The Humungous Veggie Salad

I call this my big HVS  – Humongous Vegetable Salad. Here is the vegetable salad I keep around constantly. It goes with absolutely everything. I prepare this once or twice a week. If you don’t put in vegetables that have a lot of water content it tends to last longer in the refrigerator.  You can pull it out and serve yourself a bowl of it anytime of the day.

It’s also a great meal to have on a detox.  Just use a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime instead of a salad dressing to keep everything raw.

How to Prepare

The quantities give for each vegetable are not exact. Add more of what you love and less of what you don’t.  Increase quantities as you get used to eating this salad on a daily basis.

I list the vegetables that I use in the standard salad then list others you can use to “lighten” it up, change the dominant tastes, or create a full meal according to your tastes.

Experiment with the amounts of the various vegetables to get the quantities that work for you.

Basic HVS

These vegetables make up the basic salad. This can last for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator without getting wilted.

  • Green cabbage
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Pepper
  • Green Pepper
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Fresh Herbs (Cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, etc.)

Additional vegetables
These vegetables can get soft or discolored quicker. That mean you have to eat the salad quicker. You can add these on any day to change the taste of the basic mix. Have them already prepared so you just have to put in the amount you want.

  • lettuce/spinach
  • chopped broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • zucchini
  • avocado

Toppings

Toppings are optional. This is what makes this salad versatile enough to be the base of a fully meal, 7 days a week.

  • Nuts or seeds
  • Raisins
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Rice
  • Cheese
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Left-over meat, fish, chicken – really helps if you prepare foods for people who eat differently, i.e., raw to meat eaters.
  • Whatever else you have.

Dressings
These go from simple to complex. The taste of the salad is so good I often eat it with no dressings. However, I started with bottled dressings and now use a simple squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Sometimes I add some Olive Oil. Another alternative is a great balsamic vinegar.

Of course, you can use your favorite low fat dressing and experiment with different salad dressings.  If you eat this everyday you can change things up with different dressings.

Directions:

Wash all of the vegetables and thinly shred them with a knife. This lets them come out in thin layers that are fun to eat. You can also shred by hand, chop in chunks or “break” some of the vegetables by hand.

Use more of your favorites and change things up a bit. Try new tastes by adding other favorite vegetables I’ve forgotten here. If it’s something you eat raw, it can go into the basic salad. If it’s cooked, add as a topping for a special meal.

As a Side Dish

I serve a version of this salad almost everyday. You can add anything else in your meal. To make it a side dish, serve a portion with your cooked protein (meat, fish, chicken, beans). It goes with ethnic foods and vegetarian delights.

Keep this around on a regular basis. It’s crunchy and satisfying. Depending on other meals, you can use this and start to naturally lose weight by making it your staple meal of the day or by eating more of this than other, higher calorie foods.

Let me know how you like it.

Season for Detox – Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you though belated.  For those that do not celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a peaceful and thankful day yesterday.  For me, it was Day 22 of this 28 day detox which it seems I will be completing after all.  I wasn’t sure about doing this for 28 days when first starting.   In looking forward to this I have learned multiple things about me and about the foods we eat.  

1. It takes wonderful discipline to eat consciously each day. Planning the food to eat as well as being determined not to eat unless it’s apart of the detox took a real discipline.  There have been many days when I just wanted to grab some chips and dip and squelch a hunger.  But instead, I grabbed some carrots or celery to hold myself over until I could get to what was really good to eat.

2. The pantry and refrigerator actually start to take on the look of the type of foods I want to eat.  That means as I focused on purchasing foods to go with this detox I found I just reached for those foods at the store instead of spending loads of time considering foods I really didn’t want to put into my body. Shopping for food became much quicker as a result.  It meant spending time on the parameter of the grocery store where the fresh produce is located instead of in the middle aisles where you find the packaged foods.

3. Physically, I can see the changes as the excess weight and puffiness is starting to fall off.  It took a while to get going with the weight loss.  I’ve realized that weight loss doesn’t happen immediately.  It takes time to get going.  The body must adjust to a new way of eating.  Sometimes, eating less calories will make weight loss take a bit longer than going faster.  The body will put itself into a starvation modality if there aren’t enough calories.  Eating raw and vegan can mean cutting out calories and only eating a few at a time.  That takes some adjusting to get the right calorie count.

4.  Mentally, I definitely feel more clear-headed.  This is one of the best, unexpected benefits about this experience.  Instead of waking up feeling “fuzzy headed” with all of the obligations I have to fulfill daily, I feel like I wake up able to zoom into exactly what I need to do with clarity and assurance.  It seems that my memory has improved too.  What seasoned person wouldn’t love that?

That’s just a few ways I can see the benefits of this detox so far.  I’ll share more as the days start to wind down.

Okay, confession time.  I tried two different carrot cake recipes yesterday.  Unfortunately, I made too many changes to the original recipes at once and had some flops.  I Know better than to make changes to a recipe prior to doing the original one first.  But I wanted to modify a gluten free recipe to also be vegan.  Instead of using eggs as a binder, I used applesauce for the eggs.  That meant with the lack of gluten and lack of binder, there was nothing to hold the cake together.  DUH!  Ended up with a gooey mess.  I really hated to have to throw that cake out but there was no saving it. 

The second recipe was a raw carrot cake.  I thought I had read the recipe repeatedly, but missed a crucial step.  After mixing the grated carrots and walnuts, I should have set these aside to process the other ingredients and spices that would serve as the binder for this cake.  Instead, I blended half of the carrot,walnut and spices mixture until smooth.  Fortunately, I was doing this half at a time but the batter was now too soft.  So I had to try to salvage it by turning it into a regular cake by adding almond and amaranth flour, baking soda and baking powder and two eggs.  I baked this batter.  It still came out a but mushy but edible.  Oh well, when you’re trying to start something new, you have to experiment.  I’m not accustomed to food failures so I had to encourage myself in this remembering that great things come out of experiments. 

Otherwise for Thanksgiving, my main meal was black-eyed peas with collard greens which was sumptuous.  I’m having a bit more of that for lunch today (the day after).

Season for Detox – Day 8

Well on to week two with my detox.  I’m feeling great right now and decided to start using Alissa Cohen’s, Living on Live Foods cookbook as my source for foods this week. 

This isn’t just a raw cookbook but a type of mini-encyclopedia for all things raw.  I’ve had this in my cookbook library for a few years but never stopped to use it.  Actually, the Kale and Tomato Salad I made last week came from this cookbook and it was great.  Today for lunch I used the Mock Salmon Pate recipe.  I had this dish at the Vegan Potluck I was invited to last Sunday so was very surprised to find it in this cookbook.

The recipe calls for a red bell pepper to give the salmon color to the mix but I only had  a green bell pepper.  It still came out good without the correct color.  Of course, I added more spices as many raw recipes are a bit bland for me.  Instead of having it on a cracker I used a cabbage leaf as a wrap and added a green olive.  Wow, this one is a winner. I’m going to a potluck in December and this recipe is in the running for my offering. 

A surprising thing was that I was actually full today.  One reason could be that this dish was a bit more substantial than others I’ve had so far.    Another reason might be that my stomach is getting used to this fresh, whole food diet and not needing as much food. 

Oh yes, I have to remember that I also made cookies so that helped.  Some of the ingredients included flax meal, rice flour, 72% cocoa, almonds and mixed with coconut oil. They were baked so not officially raw, more vegan, very hearty too.   This recipe wasn’t from the Cohen book.

But the book is definitely worth looking into if you interested in raw foods at all.  She provides loads of information on how to get started with recipes that are easy and delicious.  Click on the book here to read more about it.