How I love my greens and I hope you do too! Can anyone be too into “green” foods? I don’t think so. Green is the color I always include in my meals even when it’s just fruit or dessert. You can always count on me to add a splash of green hue in or around every dish; it’s that important to me. Besides smoothies, I get most of my greens in salads like my Gratitude Salad, and this beautiful bowl of plant goodness.
This bountiful salad is not only delicious and satisfying, it’s sure to get your healthy glow going just in time for the ultimate summer season. It’s light and refreshing yet really packs in the nutrients to keep you energized and vibrant throughout the day. It’s also great for helping you get into your skimpy summer attire. And I hope you are planning on wearing a lot of cool summer clothes this season! Keeping it easy and accessible is always my preference when the heat rolls in and this salad fits my green and lean bill perfectly. It never seems to get old for me taste-wise either. I could literally eat it every day.
The salad recipe itself is very flexible. You can include most any fresh lettuce and vegetable. For the dressing, I used some wild dandelion greens which have their own unique and impressive story to tell. These once overlooked beauties offer so much and deserve the accolades they’ve been getting lately. Somewhat bitter in taste, dandelion greens are one of the most nutritious in the leaf world. They blend well with other flavors and help make this dressing extra special. Carry on dandelion, you are fueling a new generation of health seekers who adore you.
When I was growing up I had a neighbor who did his own landscaping. He was very diligent about it, working in his yard almost daily. He had an obsession with weeds in particular: just hated them; especially dandelions. Every day I could see him out there on his hands and knees chopping or digging the dandelions out of his otherwise perfect lawn. To this man, they were common weeds to be annihilated to the very core. To make sure he removed the entire plant he would even whip out his pocketknife and literally dig them out. Those little guys were really resilient. Knowing what I know now about dandelions, I would have been right behind him scooping them up for my lunch and dinner menu.
Dandelion greens have some a long way since those days when they were viewed as nothing more than pesky weeds. And even though they haven’t taken center stage like the trendy kale yet, ongoing research is turning dandelion greens more and more into nutritional superstars. Now referred to as medicinal plants (as they once were), the health benefits read like a who’s who of the plant world. Some circles refer to them as “super foods”.
In case you are wondering just what dandelions are, they belong to one of the largest plant families called sunflower which includes the daisy…..yes, that beautiful little flower that looks so great in pictures. Interestingly, the flower, leaves, and root of the dandelion are all edible, although you mostly see just the greens in grocery stores. Dandelions grow wild and are determined little guys. In fact, you pretty much have to nuke them to get rid of them. I suggest eating them instead. And if you are worried about confusing them with poisonous plants, they have no poisonous look-alikes. Dandelions truly are a pillar of virtue and vitality. But just in case you’re still not convinced, here are a few additional reasons to go out and pick (or include) dandelions in your diet.
Dandelion greens are a natural diuretic so don’t indulge just before bedtime.
Dandelion greens are one of the best detoxifying and cleansing agents. They help cleanse the liver, diminish bloating, and can even banish PMS.
Dandelion greens are high in: vitamins such as A, C, and K, antioxidants, minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, omegas 3 and 6, pprotein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
I hope you enjoy this delicious, clean, and satisfying salad. It’s a great way to ring in the summer season while getting your glow.
This recipe is raw, gluten/dairy/nut-free, and serves 2 – 4 persons.
Glowing Green Salad w/ Peppery Dandelion Dressing
Glowing Green Salad:
- 1 head of lettuce of choice (about 6 cups)
- several celery stalks (particularly the soft inside ones)
- several sliced tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup assorted berries of choice (optional)
- small handful of chopped fresh herb of choice
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- sliced avocado (optional)
- Add vegetables to a large salad bowl.
- Gently toss.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to add the dressing.
- Yields 6 – 7 cups.
Peppery Dandelion Dressing:
- 1/2 medium avocado, pitted
- 1/2 lightly packed cup of chopped dandelion greens
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped lemongrass or 1 – 2 drops lemongrass essential oil (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 – 4 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Yields about 2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 3 days.
- Toss Glowing Green Salad with Peppery Dandelion Dressing or serve separately.
- Garnish and enjoy.