Salad

Reminder: This blog for people who are eating, or who want to eat, a whole food, plant based diet, as described by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn in the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” and his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. As well as being vegan, we limit salt, and don’t eat any oil or refined sugar or flour, eliminating most processed foods.   The food is from these categories: all vegetables except avocado, all legumes, all whole grains and products made from 100% whole grains (no added fats), and all fruits.

My standard salad ingredients are:

  • baby kale, baby spinach, and baby arugula
  • thinly sliced red/purple onion
  • thinly sliced English cucumber
  • tomato
  • sometimes, kalamata olives

For a more nutrient-rich meal, I have lately taken to adding:

  • a can of beans, drained but not rinsed (helps make a no-oil dressing automatically)
  • corn cut from the cob after microwaving 2 minutes and cooling a bit (I like raw corn, but my eating partner likes it cooked a little

This makes a good lunch salad.

I use baby spinach and kale greens because their nutrition is the same as big greens, and if they start to get old toward the end of the week, I can cook them along with heating up the batched greens for supper, just put them in the same pot with the batched greens, and then they are not wasted.

I store the baby greens in Debbie Meyer greenbags, as discussed in a previous post,  Keeping it Fresh.  With the boxes (actually made to keep bread fresher), I add two folded greenbags, one underneath and one on top of the baby greens within the box. The baby greens did not seem to keep as well in the box as they did in the bags, but I liked the neatness of stacking the green boxes in the refrigerator. That’s why I compromised, putting collapsed greenbags under and over the greens before closing the box. If I have room, I can store the baby greens loose in greenbags. Either way works.

I always chop, actually cut, the baby greens into smaller pieces, making a pile of baby greens on the cutting board, and running the knife across the pile at two-inch intervals once north to south, and once east to west.  That’s good enough to get almost all the leaves bite size.

For dressing, I had to give up my EVOO and apple cider vinegar and KonRiko Greek Seasoning (too much salt). That still makes me sad, but “first world problem”. My daughter Audrey always eats her salad without dressing; she says dressing covers up the flavor of the vegetables. So I’m switching to that attitude. I try eating it plain first, but can use fresh lemon juice and a little salt if I’m not enjoying it.  I don’t like sweet salad dressing, but there are Forks Over Knives dressings available online.

We have a salad every two or three days.  Whatever makes you happy!

For people used to dieting, we may tend to think of salad as healthier than beans and rice and potatoes.  We have to remember that we need our calories, now that they are from nutrient dense, but lower calorie foods.  Eat up!

I am a 75 year old retired M.D. radiologist, always interested in staying healthy by eating natural foods and avoiding pharmaceuticals, four years ago converted to the Whole Food Plant Based diet and lifestyle by watching Forks Over Knives and Fed Up. This blog follows my path in sticking with this rather extreme program and keeping it simple, hopefully useful to others who want to live long and prosper without open heart surgery and chemotherapy.

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