I hope that my two previous posts helped you realize how important it is to eat consciously and mindfully. But if you are not a mindful eater, it takes some determination and practice to cultivate the habit of focusing on your food.
To help you build such habit, I provided you with a checklist that you may use with every meal. And in this post I am offering you a recipe for a raw salad which is perfect for practicing mindful eating because it requires a good deal of chewing.
The three main components in the salad are fennel, celery and spinach – all in their raw and most nutritious form. But before I give you the recipe, let me share some thoughts on salads.
I grew up with a cuisine that only recognized 2 types of salads – a spring salad combining lettuce, cucumber, green onion and radishes and a summer-autumn salad combining tomatoes, peppers (either raw or roasted), onion and cheese. During the winter we only had pickles and sauerkraut. Salads were served as a starter and always followed by a main dish.
When I was in my late teens, the Latin soap-operas became popular and I heard about people who only have a salad for lunch or dinner. Pardon? Initially, I couldn’t grasp the idea. It sounded to me like half a meal. At about that time our national cuisine started to change, new-style restaurants opened and their menu offered a new variety of salads. The issue with these salads was that most of them combined a scarce amount of veggies with ham, cheeses and a mayo-dressing. Only that at that time I did not recognize this as an issue.
It was years later when I changed my attitude to food and therefore my food, that I discovered the rich world of salads – boosting, vitalizing, alkalizing, nourishing and satisfying salads. I found myself that a salad can make up a full meal but it needs to combine and balance a few elements:
- leafy greens foundation – for freshness and enzymes e.g. spinach, arugula, kale
- raw veggies – for satisfaction and fiber – carrots, beet, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, fennel, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, the list goes on
- raw or slightly roasted nuts and/or seeds – for healthy fats and crunchiness – walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- a limited amount of fresh or dry fruits or spices – for more exotic taste and colour – dry currents, raisins, pineapple, grapefruit, avocado, basil leaves, mint
- a good dressing – that massages and blends the other components, making them more digestible
- a protein addition (optional) - if you need to boost the caloric value of the salad by adding some quinoa, millet, lean meat, tuna fish or a boiled egg
Following these basis, the combinations are endless. You only need to look what you have in the fridge and pantry and to make up your own salad. That is what I usually do. But some combinations become so fantastic that I want to make them again and again. The best way to be sure that I won’t forget the recipe is to make a picture and upload it here on the blog. That’s what happened to this great raw salad. Make sure that you try it and don’t forget to chew it carefully and to practice mindful eating. See you next time!
Shaved Fennel and Celery Raw Salad
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
- 2 tbs raw hazelnuts, crashed
For the dressing:
- 2 tbs tahini
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Prepare the dressing by mixing together all ingredients.
Shave the fennel with a mandolin and chop the celery. Mix them with the dressing and massage them well. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Cover the plates with baby spinach and top with the fennel-celery mixture. Sprinkle the hazelnuts on top and add some pink pepper or red currents for colour. If you want to boost the fragrance of the hazelnuts and make them more crunchy – toast them for 2-3 minutes on a non-sticking pan.