I am a huge fan of refreshing summer salads, so this week I bring you a GUEST POST by the lovely MaryLisa Dincel,a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for health and wellness. Enjoy!
Ah the great smell of summer BBQs and friends and family to share them with! Whether we are entertaining or bringing a dish over when we’re invited, salads are a great way to celebrate the freshness and abundance of summer.
With our soil not being what it was 50 years ago as well as our modern lifestyle, constant exposure to stress, pollutants and the consumption of processed foods – leads to an acid/alkaline imbalance in our bodies. An overly acidic body puts us at risk for minor and major health problems. Vegetables are our most potent ALKALINE foods, and help to rid the body of unwanted toxins. The problem is getting enough of them….. That’s where SALADS come in…. So many recipes and an infinity of flavour combinations! “I’ll bring the salad” can be so much more than a bowl full of lettuce – Be creative!
Salads can either accompany a meal, or if you use your imagination can BECOME the meal by adding one or more foods containing protein such as chickpeas or adzuki beans, cooked chicken, some salmon/tuna (fresh or canned), or goat cheese /sheep feta or slivered almonds, walnuts or seeds etc…. you get the idea! Another great way to boost the nutritional power of salads is by using cooked (& cooled) gluten-free grains like quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice etc. You will not only be getting more protein but great energy sustaining carbohydrates as well. Don’t forget to add in some fresh herbs, green onion or spices to jazz it up and make the flavours sing!
In terms of fats, I pretty much always use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in salads (unless I’m going for an Asian flavour – then I’ll choose something else like grapeseed or coconut) Adding slices of avocado (and then stirring into salad) eliminates the need for any oil…. and a great fat to add to salads! You will feel more satisfied when you add a good fat like avocados, virgin coconut oil, or healthy raw nuts or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds (note: if you prefer them toasted –toast them yourself same day to avoid possible rancidity) .
Using fresh squeezed lemon juice (instead of vinegar) adds a delightful fresh taste and compliments sea salt nicely. Nothing beats an arugula salad with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt…. throw in some walnuts and slivered Parmigiano Reggiano/ Grana Padano or hard goat/sheep cheese (optional) and WOW is all I can say!
Take advantage of the summer abundance of local veggies! Click on my blog link below for a few sensational summer salad recipes I hope you’ll enjoy !