. The topping today was some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Next up was another swiss chard avocado salad but this time with more raw vegetables and topped with fresh nectarines from the farm:
Since I am on a one month raw vegan challenge for myself, I figured now is the time to change how I look at raw vegetables. It’s working, I am eating them alone as meals, on-the-go as snacks and as a hearty add-on to a delicious salad. Here I sliced up some raw zucchini and added in some fresh raw broccoli chopped into small bite size pieces. The avocado is quickly becoming a salad staple for me. The interesting topping here was some raw vegan kale chips (not baked) crumpled up over the salad for a super spicy crunchy taste and feel. I did a pumpkin seed finish with some olive oil and a dash of balsamic.
Finally, a swiss chard salad with an experimental nut and seed based sauce:
Quite simply this was about to become another nutritious and delicious meal in and of itself- swiss chard, tomato and avocado. However, I am reading a new book: Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens, M.D. Sometimes I like to read before bed because it relaxes me and brings me nicely into a sleeping state. Sleep is essential as you know. You can eat well and exercise but still lack vitality due to improper sleep. Well, this book did the opposite of make me sleepy. It sent me into a whirlwind of ideas and recipes that I wanted to try. It was from this book, that I finally decided to experiment away from just a simple olive oil dressing- not that there’s anything wrong with that. lol
My experimental dressing today was a large handful of dehydrated tamari almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews and cranberries all tossed into a food processor. Then I added some coconut water, apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice. If I had fresh spices on hand, for sure they would have gone in too! All it needed was some salt and pepper- it was a crunchy nutritious raw delight onto of this salad.
Swiss chard is an excellent choice in vitamins K, A, C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E and dietary fiber. (Matejan 2007)
Matejan, G. 2007. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. GMF Publishing: Seattle, WA.
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Monday July 9th 2012 blog]