One of the things I look for during summer is big platters of raw vegetables at parties, barbecues, and in supermarkets. They’re not super popular here in Italy (though I sometimes see them at aperitivo), and when I see pinzimonio (raw vegetable appetizer with a dipping sauce of oil, salt, and pepper, and sometimes vinegar) on occasion on a menu, I always try to order it. I love crunching through raw vegetables, and in the summer I especially want salads to be a staple for at least one meal a day.
I’m not sure if I’m ashamed or proud to admit that one of my favorite things to do when I visit the United States is hit up the Whole Foods salad bar. So many choices! So many ingredients! One little box. Since I’m on the go so much I rarely have time to set up a proper kitchen wherever I’m staying, so it’s a great healthy meal in a pinch. How my tiny salad ends up costing $8.00 is a mystery, but at least I’ve gotten smarter at putting them together. Much like the advice you get at an all-you-can-eat buffet, stay away from the “cheapies” like cucumbers and tomatoes which weigh a lot and don’t add as much nutritional value to your box as shredded chicken or tofu would.
So when I get to Whole Foods, I like picking several different salads which are light and fill me up, and add some protein on top. One of the salads I enjoyed is their Detox Salad, a mix of raw cauliflower and broccoli and a few other ingredients.
I wanted to spruce up my regular summer salad and it’s a great way to get in those veggies. The cauliflower and broccoli act more like “rice” and can be paired with almost anything. It’s been in constant rotation recently.
Just what I needed: a Detox Salad following a pork-and-vino-filled week with @WordPressVIP – recipe coming to Ms. Adventures soon!
— Sara Rosso (@rosso) June 27, 2012
Here’s my take on Detox salad, two ways – I mentioned it in my Tips for Grilling Indoors. It really serves as a base to doctor up as much as you like.
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Detox Raw Vegetable Salad Recipe
Recipe inspiration: Oh She Glows and Whole Foods
I don’t think this salad needs any added sugar, as I’ve seen some recipes call for. It’s super fresh and tart and if you think it needs a little sweetening, add some raisins so the pockets of sugar are few and far between and punctuate the bites that much more than coating the entire thing. Delicious even after it’s been in the fridge for a day or two.
I suggest taking a lot from the first category (especially broccoli and/or cauliflower as the base), and at least one from each of the other categories for your detox salad:
- Raw Vegetables: Chop: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts. Grate: Fennel, Carrots, Cucumber, Radishes
- Nuts: sunflower seed, sesame seed, chopped almonds, walnuts, peanuts
- Legumes/protein: lentils, quinoa, beans: black, chick/garbanzo, borlotti, cannellini, kidney
- Superfoods: Chia seeds, flax meal
- Dressing: Lemon juice, pesto, rice or wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar
- Seasoning: Freshly ground salt, pepper, and garlic
- Treats: dried raisins, cranberries, dates
Here are two popular variations I’ve been making often. I add other vegetables (like tomatoes) as well. Especially on subsequent days, you can add a new ingredient to give it new life.
- Remove the stalks from the cauliflower and broccoli, and process in a food processor or miniprep until finely chopped.
- With a microplane grater, grate the carrots and fennel into the mix. You could blend these in the food processor with the ingredients in step 1, but I think the grater breaks them down better and gives the overall salad a better texture. Mix well.
- Add in the flax meal, sunflower seeds, and other nuts & superfoods, mix well.
- In a little bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients together: lemon, basil, vinegars. Pour over the salad and mix well. Add your seasoning, and last your treats, if desired.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill the salad.
Do you like raw vegetable salads like these? How would you build your ideal raw veg salad?