Good health and eating well go hand in hand and introducing salads as whole meals into your menu is an excellent way to have a more balanced diet. Try these three salad recipes from raw-food chef Valerie McKen.
It’s no secret that salads are regarded as an excellent way to increase good nutrition and get plenty of raw food into your menu. As a nutritional therapist I come across far too many people who sadly, still do not eat a sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables. The effects of not eating enough raw food can contribute to worsening health issues such as fibroids and other gynaecological conditions. Eating well and healthily can help to manage symptoms, particularly bloating and pain.
Fruit and vegetables are anti-inflammatory; perfect for helping to calm down cramping or any other symptoms. They also contain nutrients as well as fibre, which are vital for helping your body clear toxins via the liver and kidneys. Also, bodies are made up of at least 75% water. Fruit and vegetables contain a lot of water, so eating plenty of them, ensuring they are fresh, raw and ripe, will count toward your body’s optimal water quota.
Eating well may require you to change your mindset on a few things. A well-designed salad can either form a good part of your meal or you can fully replace your usual heavy meal with a delicious, nutritious salad. Starting to see salads as the main meal, and not just a starter or side, is a step in the right direction.
Although I no longer eat red meat or chicken, I know many people do, so feel free to include chicken and eggs in your salads. If you do eat chicken or eggs, make sure they are organic as your body does not need the extra hormones and antibiotics found in non-organic. Another alternative to bulk up your salad is to add non-gluten grains like brown, black or wild rice or extra veggies like raw or roasted red peppers, broccoli or green beans.
Below are three salad recipes for you to try. You can prepare any of these salads in advance, making extra for the next day for lunch. This is really helpful because if you plan your meals for the week and prep what you need ahead of time, you may find that you begin to develop healthier habits too, making life much easier and less stressful when it comes to mealtimes.
Chicken Avo Salad
Handful leafy greens (spinach, rocket, watercress etc.)
½ avocado, chopped into cubes
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cucumber (optional), sliced
1 organic egg (hard boiled), sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup organic chicken, shredded
Black pepper, to taste
Sea Salt, to taste
Any other herbs and spices of choice
Mix everything together, except for the lemon, in a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice on top and you’re ready to go.
Feel free to experiment and add or minus whatever you like as long as it’s a vegetable.
You can also make your own simple salad dressing with nothing more than olive, lemon juice or hemp seed oil, apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of raw honey.
TIP: Use ‘pulled’ jackfruit in place of the chicken.
Autumn Garden Salad
½ white radish, peeled and cubed
2 organic carrots, grated
½ cucumber, peeled and cubed
5-6 black olives, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Mix everything together, except for the lemon, in a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice on top and that’s it! The combination of colours and freshness of the vegetables is visually appealing.
Avoid smothering your salad with shop bought salad dressings. These contain sugar and all sorts of unwanted additives. Steer clear to keep your hormones and fibroids in check!
NB: Turn this into a *Buddha Bowl by adding in spiced roasted sweet potatoes and turmeric quinoa.
2 apples, cubed
1 kiwi, sliced
1 orange, peeled, wedges
3-4 strawberries, sliced
1 cup pineapple, cubed
1 lemon, juiced
Orange zest, to taste
Mix everything, except for the orange zest and lemon, together in a bowl. Add the zest and squeeze the lemon juice on top.
You can add or minus the fruits you like or dislike. You can also add dry fruits as seasoning to make it a little more exciting and filling. This is an easy, colourful, tasty salad.
To jazz things up and add a touch of luxury, you can make a sweet cashew cream. Just add a dollop to your fruit salad on serving.
There are so many various salads you can create using vegetables and fruits you’ve probably never used before. The three recipes included here are very simple and quick which will help you continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Like these recipes? Get more Anti-inflammatory Recipes here.
* A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian meal, served on a single bowl or high-rimmed plate, which consists of small portions of several foods, served cold.