EAT YOUR GREENS!
Spring is definitely in the air. The organic asparagus, a harbinger of spring, is at Whole Foods Market; ripe avocado graces the cover of Eating Well magazine; and my alfalfa sprout blend is growing in a jar on my counter top. What could be better for us as women than to enjoy a green salad that will rejuvenate us, giving us energy and eating pleasure? After all, spring is a time for eating lighter now that the heaviness of winter is almost gone, and spring salads are a great way to usher in the changing seasons of the weather and our bodies.
From the term sparrow grass.
A member of the lily family.
The larger the diameter, the better the quality.
Good source of folic acid, which women need.
Good sources of Vitamins B6, A, C, potassium, and thiamin.
No fat, no cholesterol, low in sodium, and good source of fiber.
Rich source of rutin, which is good for our capillaries
Considered a sexual stimulant (hmmmm!) by the Aztecs, who called it ahuacatl. Spaniards called it aguacate.
California – leading producer in the US; Hass is the most popular variety.
Actually a fruit with more potassium than a banana.
Sodium and cholesterol-free, with only 5 grams of mostly monosaturated (good) fat per serving; 1/2 avocado has 160 calories.
High in fiber and folate (important nutrient for women)
Good sources of Vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium
Third, ALFALFA (Sprouts):
Grass that means The Father of All Foods (from Arabic word Al-Fal-Fa).
Roots burrow deep into the ground to reach minerals in accessible to most other plants. (phosphorous, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, magnesium and other trace minerals)
Good source of vitamins A, E, K, B and D. High in protein.
Alfalfa is considered to be effective for several digestive disorders as well as the pain of arthritis. (Seeds can be brewed as a tea.)
* The word Aviva is a girl’s name in Hebrew derived from Aviv, the word for Spring. Viva also means live in French, as in Viva La France! So the title of the salad translates into LIVE SPRING SALAD.
10-12 organic asparagus spears
One container Organic Spring Mix, washed and spun dry
One organic red and/or yellow bell pepper, washed, seeded, and slivered
6-8 organic spring onions (scallions) washed, trimmed and chopped
One small package organic alfalfa or mixed sprouts
One organic, ripe avocado (toothpick stuck in the top comes out clean)
Juice of one small organic lemon or half of a large one
1 tsp. Tamari (soy sauce) or BraggÃ¢â¬
Dash of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste -optional
1. Wash asparagus spears. To remove woody stems, hold the stalk with the tip in one hand and grab the stem with the other hand. Gently snap the stalk and the woody stem will break off in the right spot. Steam until tender, but still bright green. (3-5 minutes, depending on thickness of stalks.) Remove from steamer, rinse with cold water and chill.
2. In the meantime, wash and spin dry salad greens and place them in a bowl. Add slivered peppers and chopped green onions.
3. Wash and cut avocado in half. Remove pit and scoop out flesh into a blender. Add juice of one lemon and about 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth. Add tamari and cayenne and blend again. If too thick to pour, add a little more water and blend again. (Yield: about one cup.)
4. Take chilled asparagus and cut each spear into thirds or fourths. (Toss with olive oil, if you wish.) Add to bowl of lettuce and veggies.
5. Finally, toss salad with about half the avocado dressing and top the salad with sprouts. (Garnish with radish rose, optional). Put rest of dressing on the table for those who wish more. Salad should be lightly coated.
VARIATIONS: Eggs are a symbol of spring, representing renewal, so feel free to add a chopped, hard-boiled egg. Or add some diced, flavored tofu. (More on tofu soon.)
This photo of a giraffe, my favorite animal, was taken at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Notice he is eating HIS greens!