by diana on June 27, 2010

in All the other good stuff

Summer Gardens and Fresh Salads

Finally summer has arrived. I look forward to it all year and when it comes, I tend to worry about how fast it goes. Silly I know, but I have always been like that. Do I take enough time to just sit in the now and truly enjoy a summer’s day? This I must work on daily. I hope you are also taking time to just sit, listen, look, smell and taste the wonders of summer.

Last year we grew veggies on our deck in pots and it was great. This year my boyfriend made 2 garden plots along with still growing some in pots on our deck.

1 Of Our Garden Plots

Growing up my mother always had a garden and so did my aunts, I was very blessed to always have these fresh vegetables and food for that matter. What a difference fresh vegetables make and how well they nourish our body. I don’t think I appreciated that enough when I was growing up. Having lived on my own for many, many years without having a garden I now truly appreciate having all these fresh veggies in my backyard and watching them grow.

I am now challenged with using these great veggies we are growing before they are gone.

Lettuce and spinach are easy to use and I do have 1-2 salads a day. We are growing swiss chard, kale, beets, carrots, onions so I work on incorporating those into my meals each day.

Many people do not think of salad as being a full meal. It can be if you be daring and add many great ingredients.

Try adding various greens into your salads.

  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Various varieties of lettuce
  • Parsley and cilantro (some of the healthiest greens)
  • Bok Choy

Cilantro improves digestion, fights infection, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, helps remove heavy metals. Parsley contains Vitamins K, C, A, folate, iron and antioxidants. They are both high in chlorophyll and are power greens.

Or some nutrient dense veggies such as

  • Shredded beets
  • Cabbage (high in calcium)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber & celery
  • Peas & Edamame
  • Sprouted lentils, chick peas and various sprouts
  • Nutritional Yeast (high in the B vitamins)

Cucumbers contain potassium, silica, Vitamins A, C, molybedenum, manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, chlorophyll and are great for cleaning the body.

Broccoli contains Vitamins C, K, A, B’s, folate, fiber, manganese, tryptophan, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, omega 3, iron, calcium & zinc.

Cabbage contains Vitamins K, C, A, B’s, folate, fiber, manganese, omega 3, calcium, potassium, tryptophan, protein and magnesium.

Adding these ingredients really bumps up the nutrition in your salad.

Below is a salad I made last night that was loaded with many ingredients I stated above. It was filling and satisfying and oh so good!

To this salad I also added some Wakame – a seaweed. I love adding a bit of seaweed to my salads. Besides a great source of iron, iodine and minerals I like the texture and flavour the Wakame adds.

Take advantage of Farmers’ Markets where you can get fantastic veggies for a great price and they are fresh, fresh, fresh!! Try things you have never tried before. Take the chance to ask the person who grew them how to best prepare them and use them.

To make a salad a meal add:

  • Hemp seeds (protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin E)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds & Pumpkin seeds (magnesium, zinc, protein, minerals)
  • Chopped nuts
  • Avocado

A great simple dressing is flax oil (olive oil or grape seed oil) and lemon juice. You can also add to this herbs (fresh or dry such as oregano, basil, cilantro, parsley), garlic, onions, ginger, honey, braggs or tamari and even apple cider vinegar. Mix to taste.

I have another tasty summer salad recipe for my next blog post. This is my first time posting with my new blog and I had some challenges. It is all a learning experience and I have a lot to learn.

One thing I need to learn is patience and that is what I have been working on for years. It requires a lot of patience to learn something new and especially the older we get. This is just the beginning for me and I have a lot of plans for this blog so please stay with me.



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