Vegan Flower Salad

For the past two weeks I was enclosed in a magical nature place called Te Moata Retreat Centre, where every day I lived and breathed yoga, and ate healthy wholesome delicious vegetarian or vegan meals.

The following vegan salad recipe is inspired by the talented creative chefs at Te Moata who made us beautiful salads daily. It is from them that I learned flowers can be put into salad and eaten. I never knew that flowers had so many variety of tastes, from spicy to sweet!

A few days ago, when I saw edible flowers being sold at a farmer’s market near my friend’s home in Auckland, I let my creative culinary juices run and created my version of a vegan flower side salad, inspired by the kitchen crew at Te Moata!

My friends who ate this salad loved it a lot and it actually took us longer to take photos of it than to eat it! They said it was too gorgeous to eat! ūüôā

I hope you’ll enjoy this simple salad recipe and will be inspired to include edible flowers into your own recipes from now on!

 

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Serves: 4 people

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 bag of kale

1 box of cherry tomatoes

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

1 apple, sliced

1 box of edible flowers

Optional: your favourite nuts and seeds as toppings, and salad dressing

*My favourite homemade salad dressing is a mixture of olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

 

Instructions:

  1. Wash, drain and dry kale.
  2. Toss all ingredients together in a salad bowl.
  3. Decorate salad with edible flowers as garnish.
  4. Bon appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summertime Appetizer Salad

Spring Mix Salad

Here’s a delightful appetizer salad that’s great for any summertime occasion. ¬†I brought it to a potluck party over the weekend and everyone loved it! ūüôā

 

Serves: 8-10 people

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: about 1 minute

 

Ingredients:

1 package/box organic spring mix

2 cups blueberries

2 cups raspberries

1 large ripe papaya

2/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar

 

Special Note: You can also simply drizzle the salad with olive oil, instead of tossing it in raw apple cider vinegar.

 

Instructions:

  1. Wash, drain and dry spring mix, blueberries and raspberries.
  2. Chop papayas into cubes.
  3. Toss spring mix, blueberries, raspberries and papaya in a salad bowl with the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Enjoy!

A Summer-Inspired Salad!

Simple and healthy ingredients: baby spinach, strawberries, walnuts, black sesame seeds and apple cider vinegar.

Simple and healthy ingredients: baby spinach, strawberries, walnuts, black sesame seeds and apple cider vinegar.

Since strawberries are in abundance during this summer season, and it was Canada Day yesterday, I really wanted to make a healthy and light salad to go with the red patriotic theme (minus white!) for my guests. ¬†It was so simple to make and quick, and it was a hit at the party! ūüôā

Here’s the recipe:

VIOLET’S STRAWBERRY, WALNUT & BABY SPINACH SALAD

Serves: 8-10 people

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: about 1 minute

Ingredients:

1 package/bag organic baby spinach

1 cup sliced organic strawberries

1 cup chopped walnuts (you can also get raw walnuts in a package that are already in pieces)

4 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Wash, drain and dry baby spinach and strawberries.
  2. Slice strawberries into quarters.
  3. Chop walnuts if you need to.
  4. Toss baby spinach, strawberries and walnuts in a salad bowl with the apple cider vinegar.
  5. Sprinkle black sesame seeds into the salad as garnish.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Special healthy and important facts I learned from the following food:

Strawberries- One serving of strawberries provides 51.5 mg of Vitamin C, about half of our daily requirements.  They are also good for our eyes and prevent wrinkles!

Walnuts- They are high in protein, vitamin E (helps protect dry skin from environment), fibre, some B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and potassium.  Also, they contain melatonin, a hormone that helps ensure good sleep (good sleep = radiant, supple skin) and increases antioxidant activity.

Baby Spinach- It is low in calories and high in water content. ¬†According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program, it is among the top 12 foods where pesticide residues are found, which is detrimental to our health. ¬†Therefore, it’s best to buy and eat only organically grown baby spinach!

Apple Cider Vinegar (raw)-¬†It helps promote the growth of probiotics (good bacteria in our intestines that aid in digestion) and helps balance the yeasts and bacteria in our bodies that feed off sugar. ¬†According to Kimberly Snyder, eating it may help alleviate sugar cravings. ¬†You have to buy a brand labelled “raw” and “unfiltered” to reap the many health benefits of it.

Black Sesame Seeds-They benefit us in increased energy and longevity!

 

If you like to learn more about any of the food, please check out where I got the information:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/healthy-eating/10-health-benefits-of-strawberries

The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods that Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You by Kimberly Snyder

http://www.livestrong.com/article/258415-what-is-the-nutritional-value-of-baby-spinach/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html

http://krisheeter.hubpages.com/hub/Black-Sesame-Seeds-a-fountain-of-youth

 

Happy Summer!! ūüėÄ

Cheers, Violet

A Simple & Satisfying Superfoods Salad!

My Avocado, Blueberry and Kale Salad, minus the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.  In my haste to eat it, I forgot to add them for the photo!

My Avocado, Blueberry and Kale Salad, minus the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. In my haste to eat it, I forgot to add them for the photo!

Lately, I’ve been absorbed in reading about the kinds of healthy food we should eat to maintain good health and nutrition. ¬†I learned about the “superfoods”. ¬†It is a term coined for food that have many health and healing benefits and nutrients for the body. ¬†I have been slowly adding some of them into my daily diet. ¬†Of course, there are so many of them, that one can get overwhelmed. ¬†Therefore, it’s one day at a time for me!

Anyways, the other night I was flipping through my newly purchased book written by Kimberly Snyder called The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods that Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You, and was excited to try her Blueberry & Avocado Salad recipe, since I love both of these superfoods, and knew I had them in stock.  Today seemed like the perfect day to try it out as I felt like having something light and refreshing for lunch.

In my journey of healthy eating so far, I learned that making your own food is so much better because you control what goes into your mouth, and ultimately your body!

Without further ado, please enjoy my version of the salad, inspired by Kimberly Snyder, using some other superfoods.  I guarantee that you will find this salad simple to taste and make, but very satisfying!

VIOLET’S AVOCADO, BLUEBERRY & KALE SALAD

Makes: 1 serving

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: about 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup kale leaves

1 cup blueberries

1/2 or 1 peeled and chopped into cubes/sliced avocado (the amount depends on how filling you want your salad)

1-2 wedges of lemon

1 tablespoon of chia seeds or pumpkin seeds (or both if you prefer, both are a source of protein; if you prefer to eat your salad without them, you can also leave them out)

Instructions:

  1. Wash, drain and dry blueberries and kale.
  2. Toss kale and blueberries together in a salad bowl with freshly squeezed lemon juice from the wedge of lemon.
  3. Place chopped/sliced avocado on top of the salad, and if you prefer, you can also squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on them.
  4. If you have chia seeds and/or pumpkin seeds, sprinkle them into the salad as well.
  5. Mix the salad and enjoy!

Special Information on Each Superfood & Its Benefits:

Avocado- It is filled with fiber and healthy fats, lowers cholesterol,  and keeps skin smooth and youthful.  It helps protect the body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases.

Blueberries- They are high in water and fiber, which help to cut down sugar cravings.  They make eyes (the antioxidant anthocyanin strengthens eyes and vision) and skin beautiful, plus promote brain function, lower stress level, and boost energy.  They also help to prevent the body from diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure.

Chia Seeds- They are high in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fats, protein, calcium, potassium and iron.  They are a good workout food, as they supply the body with strengthening and toning nutrients.  They also help with digestion.  The most amazing thing about this superfood is that they swell more than 5 times their weight in liquid so it means when you add 1-2 tablespoons of them to meals, you will feel fuller faster, and have a long burning source of energy.

Kale- ¬†It is rich in iron, copper, minerals, vitamins A, C, E and K, magnesium, ¬†calcium, and omega-3 fats, and antioxidants. ¬†It is high in fiber so it helps to tone up the body, and make it strong and resilient. ¬†Also, it is an anti-cancer and anti-aging food! ¬†One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders. ¬†Other interesting facts about this superfood is that per calorie, it has more iron than beef, and more calcium than milk! ¬†No wonder it is called “the new beef” and “the queen of greens”!!

Lemon- It is rich in vitamin C, balances our pH level, detoxifies the liver, helps to eliminate waste in our body and improves our digestion.

Pumpkin Seeds- They are¬†rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, sulfur, vitamins A, B, C, E, K, fatty acids, and protein, and contribute to the growth of healthy and shiny hair. ¬†The high zinc content helps in avoiding acne and other skin imbalances.¬† They help stabilize blood sugar which means weight loss. ¬†Like the lemon, they balance the body’s pH level. ¬†A great fact to know, if you’re looking into moving away from getting protein from meat, is that a 1/4 cup serving of pumpkin seeds provides approximately 16 percent of your daily value of protein.

Sources I took information from, and if you would like to read more about each superfood:

The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods that Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You by Kimberly Snyder

http://www.naturalnews.com/038324_food_superfood_nutritional_density.html

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2012/03/31/12-superfoods-for-a-healthier-lifestyle/

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2011/08/23/5-superfoods-that-improve-your-memory/

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2011/06/07/25-snacks-that-will-give-you-energy-througout-the-day/

http://www.drfranklipman.com/the-super-7-foods-with-benefits/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8354/5-amazing-benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/16-health-benefits-of-lemons.html

http://getmotivatedpaige.blogspot.ca/2013/01/10-reasons-lemon-juice-is-superfood.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/253658-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-pumpkin-seeds/

What are your favourite superfoods, and how do you eat them?

I would love to hear how you add them into your diet, and learn some new recipes for my healthy eating lifestyle!

Thanks & Love, Violet