By Cassie Johnston
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I’ve been thinking a lot about living foods recently. There are a lot of definitions out there of what it means for a food to be “living” but to me, it means that it’s a food that was once alive (or, maybe still alive in the case of the sprouts in this salad) and is as close to its living state as possible. That means things like raw, freshly-picked fruits and veggies, sprouted grains, seeds and legumes, and raw dairy products. It doesn’t mean that processing or cooking those things is bad for you, but I do notice that when I try to focus on keeping things as close to the way they come out of the ground as possible, I feel my best. I know a lot of folks go completely raw, but I’m a big believer in all things in moderation, and making sure I have a strong raw component in my diet is one of the ways I stay feeling my best.
And of course, there is the opposite of living foods, too. I’ve heard mention of dead foods. Foods that maybe once were living (say, sugar cane) and are beaten and processed and assaulted until they create a product that might be 100% natural but is also 100% dead. Again, I’m all about moderation, so I’m not about to cut cupcakes out of my life forever, but I think the concept of focusing on more living foods and less dead foods is a nice way to guide yourself through the tricky landscape of healthy eating.
I’d consider this salad to be a pretty good picture of a living food. Admittedly, I’m not a huge salad fan. I know some people who eat giant mixing bowls full of salad for lunch everyday and say it’s super yummy and incredible, but that just isn’t me. I’d always rather have a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a beer for lunch (yum). Usually, for me, salad is something I tack onto dinner when I realize we don’t have nearly enough veggies. And then, when we do sit down to eat it, I scarf through it first so I can get it out-of-the-way before starting on my real dinner.
This salad is definitely not a scarfing-because-you-have-to-get-in-your-veggies salad. It’s a sit-in-disbelief-because-you’re-actually-enjoying-a-salad-almost-as-much-as-a-bacon-cheeseburger kind of salad.
The original inspiration from this recipe comes from The Growing Season (an incredible little whole foods restaurant in Babyface’s hometown, which I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about). They have a standard house salad that includes sprouts and a really delicious tahini dressing that I just couldn’t get out of my head.
When I was checking out their menu later, I also saw they had a “Living Salad” on the menu. Really, their living salad and my living salad are similar in name only—my version is closer to their house salad—but I just loved the concept of calling a salad living. I mean, is there any question that a salad is stupendous for you when it’s got the word living in its name? No, probably not.
I mean, is there any question that a salad is stupendous for you when it’s got the word living in its name? No, probably not.
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I love salad and have been known to eat it straight out of the bag without dressing. I keep dressing simple, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, same with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I generally just pour both in and mix with my hands to make sure that it gets on very leaf and moisturise my hands at the same time! I love cheeseburgers but I could totally eat a salad every day for lunch!
Def. pinning this! I’ve been looking for a new salad to try. :d
I used to feel the exact same about salad. Now I enjoy it, but only if I add enough other flavors that make me feel like I’m not just eating rabbit food. I’m totally with you on the “everything in moderation” thing too – extremes can make you feel… extreme. I have sprouts growing on my counter right now, so I’ll have to give this one a try once they’re ready!
This post made me smile, especially the maple syrup section :) I’m lovin’ the warmer weather! It is suppose to be ABOVE 30 for the next 2 weeks in Minneapolis, I cannot wait for spring!
I don’t keep honey on the house could I sub agave? Same amount?
Yup! That’d work fine. :)
LOVE salad! We never ate it when I was growing up, and I can’t figure out why not. It just totally “makes” a dinner, in my mind. And when I’m stressed from work, or just too overtired to make a salad, I definitely feel less healthy, and less excited about my meals. I’m definitely going to try this!
Some of my favorite combos:
* Arugula, chopped dried apricot, thinly sliced red onions, and just a tiny sprinkle of feta. Basic lemon vinaigrette.
*Crunchy chopped salad with radish, romaine hearts, and apple.
*”Green” salad with arugula, mache, avocado, and crisp-steamed hericot verts. And your avocado vinaigrette, of course.
And I’m excited for summer to try and make meal-salads out of the veggie Nicoise salad from Cookie and Kate.
That dressing recipe looks great. I have some leftover tahini from my latest trip to the middle eastern restaurant. This will be a good way to use it.
I found this through your food prep article and was wondering if you add the avocado to the mason jars? Does it turn brown? Can’t wait to try it!
I don’t usually—they do turn brown. I just normally pack an avocado and then slice it up and add it right before eating.
I needed some inspiration for an upcoming recipe I’m planning to make tonight and this fits the bill perfectly! Thanks so much!
I am IN LOVE with this dressing!!! OMG!!! Thank you! I’ve been telling everyone about this!
Hi Cassie, my family and I fell in love with your honey mustard dressing, I will try the other for sure, the recipes sound healthy and yummy, thank you.
Delicious dressing – I used extra “seasoned” rice vinegar- which has sugar in it, I believe, and did not add any honey. So- my MD turned me on to (the ancient Practice of) Ayurvedic eating- and lo!- some of us are salad eaters, and some of us are not. It’s more complicated than that , yet fascinating. He wrote a book (plugging here, sorry!) The Paleovedic Diet.
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