Nat’s Zesty Salad
But January also provides us with a great opportunity to start the year off right in terms of leading a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.
When it comes to what I eat, I don’t really pay attention to what the weather is like. It could be chucking it down with rain and I’ll rustle up a salad or a bowl of summer berries or it could be hottest day in summer and I’ll choose to make a soup or a fish pie.
It doesn’t really matter in our house and although I try to eat consciously and choose ingredients that are local and as seasonal as much as possible, I often cook and eat dependant on how I feel and dependant on what my body needs most at that time.
Now after an over-indulgent holiday season I know that what my body needs right now are clean ingredients, lots of water and green juices to flush my system out and eliminate as many toxins and nasty stuff as possible.
So, although a salad may not get you buzzing right now, believe me when I say, after you wolf down a bowl of this goodness your cells will be buzzing with glee and you’ll feel amazing.
If you’re like me and the mundane and repetitive task of washing and chopping veggies is relaxing and therapeutic then great.
However if setting aside 20 minutes to make this bad-boy-bowl-of-colours fills you with dread and a sense of boredom then whack on your favourite tunes and chop away to the music and the time will fly…
…like this sweet little number:
And the great part of tucking into a cold salad is that all the ingredients by their very nature are raw, which is great for you and the planet.
Eating raw and fresh ingredients ensures that your body gets the optimum level of vitamins, minerals and nutrients so you can function to the max.
Now, guys, at the risk of stating the obvious, its a salad so you can jazz it up or tone it down with whatever ingredients you fancy. My zesty salad just gives you an idea of how creative you can be.
There’s just one little tip that I’d like to share when it comes to making a brilliant salad and that is to find a balance.
You’ll see from the list of ingredients that I love to partner up soft textures with a little bit of crunch, and some sweetness with a dash of sour and as many gorgeous colours that I can find in my fridge.
So, beautiful people, here it is: Nat’s zesty salad:
Grab a large bowl and begin:
2 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves (a selection of baby spinach, red lettuce and lambs lettuce is what I had in my fridge today) You could add some romaine lettuce as well for extra crunch.
1 small handful of chopped parsley
1 small handful of chopped mint
1/2 a cucumber
8 cherry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper
1 red chilli (optional and deseed if desired)
Seeds of 1 small pomegranate
A handful of dried cranberries
Sprinkle of mixed seeds
Juice of half a lime
A drizzle of oil (extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil are two my favourites on salads)
Grab yourself a large fork and tuck in or if you’re feeling generous, share with friends or family and enjoy as a side dish.
Switch it up!
You could add as many ingredients as you like. Olives, peppery rocket leaves and some salad cress work nicely.
For additional healthy fats scatter over some walnuts and crushed pistachios.
I like to keep my salads as “free from________(fill in the blank)” as much as possible.
But you could up the ante and make this less vegan and more vegetarian by adding a boiled egg or crumbles of feta cheese or stilton for additional natural saltiness.
And for the carnivores out there, cooked prawns, sliced chicken or turkey could work too. In fact this salad could go with just about anything, that’s why it’s so awesome.
You could use it as a filling in a wrap or as part of a quesadilla. I sometimes pour spoonfuls of it on top of slices of crusty bread like a soda crumb, spelt or rye variety. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top of each little portion to enhance the flavours even more.
I hope Nat’s zesty salad hits all the right notes for you.
To good health,
Try Nat’s zesty salad with my baked mushrooms with cumin and paprika
Images courtesy of NatMillie