recipe for you! my favorite salad and dressing

NOTE: If you read this when I first posted it—I typed in the wrong dressing recipe, oops! Please see changes below.

We could use a breather from the heavy topic of toxic dental practices! Here’s my favorite salad recipe, always a hit whenever I make it for my family or others. A big helping is a meal in itself, with the pasta in it. I took the idea from a recipe that used to be on Macaroni Grill’s menu, now discontinued—though I’ve made it healthier, of course! These are Ch. 2 and 3 recipes in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. Enjoy!

Spinach-Orzo Ensalata

1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil in 3+ cups water, approx. 6-7 min., and rinse well to keep grains separate, then cool)

10+ cups spinach (about two 10-oz. bags), chopped

1 pkg. fresh basil, cut in ribbons

2 tomatoes, diced small

1 can black olives, sliced

2 oz. capers (half a 4 oz jar), drained

½ cup raw pine nuts (or toast them under the broiler—yum!)

Optional: shaved Parmesan to taste

Toss all ingredients except optional Parmesan. Add dressing to taste and toss. Top each plate with shaved Parmesan if desired. Serves 4 as a complete meal.

Tangy Dill Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. honey (raw)

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbsp. dried (or 1/4 cup fresh) dill weed

Blend all ingredients well in a high-powered blender.

How much fat should I eat?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   How much fats do you take in a day? From what I gathered from your book, it looks something like: 1 tablespoon flax oil in green smoothie, 2 tablespoons coconut oil on lips and skin, a handful of nut and seeds for snacks in the afternoon.   Am I right?   I am about the same age as you.   Would the above be too much oil in a day?

 

Answer:   That’s an appropriate amount of fat for an active person in her 40’s.   (Some of that 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil may be eaten–I couldn’t put that much on my skin–and I also might use a Tablespoon or less of extra-virgin olive oil for cooking dinner, too.)

 

I might eat a few hundred calories more than the average woman my age whose weight is healthy, just because I also work out hard and am really hungry otherwise0.   I used to put everything I ate into a program called DietPower (about $35 when I bought it at dietpower.com).   By programming in my workouts AND my food, and weighing every day, I was able to establish my EXACT metabolic rate.   I learned that at 5’8″ and 135 lbs., I burn about 1600 calories a day.   (I burn more and can therefore eat more if I run 5 miles, for a 500 calorie expenditure.)

 

I no longer count calories or worry about that at all.   (Also, many whole-food items aren’t in the DietPower database.)   I find that if I don’t eat any processed foods, addictions don’t exist, and I can eat how much I want, within reason.   My friend Michelle says that she overeats anything (and uses oatmeal as an example–something she says she’ll eat four bowls of), but I don’t believe it.    Not if you go OFF refined foods for a short time to eliminate those addictions.   People not eating refined foods simply do not have a tendency to overeat legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.   That’s because they’re natural and don’t distort hormones and the other finely tuned systems in the body to create unnatural cravings.  

 

When you eat only whole foods, you are tuning your body in to its needs.

 

Reflecting on nutrition, food storage, and hard economic times

What a year this has been.   The much-predicted failure of  American investment banking  has come to pass,  our nation’s net worth has plummeted precipitously, and we’ve started into what promises to be a long recession.   I just came across this quote by a wise man named Joseph Smith, from 175 years ago:

“Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent, from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigues, and sectional interest; our counselors are panic stricken, our legislators are astonished, and our senators are confounded, our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread, our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt, yet we are, and have been in peace.”

So, many other times in even the comparatively short history of the U.S., we have found ourselves in perilous times.   The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

But we need not fear because we can do simple, inexpensive things to prepare.   People of the dominant religion where I live (Utah) are counselled to store a year’s supply of food.   Yet no matter how long this counsel is given, and how urgently, at any given time, only 15 percent of LDS (Mormon) people actually have a year’s supply.   At the moment, church leaders are pleading with the people to get a three-month supply in place in the immediate future.

This is a smart thing to do for anyone, not just LDS people.   You have observed how sensitive supply and demand is, for food.   (I mentioned in a blog comment recently that I cannot buy canning jars anywhere, because Kerr and Ball cannot keep up with the demand nationally.   You have seen the price of rice increase 250 percent.)   That’s all I’m going to say about that, because I frankly hate scare tactics.   (Love Mike Adams “The Health Ranger,” hate all the fear-mongering in his newsletters.)

Victoria Boutenko says she calculated once that her family of four could live for a year on one 50-lb. bag of wheat, by sprouting it.   I don’t know how that’s possible, unless she is calculating nutrients rather than caloric needs–but anyway, she said that.   The LDS Church has a calculator at lds.org, and one person needs 200 lbs. of grain per year.   (Of course,  50 lbs.  of sprouted grain has in some cases as much nutrition, plus lots of live enzymes, that 200 lbs. of dry grain does!)

Thus, my family of six has stored 1,200 lbs. of grain: wheat, quinoa, rye, rolled oats and oat groats, popcorn, Kamut, and spelt.   That may sound like an obscene quantity, but when you add it up, people eat a lot of food!   We also store 400 lbs. of legumes (lentils, split peas, beans) and lots of other items like coconut oil, olive oil, agave, honey, and sea salt.   I do more than that, but if all the rest will be overwhelming to you for now, just start with a three-month supply of those basics.   When you’ve got those inexpensive bases covered, consider storing bottles of VitaMineral Green for your greens; cans of Ultimate Meal for easy, optimal nutrition; nuts and seeds (frozen in Ziplocs where possible); and spices, herbs, and condiments.

The point is, when your food storage is a bunch of white flour, white sugar, canned powdered milk, canned turkey, and macaroni (the staples of most Mormon one-year supplies), you might not end up hungry, but you’re going to end up sick.

Store whole grains, and know how to use them.   What I am teaching you in Step 9 isn’t just for good nutrition–it’s for good emergency preparedness!   When you know how to sprout as I teach in Step 7, you have the invaluable skill to use dry, long-term storage foods (like any grain) and make it live food that will keep your family healthy–not just alive.

My European immigrant ancestors came across the plains from the East Coast to Utah, with handcarts, and some of them were caught in winter storms.   Their nutrition was sometimes reduced, in the winter, to small rations of cornmeal fried in lard, day after day.   Some of them died of starvation, as well as exposure.   Some became ill with typhoid, malaria, scurvy, and smallpox.

We have the ability to spend very little but have the peace of mind to be prepared well, by storing whole foods.   I hope you’re getting a year’s supply of RAW ALMONDS in the current group buy–yet another way to eat well now AND buy very inexpensive insurance against emergencies.   It’s the kind of insurance that doesn’t need the backing of our virtually bankrupt federal government.   It’s the kind of insurance that pays no premiums to a huge company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, being robbed by its executives.

What did you make, when did you eat it, and where?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl, what do you eat in a day?   Not only what did you eat, but WHERE were you when you ate it (soccer field, etc.), and when did you make it, etc.?

 

Answer:   I logged three weekdays  in a row, just for you.   (I think this question was a nice way of asking, do you spend your whole day in the kitchen, or are you busy like me?   Because if you’re in that kitchen for more than half an hour, I’m not even listening to you!)

 

Tuesday:  

 

Breakfast: the kids made themselves kefir blended with banana smoothie, and bowls of granola with sprouts added, and rice milk.   I made my Hot Pink Smoothie in less than five minutes and drank it out of a quart jar on the way to the gym.   (Always!   So boring, sorry.)

 

Lunch:   In front of the computer, I had a quart of green smoothie with some chips I made with sprouted wheat tortillas (under the broiler, brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled The Zip on them).   I had some guacamole with the chips (that I had in the fridge from yesterday).   The kid in charge of school lunch assembly made whole-wheat PB sandwiches, an apple, carrot sticks.   I stuck the kids’ green smoothies in the fridge for after school.

 

Dinner:   I made a hot dish called Amaranth L’Orange (coming out in Ch. 9) right before eating it, and my teenaged son made a salad, with some chopped squash and cucumbers and tomatoes in it (took each of us about 15 mins.).   I tossed some raw apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil on, to avoid making a “real” dressing.   I ate mine in the car driving to a soccer practice, along with the remainder of my green smoothie from earlier.   Everybody else ate together except me and my son at soccer practice.

 

Wednesday:

 

Breakfast: same as above.

 

Lunch: took a quart of green smoothie to work, with a baggie of Chipotle Sprouted Almonds (Ch. 7).   Drank some of the green smoothie in the car on the way to work (at noon).   Finished teaching at 3:15 and had the rest of the GS and almonds driving home on the way to grab kids for sports practices.   Kid in charge of school lunch assembly made whole-wheat sandwiches and a baggie of cantaloupe slices, a baggie of sugar snap peas, and a Stretch Island fruit leather.

Dinner:   Had Southwest Quinoa Salad that I’d made and refrigerated a  couple of  hours earlier, with extra raw veggies in lieu of making another salad, because we were going in different directions to soccer games and this is an easy meal to take.   I grabbed some plastic cups and spoons to eat out of, at the game.   We also had some Oat-Coconut Cookies I’d made earlier (a mix recipe you’ll get in Ch. 11).

 

Thursday:

 

Breakfast: same as above.

 

Lunch:   had a quart of green smoothie (drank only about 2/3 of it), and leftover quinoa salad from last night, while working at the computer.     Kid in charge of school lunch assembly made bags of popcorn with coconut oil and seasonings (see Ch. 4), a bag of grapes, and a bag of baby carrots.

 

Dinner:   Threw together Cucumber-Tomato-Red Onion salad with garden veggies, with balsamic and olive oil (see Ch. 2), and made Turnip Buckwheat Casserole (coming out in Ch. 9).   Took about 30 mins. in the kitchen.   We all sat down and ate together at the kitchen table, a miracle in soccer season!

 

Anyone else trying to eat a plant-based diet of whole foods want to share what you ate in a day, when you made it, and where you ate it?   (Or anyone else eating the S.A.D., just to make the rest of us feel better? haha)

Good, Better, Best: Oils and Pastas

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What are the good oils, and what are the bad ones? And how about pasta?

Oils

Worst oils: shortening, lard, margarine. Also refined canola, safflower, vegetable, soy, peanut, corn oils.

Good oils: unrefined almond, borage, evening primrose, cod liver, butter (in small amounts)

Better oils: coconut, flaxseed, palm, extra virgin olive oils Best oils: same as in the “better” list, but organic

Pasta

Worst pasta: durum/semolina/white/enriched pastas of all kinds

Good pasta: whole wheat

Better pasta: organic whole grain of any kind

Best pasta: organic quinoa, spelt, or Kamut

High-nutrition items’ price points . . . part 2 of 2

THINGS I BUY AT COSTCO:

 

$25.50 olive oil (two 2-ltr. Bottles) or $13 for 1.5 ltr. bottle of organic

$11 34-oz. balsamic vinegar

$7.50 for two jars of 28-oz. natural, organic peanut butter

$5.70   giant box of Grape Nuts (64 oz.) (for emergency or traveling breakfasts)

 

THINGS I BUY OTHER PLACES:

 

$13 for a case of 9 young Thai coconuts (Asian market)

$0.50/can beans of all kinds–on case lot sales at grocery stores

$2 for a bunch of greens (kale, collards)

$0.49-.69/lb. for fruit (wash, chop, and freeze it in baggies when you get this price)

$3 for large pineapples (cut in chunks and freeze for GS)

 

THINGS I GET IN GROUP BUYS (my own co-op or others):

 

$76 for a 60# bucket of raw local honey

 

$3/lb. for almonds–my local group buys, 50# boxes for $150

 

$41/gal. is good for coconut oil (see my store), even below $45/gal. is really good for organic, virgin–why buy a small tub? It keeps for 2 yrs. on the shelf.

 

$32.50/gallon for agave (raw, organic)–my local group buys