Food is Fuel – Detox Salad
● By Alesha Damerville
Image from Visual Hunt
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Food is fuel. We’ve all heard this statement repeatedly throughout our lives, yet it seems harder for some of us to grasp than others. The reasons vary: it’s easy to eat unhealthily when you don’t meal prep, some of the best tasting foods are awful for us, many aren’t ready to commit to a dramatic change in their eating habits, while others just don’t care.
Changing my eating habits is something of a struggle to me, simply because many of things I love to eat are things that aren’t very good for me. Luckily for me, I moved from a place that has a fast food “restaurant” on every corner to the eighth healthiest community in the nation. That doesn’t mean bad options aren’t available; it just means there are fewer of them.
As my dad likes to say, I can’t “half-ass” this if I’m going to change my overall health and wellness, and diet is a huge part of the journey. However, I’m realistic, and I’m never giving up bacon, tacos or ice cream, so Saturdays are for eating. It’s not a cheat day, it’s a free day. Cheating implies I’ve done something wrong, but I’m earning my free day by hitting the gym five days a week and creating healthy meal plans throughout the week, and you can too.
Our local hospital, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, offers “Real Food” presentations. During these discussions, recipes and tastings are shared along with the reasoning behind their selections. Past demos have supported heart health and explained the benefits behind antioxidants. I am a fan of these educational opportunities and attend them whenever possible. I’ve received permission to share my favorite recipes through the blog.
It seems only fitting to begin with a Detox Salad. Real Health instructors describe this salad as “a nutrition powerhouse, with lots of antioxidants and fiber to help detox and cleanse the body.”
I hope you like it as much as I do. Eating healthy doesn’t mean your food has to be bland.
Makes 6-8 servings
1 large cauliflower
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, diced
1 ½ cups fresh parsley, chopped
1 ¼ cups celery, minced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2-4 green onions, chopped
1 ½ cups raisins or currants
¾ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rice the cauliflower (or buy it in the frozen section): In a food processor, add roughly chopped cauliflower and pulse until it has a rice-like consistency. (Optional: If you don’t like raw cauliflower, steam or cook in shallow pan with a little water for 5-10 minutes and let cool.)
2. Transfer cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add all the other produce ingredients and toss until well combined.
3. Pour the dressing over and toss again until thoroughly mixed.
4. Serve immediately, or let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.