Very Crabby Salad – Serves 1

I am a firm believer in the power of eating various foods whether cooked or raw.  By eating raw you are acknowledging the importance of eating wholesome and nutrient dense items.  The benefits associated with eating raw foods include increasing your intake of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, and much more.  When vegetables are cooked their nutrient content seeps into the cooking liquid and/or is broken down.  I’m not saying to eliminate cooked vegetables and/or fruits, I am saying to incorporate more raw vegetables and/or fruits into your diet, its benefits are endless.

Challenge yourself today, aim for 4-5+ different colors on your plate and try to embrace the raw as well as the varied way of eating.  It’s so easy that you’ll be surprised.  

In the evenings, I have little to no time to prepare dinner, therefore having containers of chopped/sliced/diced vegetables ready for action makes life easy.  I tend to prepare salad ingredients on Sundays or Mondays therefore I can simply ‘grab and go.’  The key is preparation therefore if trying to lose weight or improve your wellbeing, have healthy options on hand to grab rather than to seek high sugar/processed/calorie-laden options.

Ingredients

  •  1 cup raw kale as a base
  • 1/4 cup yellow/red/orange peppers; chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pickles; chopped/sliced (dill pickles)
  • 1/4 cup black beans (no added sodium version – canned)
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes; slivered
  • 6 ounces lump crabmeat
  • As desired: drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • As desired: juice of 1/2 lemon

Methodology

  1. In a large bowl, create a base with the kale, then create sections around the bowl edges with the peppers, tomatoes, pico de gallo, pickles, and beans.
  2. In the center place the lump crabmeat.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the outside sections (vegetables and beans).
  4. Squeeze lemon or pour lemon juice over the crab.
  5. Time for some eats!
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Oh hi Teddy!

Primary salad staples in my refrigerator (or on my counter in mason jars) include:  peppers (all colors), tomatoes, pico de gallo, raw onions, kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, raw nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios), pickles (my absolute guilty pleasure), balsamic vinegar, and lemons or limes to derive juices.

Primary protein staples in my refrigerator that are quick to grab include:  cooked cold shrimp, cooked salmon, cooked chicken, beans (kidney, black, pinto, and chickpea), lump crabmeat, tuna (on occasion), and hard boiled eggs.

xxx – Sarah

 

Pickled Cucumber Avocado Salad – Serves 6

Tables during football parties and fall gatherings tend to be filled with wonderful dishes that are usually heavy, fried, and/or cream based…  I encourage you to change it up with this pickled dish.  Everyone loves a good pickle – therefore why not spruce things up with some color and a powerful taste?  Also, this dish is vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, and dairy-free for your guests who may follow certain dietary specifications.

One of the ingredients utilized in the dish for the ‘pickling’ was mustard seeds derived from mustard plants which are sparse looking yellow dandelion-like delicate flowers.  The flowers can be added to a bouquet for color and variety, or they can be matured to form brown pods which hold the seeds and are removed before they can further ripen/burst.  The mustard plant leaves and stems are also edible like any other greens.

When added to the pickled mixture the seeds add a nutty taste to the dish.  There are several variations to the seeds – those white and brown in color are commonly used for pickling.  These seeds may be little but they pack quite a punch.  The seeds are filled with phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant properties.  Notable benefits include their high content of essential oils and plant sterols which may play a role in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Pickled Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cucumbers; thinly sliced
  • 1 small, sweet yellow onion; sliced, diced, and slivered into various sizes
  • 1 cup, white vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds, whole
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup mango, diced or chunks
  • 1 cup yellow/red/green bell peppers; minced (variety is optional)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 avocado, diced

Methodology:

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat combine the pickling ingredients, brown mustard seeds, sugar, coconut oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar, then bring to a boil.  (If you prefer your onions cooked like I do – add the onions to the pickling ingredients otherwise they can be added later.)
  2. Remove the pickled mixture from heat and set aside for 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, peppers, mango, and onions (if not cooked in step 1).
  4. Stir the pickled mixture into the large bowl with the cucumbers.
  5. Chill mixture for a minimum of 3 hours to overnight for a delicious yet tangy taste.
  6. Prior to serving add the diced avocado into the mixture and toss.
  7. Time to get pickled!

xxx – Sarah