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A detoxifying salad…

 

You know me… I am a salad snob, and proud of it. Not only am I snobby about how my salads taste, but I am also snobby about what my salad does for my body. If I am going to create a salad… I might as well put my masters degree in Nutrition to some use and make that salad pack a nutritional punch. Game on.

In the spirit of the detox discussion that I started Friday, I would like to share with you my detox salad recipe. Please understand that this is NOT a salad that you must incorporate into an organized detox regime. NO! In fact I don’t really do organized detox regimes… instead I just incorporate detoxifying foods as much as possible into my daily meals. That way your liver is constantly receiving the nutrients and co factors that it needs to effectively turn the toxins that you encounter into waste products. This makes your liver happy, and gives it more tools to do it’s job. Additionally, if you make this salad with organic vegetables, the liver will have less of a work load. Why? Because when you ingest pesticides, your liver identifies them as toxins (correctly) and needs to put them through the detoxification steps in order to turn them into waste.

I have designed this salad to contain many detoxifying vegetables, specifically beets, citrus, and bitter greens (arugula). I also have designed this to contain mostly ingredients that you can buy at the farmers market right now. That way you can have a LOCAL salad which is great for our local economy 🙂 Not to mention healthier since these vegetables have not traveled very far. They are not jet lagged, dehydrated, or malnourished. This recipe is gluten free. At the end of the instructions I have provided a link to a wonderful dressing recipe.

6 cups of arugula washed, towel dried, and chopped into bit size pieces

1 red onion caramelized

1/2 bunch of asparagus roasted

1 orange peeled and diced

2 cooked beets diced

handful of sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

 

The salad dressing recipe is linked here salad dressing recipe

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. To roast the asparagus just wash them off and dry them with a kitchen towel. Chop off the woody white ends. Then chop them into bite size pieces. Toss them in a bowl, or gallon size zip lock bag with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, some salt and some pepper. Put them on a greased cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Roast them until desired tenderness… about 25 minutes. Let them cool and then add them to your salad bowl.

Use the butter to caramelize your onions. Those directions are posted below. Don’t have time? No problem, just cut the red onions into thin slivers and maybe cut the quantity in half. Raw onions are very strong so less of the raw onions will be good.

Combine in a large salad bowl arugula,  asparagus, onions, oranges, beets, and sunflower seeds. Add a little salt and pepper. If you choose to make the salad dressing add about a half a cup of the salad dressing. If you choose not to add about 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

Toss the salad and serve 🙂 If you need help with preparing the beets or the onions, help is posted below 🙂

 

Are you unsure how to cook beets? Here is one method…

Wash the beets and cut the greens off. TIP: Leave the base of the beat stems intact with the beet. Why? Because that way the skin remains intact throughout the boiling process and fewer nutrients are leached out into the water.
Place the beets into a large saucepan with enough water to cover them. Put the burner on the high setting and let them coming to a rolling boil.
Once the beets have reached a rolling boil turn the heat down to the low setting and let them simmer for approximately one hour. When you can pierce the beets with a fork fairly easily they are done. Larger beets will take longer to cook and vice versa. Start testing them with a fork at 45 minutes.

Once they have passed your fork test pour them carefully into a colander in the sink and run some cold water over them to cool them down. Wait a few minutes as they cool. Then after you’ve waited, pick one up and put it under more cold running water. Carefully push with your fingers to remove the skin. WARNING: The beet may still be hot under the skin! The skin should slide off very easily if it is fully cooked. Repeat this process with remaining beets.

Your hands will be stained from handling them but I promise it will be worth it and the pink will wash off within a 2 or 3 hand washes.

Place beets on a cutting board, halve them and slice them.

 Are you unsure how to caramelize onions? Here are those instructions…
Just heat up a skillet/ fry pan (cast iron tastes best) to about medium and add a tablespoon or two of either butter or coconut oil. Add the onions and flavor them with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the onions often to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Add extra butter/ oil if needed. Continue to cook the onions until you get a nice brown color to them. I prefer mine to be even a little burnt and crispy. Once the are browned to your liking transfer them to a plate to cool. When they are cool enough that they will not wilt your salad greens go ahead and add them as a topping to your salad.