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This super spring salad, adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s recipe, is filled with nutrient-dense ingredients and is bursting with flavor! The sweet, nutty dressing is a keeper – it’s a versatile sauce for salads, dipping crudités, or even drizzling on top of roasted vegetables. The combination of fresh crunchy spring vegetables, sweet currants, seeds and herbs creates a perfect salad with texture in every bite!
Why we love it?
Dark leafy greens: a combination of any types of greens will work in this salad, but it is suggested to use a mix of spring lettuce and darker greens. The benefits of dark leafy greens are endless – to name just a few, they provide Vitamins A, C, and K, folate, manganese, magnesium, calcium and flavonoids.
Dandelion greens: a common weed, but let’s stick to a friendlier term – dandelion greens are an edible wild green. These greens are one of the bitter vegetables that help stimulate bile secretion to support the gallbladder. Bile is produced in the liver and the gallbladder is a small organ that holds the bile. Bile is released in response to fats and proteins entering the small intestine and is needed to digest dietary fats. Dandelion greens are also rich in phytonutrients that boost detoxification pathways. These greens can have an overpowering bitter flavor; they can be blanched for a minute or two before adding to the salad.
Asparagus: this spring vegetable also offers great gallbladder support with high amounts of fiber and enzymes that help prevent stone formation. Asparagus is high in folate, which is an important nutrient to support detoxification in the body. Asparagus is also rich in prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed beneficial bacteria in the colon.
Sesame oil: this oil may be a great food to incorporate for women with osteoporosis and for anyone struggling with hair loss. Research on rats has concluded that sesame oil might be a food to consider for slowing risks of osteoporosis associated with estrogen deficiency after ovary removal. A study in 2015 published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed that supplementing with omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and antioxidants reduced hair loss and improved hair growth. Eating nuts and seeds (e.g. walnuts, flaxseeds) high in both these fatty acids is also recommended.
As a general rule, we want to avoid industrial seed oils (soybean, corn, cottonseed, safflower and rapeseed (canola)), because they are high in omega-6 fatty acids. A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids, combined with low omega-3 intake leads to an imbalance in pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. However, cold-pressed sesame oil is a seed oil with high levels of both omega-3 and omega-6. Just remember – we want to use polyunsaturated oils such as sesame oil for raw applications, not for cooking!
Super spring salad with sesame chive dressing Recipe
- 4 ounces (about 4 cups) spring salad mix
- 2 packed cups romaine lettuce
- 2 cups dandelion greens
- 1 cup fresh asparagus, steamed and sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 bunch red radishes, sliced
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Sesame Chive Dressing
- 1/3 cup unhulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- (reserve 1 tablespoon)
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw cashew or almond butter
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 pitted dates, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- Salad- toss all salad ingredients together.
- Dressing- lightly toasting sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat, shaking pan frequently. Set aside to cool.
- Blend all ingredients, except for 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and the chives, until smooth and creamy.
- Add the reserved sesame seeds and chives to the dressing.
- Pour over salad and toss to coat evenly.
Adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s recipe
Daina Rasutis is a current student of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. She plans to use her certification to spark a craving for health through movement, sustainable living and, of course, nourishing food. Follow Daina’s cooking creations and lifestyle tips at www.tabletocrave.com
Image by Daina Rasutis
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