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Category Archives: Salads

Healthy + Delicious Dressings

How do you make a healthy salad unhealthy? By pouring on dressings made with inflammatory omega 6 oils like vegetable, corn, and safflower. Ideally the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio should be 1:1, but in our culture, the ratio is more like 20:1 due to processed foods and commercial salad dressings. That high ratio increases our risk of inflammatory chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, dementia, and cancer. Since taking fish oil is useless for preventing heart disease and also increases risk of aggressive prostate cancer, we really need to reduce the amount of omega 6 oils in our diets by switching to better oils like olive, coconut, grapeseed, and avocado and using more nuts instead. One of the easiest ways to do that is to make your own dressings, which also taste so much better!

 

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Here’s an easy, versatile dressing that harnesses the amazing powers of Apple Cider Vinegar!

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup RAW apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s)
  • 2 tsp raw local honey
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

 

Happy Belly Dressing

Everyone loves this dressing, and your belly will too!

  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper

Whisk the ingredients together, or blend in a blender.

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

This version is oil free, which is really the healthiest option of all. Soaked cashews stand in for the oil, which is delicious and stays emulsified even in the fridge. Nuts are a “whole food” and contain fiber, minerals, protein, and other nutrients. This is friendlier for your wasitline and also for your heart.

  • ¼ cup cashew pieces, soaked for 1-2 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • A dash of freshly ground pepper

If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, simply place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Otherwise, first soak the cashews for at least an hour to soften. Then blend cashews and remaining ingredients for a few minutes, using a spatula intermittently to scrape sides down, until completely smooth.

 

Tahini Miso Dressing

This ultra simple dressing is my go-to. It’s delicious, satisfying, and so incredibly healthy! The tahini replaces the oil, and yummy miso offers many health benefits, including probiotics.

  • 1 heaping Tbsp tahini
  • 1 heaping Tbsp white miso
  • Water

Mix the tahini and miso together with about 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl with a fork. Continue to blend until smooth. Add more water until the desired consistency is achieved. I personally like it thick, but pourable.

Image Credit: The Veg Space on flickr.com

A Magic Trick: Cooking More + Having More Free Time

Cooking healthy, whole foods regularly is now a way of life for me. I love cooking and am always experimenting with new things. As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s the life of a chef!

I’m fortunate to have a flexible schedule, so I can decide in the afternoon that I want to make some particular meal for dinner, go out to the store in the afternoon and cook it up in time for dinner. But I do realize that is not the case for most people with full time jobs, young kids, and other time intensive responsibilities.

Over the years, cleansers (as well as friends, family, acquaintances… pretty much anyone that knows I’m a chef) have asked me to offer personal chef services so they can easily eat healthy, high quality, home cooked meals more regularly. Since we are always looking for ways to make the Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse easier for our participants, I decided to be brave and start offering prepared meals this year!

The response has been huge and I’m really enjoying making meals for our cleansers and hearing how much they loved it! Getting that kind of feedback nourishes my soul.

As I’m now cooking for many families, it’s been necessary to plan ahead and get more scheduled in my meal preparations, which admittedly doesn’t come naturally to my free spirit. However, my kitchen has turned into a bit of a store! I have all kinds of beautiful meals ready to go in mason jars. Since I always have some extra on hand, it’s like I’m taking care of myself as well. When I’m out and about, I look forward to coming home to my own house and having a selection of delicious, healthy, home cooked meals to choose from.

This past Monday I came home from the morning practice and had kitchari for breakfast, lunch was Mulligatawny Soup, and I finished the day with kale and white bean soup. Totally delicious, cleansing, and satisfying.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before – there is something very special about having a meal lovingly prepared for you. Seeing all the beautiful jars of healthy food in my refrigerator felt like a gift from someone else.  Although I am cooking more, it feels like I’m cooking less because of the free time my new schedule has created. I’ve been taking my dog for more walks, doing more yoga, reading, and contemplating getting a massage. Despite the fact that I’m doing more work, the advance planning makes it feel like so much less. I also feel less stressed.

This is my easiest cleanse ever, and it could be yours too!

So my recommendation to you, if you want to eat healthy and have more free time, either take a few minutes to plan/prep your meals ahead in batches, or let me do your cooking for you.

Either way, it’s a win!

To learn more about Chef Charlotte’s meal services, go to her website.

The BEST Salad You’ll Ever Make

Fall Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

This salad has been described as “the best salad I ever had”! It might seem like a bit of prep for just a salad, but it’s quicker than it seems, so don’t be intimidated. It’s also something you can confidently make for guests. They are guaranteed to love it (or your money back)! This recipe makes 2 larger salads or 4 side salads.

  • 4 medium size beets (ideally 2 golden and 2 red)
  • 2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bulb of fennel and a few sprigs of fronds (the feathery ends)
  • ½ handful of micro greens
  • 1 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • 1 small orange
  • juice of ½ lime

Preheat oven to 400.  Scrub beets and trim the ends.  Place in a deep baking dish filled with ½ inch of water. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Thinly slice fennel bulb.  Massage fennel with 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 Tbsp of oil.  Spread on small baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.

Peel and slice orange into bite sized pieces.

Allow beets to cool slightly and remove skin. Cut into bite sized pieces and place into a small bowl with 1 tsp of sea salt. Add orange pieces and lime juice to the beets. Top with roasted fennel, micro greens, basil and fennel fronds.

To see Charlotte making this salad in her island kitchen, click the picture below!

Got Tomatoes?

If you or one of your friends are lucky enough to have a vegetable garden, you are most likely inundated with lots of sweet, juicy tomatoes. There is so much you can do with them, but here is the simplest, freshest tomato salad I learned to make from my Italian friend. She never measures anything, and just adjusts amounts based on the number of tomatoes she’s cutting up. If recipes without exact amounts make you nervous, trust me, you cannot mess this one up. It’s always delicious no matter what!

A bunch of garden fresh tomatoes
1 onion
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
Dried oregano
A few leaves of fresh basil
Optional: cucumber and/or avocado, cubed

Cut the tomatoes into wedges or bite sized pieces. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl. Thinly slice about 1/4 of the onion, and toss on top of the tomatoes. Add the crushed garlic, perhaps starting with 1 clove. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Slice the basil leaves and throw them in too. Add any optional cucumber. Stir everything up and taste. Add more seasoning, garlic, or onions to taste, and stir again. If you’re using avocado, fold them gently in now. Enjoy!

Be sure to slurp up the juice at the bottom of your bowl – it just might be the best part.

Multinational Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sucanat, honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar*
  • 3 medium cucumbers, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and diced
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts (or almonds or walnuts)
  • ⅓ cup dried large-flake coconut, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • scant ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro and mint, chopped

Instructions

In a small pan, warm the oil and toast mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds become fragrant, add sucanat (or other sweetener of choice). *If you are using a granulated sugar, add a tablespoon of water so the sugar doesn’t harden. Stir frequently over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Cut the cucumbers into half moons. Add pepper, nuts, coconut, lemon juice, salt, herbs, and the oil and seed mixture. Stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Enjoy!

 

Super Food Tabouli

I keep running out of hemp seeds, and the other day wished for a way to buy hemp seeds in bulk. That wish manifested in ONE day – faster than anything else I’ve ever wished for! Doing a grocery store tour at Wegman’s, I saw on a low shelf a rather large 5 lb bag of hemp seeds, and felt as if I just won the jack pot! So now I don’t have to ration them or worry about running out ever again. I can get my protein, omega 3’s, minerals, fiber, etc so easily and with so many different meals, including smoothies. So today, I decided to use my hemp seeds for a super food tabouli. I made this like you’d make any other salad, not measuring anything really, just a handful of this, a sprinkle of that, and it came out perfect. Try it and enjoy!

Remember, everything is approximate.

  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, large stems removed, and roughly chopped
  • a few scallions, sliced
  • a handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • a quarter of an organic, English cucumber, diced
  • about a half cup hemp seeds
  • juice from a half of a lemon
  • a generous drizzle of cold pressed olive oil
  • a couple pinches sea salt
  • a sprinkle of pepper
  • a garlic clove, crushed
  • a sprinkle of oregano
  • a sprinkle of cumin
  • half of an avocado, cubed

Add all ingredients except avocado to bowl, and mix. Add more seasoning, to taste. Fold in the avocado. Enjoy!

 

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Lentil Salad

This fiber, protein, and nutrient rich salad is so easy to prepare, and totally addictive!

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅛ cup raw apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s, found in health food section)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
1 head romaine lettuce

Instructions

Mix the lentils, onion, tomato, cucumber in a medium bowl. Pour the oil and vinegar over the salad and mix well. Season with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Toss again. Let marinate in refrigerator for a few hours. Chop the romaine, and arrange on a plate. Top with the marinated lentil mixture.

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Kale Rejuvenation Slaw

This is Chef Charlotte’s award winning salad, that everyone who’s ever tried it loves! You will enjoy an amazing energy boost, glowing skin, and satisfaction.

Ingredients

1 large bunch kale
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup fresh parsley
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ cauliflower head, broken up into very small florets;
1 red beet, shredded
1 yellow beet, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 apple, shredded
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup sunflower seeds

Instructions

Remove stems from the kale. Cut kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. Blend the lemon juice, parsley, oil, and sea salt together until smooth. Pour over the kale and massage it into the leaves until the kale is bright green and tender. Add cauliflower, beets, carrot, apple, and onion to kale and toss. Fold in avocado, and gently toss. Sprinkle with seeds and raisins.

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