Nutrition as Medicine

Cooking Tips


The word "salad" conjurs images of boring bowls of iceberg lettuce.  Some people imagine that 'plant-based' means salad and little else.  Not true, of course.   You could eat a varied plant-based diet without ever eating a salad.  But you'd be missing out on a lot of great food.

Greens combined with various other ingredients are one of the great joys of healthy eating.   No other food comes close to green leafy vegetables for nutrient density, or the ability to satisfy with minimal calories.  Nothing else is in the same super-food category.  Greens are second to none in helping people lose weight.  (The more you eat, the *more* weight you'll lose, according to Joel Fuhrman, M.D.!)

The secret to a delicious "salad" is to add a great variety of ingredients, so that your salad resembles a meal-in-a-bowl.   Or add greens to your meal and it resembles a salad!  You may not know what to call it but you'll quickly see that combinations make food delicious.  This is a culinary law of nature:  Foods Taste Better As Combinations.    'Beans & Greens,' chili, etc. etc. are among countless variations on this concept.

Discover which greens you like.  We're partial to collard greens or cabbage  (Cabbage keeps well in the fridge), others like kale, etc. etc.  Raw is probably the most nutritious, or you can dry-fry them a few seconds if you want.   

Some popular ingredients are any of the following (partial list):  beans (any beans), fruit (maybe cut-up apple, mango, raisins, tangerines, etc. etc),  nuts, grains (cooked pasta, cooked barley, etc. etc.), cooked or raw veggies of your choosing (left-over broccoli, asparagas, zucchini, onions, etc.).  I like mushrooms lightly sauteed, and raw purple onion or vadalia onion.  Herbs can be nice like fresh parsley, maybe dried or fresh dill, thyme, "italian seasonings," pepper, garlic powder, etc. etc.  These combinations add so much flavor that salt is generally not needed.

For a dressing, it's important to avoid a lot of oil, or any oil ideally.  Oil is pure fat and the most calorie-dense food known to man, while greens and other veggies are the least calorie dense.  Find ideas and recipes for fat-free dressings on the website here.  It's best to make the dressing yourself; it's unlikely that you'll be able to find a good-tasting store-bought fat-free dressing.  You may find one that you can combine with your own ingredients, but avoid store-boughts with high-fructose corn-syrup.  We recommend that you also avoid "low fat" store-bought dressings because they contain oil which you really don't want.  Because combinations of ingredients make the salad so flavorful, the need for a salad dressing is minimized.  A squeeze of lemon or lime juice may be all you need to achieve amazing deliciousness.  A good basic dressing is balsamic vinegar with prepared mustard and fresh-squeezed lime or lemon juice, sometimes with plack pepper, garlic powder, and/or dried herbs, and sometimes with tahini (or low-fat tahini) mixed in.

Many health authorities recommend having a big bowl of "salad" every day and we agree - if you *love* what you're eating. 


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commented 2012-03-06 08:06:02 -0500 · Flag
Make a plain salad a energy packed power salad!!
use different greens like Kale(Lucinato..etc), Swiss chard, turnip, mustard greens, Romaine
With wonderful toppings like:
parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, a variety of sprouts(alfalfa, broccoli, radish), tomatoes, onions(sweet, red, white, yellow), Jicama(“Hicama” Mexican potatoe), avocado, carrots, beets and so much more with a vinaigrette to top it all off and sprinkle with some flax seeds voila simple but AMAZINGLY tasty. try to incorporate different ingredients to build your taste-bud library! :)
published this page in General Advice 2012-02-10 13:01:24 -0500