To me green is life. It’s all around us. The color that feels good under our feet, brings us joy when we look at it, that animals feast on, and contain some of the most powerful nutrients on Earth. I make a point of including something green every day of my life especially in the kitchen. Whether in Beverages Iced Minty Matcha Green Tea Latte or Pasta Cucumber Pasta with Creamy Kale Sauce and Parmesan “Cheese” or in this beautiful bowl of plant goodness, green dominates my menu.
This salad is delicious, light and refreshing, perfect for detox programs but satisfying enough to keep you energized and vibrant throughout the day. The ingredients are accessible and simple, and as nourishing and virtuous as food should be.
One particularly virtuous food I included in this recipe is dandelion greens which have their own unique and impressive story to tell. These once overlooked beauties offer so much and deserve the many accolades they receive. Somewhat bitter in taste, dandelion greens are one of the most potent in the leaf world. They also blend well with other earthy flavors, making this dressing a powerhouse of both flavor and nutrients.
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 out of existence. 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 dinner.
Dandelions greens have come a long way since those days when they were viewed as nothing more than pesky yard invaders. And even though they haven’t taken center stage like the trendy kale yet, ongoing research is turning dandelion more and more into leafy superstars. Now referred to as a medicinal plant (as it once was) the health benefits read like a who’s who of the plant world.
Dandelion greens belong to one of the largest plant families called sunflower which includes the daisy…..yes, that beautiful little flower that looks so pretty and uplifting. 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 dig out the root to get rid of them. I suggest eating them instead.
Dandelion greens are safe to eat since even in the wild 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 and include dandelions into your diet:
- Dandelion greens grow wild all over the world making them both accessible and a perfect choice for those looking for non-hybrid foods.
- Dandelion greens contain a mere 25 calories per cup.
- 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, protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
I hope you enjoy this delicious, clean, and highly nourishing salad. A bevy of green Earthy goodness from nature.
This recipes is raw/gluten/nut-free and serves 2 persons.
Glowing Green Salad w/ Peppery Dandelion Dressing
Glowing Green Salad:
- 1 head of lettuce of choice, chopped (about 6 cups)
- several celery stalks (tender inside stalks with leaves is best)
- several Roma or other variety of tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup chopped or sliced 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)
- Arrange salad vegetables in a large salad bowl.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to add the dressing.
- Yields about 7 cups.
Peppery Dandelion Dressing:
- 1/2 medium avocado, pit removed
- 1/2 lightly packed cup of chopped dandelion greens
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped lemongrass or 1 – 2drops 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.
- Pour Peppery Dandelion Dressing over Glowing Green Salad.
- Garnish and enjoy.