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.

Green Juice: Can It Be Yummy? I’m in Arizona to Find Out!

I’ve just checked into An Oasis of Healing to study what Dr. Thomas Lodi, M.D., does to help people. One of my readers, Inge, read what we’re doing and wrote about how much she loves Dr. Lodi, who has been helping her. She wasn’t the only one of our readers to write telling us they’ve been treated and greatly benefited by Dr. Lodi’s work.

I’ll be filming interviews and treatment there, and I’ll be participating too, myself, in a 5-day juice fast and the treatments that are safe for healthy people.

Inge wrote us that Dr. Lodi does wonderful raw vegan classes at his clinic, and that they have the best-tasting green juice she’s ever had.

I just bought a Norwalk Juicer. I’ve always been curious about it not only because it’s $2,500, and because the alt-cancer docs use it, but also because it’s quite a contraption and the best juicer available. I’ll do a video soon. It grinds the plants, then presses them in a second step. You get about 50% more juice from a Norwalk than the others (Champion, Omega, Jack LaLanne, etc.) and there is no damage to the plant or heat involved.

I discovered this week a huge patch of collard greens in my garden that somehow escaped use all summer. What to do with it all?! I made two quarts of collard juice, and added some of the yummy apples from my tree, and organic carrots. It was……not super good.

I drank it all, but it took me three days and I felt a little nauseous every time I thought about it. So I was curious about the yummy green juice Inge told us about. So Clothilde in Dr. Lodi’s office gave me this recipe. Apple, lemon, and ginger seem to be what cut the “green” taste:

An Oasis of Healing’s Green Juice Recipe

Yields approximately 2 quarts of juice

Use only organic ingredients

10 stalks of Celery

1 to 2 Cucumbers (peeled if waxed)

2       bunches Kale

2       bunches Spinach

2       bunches Dandelion

1       Granny Smith Apple (Optional)

½     stalk Broccoli

1       Lemon (peel the yellow rind, being careful to leave as much white pith on the lemon as possible

¼ ” Ring of fresh Ginger Root, peeled

7 to 10 stalks of Parsley (Add last, after all the other ingredients have been juiced, because it tends to bind in the juicer)

This recipe makes approximately 2 quarts of juice depending on the freshness, ripeness and water content of the vegetables. Cut recipe in half to yield 1 quart.

Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking.

Tips for success:

  • Strain fresh prepared juice to increase absorption and benefit to the body.
  • Store juice in glass jars with rubber seal.   Fill jar as full as possible, as extra air trapped in the bottle destroys nutrients.
  • The highest nutritional value is within the first 45 minutes after making the juice.   This is not always feasible; however, do not make your juice the night before.   At a minimum, make your juice each morning and evening.

Buy enough vegetables for a week’s worth of juices:

  • When you bring the vegetables home, wash immediately and dry thoroughly. Cut off root end of spinach and celery to separate, rinse thoroughly with water to remove all dirt.
  • Use salad spinner to dry spinach, dandelion, and kale.   Place all other vegetables on towels to air dry thoroughly.
  • Buy green stay fresh bags for vegetables.   Portion the vegetables out according to the number of juices you will make.   (i.e. Enough veges. for 1 qt of juice per day for a week, then portion & pack veggies in 7 bags)   Pack green veggies only NOT including cucumbers.   Cucumbers, lemons, apples, and ginger are prepared at time of juicing.   If using paper towel to dry and store veggies use chlorine free variety.

Is raw spinach bad for me?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I bought your book, borrowed my friend’s Blendtec, then bought my own after I learned how much I love the greensmoothiegirl way. I just returned from visiting my in-laws out of town and my MIL is trying to tell me cooked spinach is better for you then raw and in a smoothie. Please send me a good comeback.

Thanks, Jamie

Answer:   I have gotten literally hundreds of questions about this in the past few years due to a couple of references on the internet that spread extensively. In addition to my comments in The Green Smoothies Diet about oxalates (which is what your MIL is referring to) on p. 39, I also wrote a section in Ch. 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods on that topic (p. 30) and have written on it on this blog as well, a few times. Here’s one of those links.

 

But here’s more, from Theresa, a GSG reader, quoting Dr. Norman W. Walker in his book “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body?”

“Spinach should never be eaten when cooked unless we are particularly anxious to accumulate oxalic acid crystals in our kidneys with the consequent pain and kidney trouble. When spinach is cooked or canned, the oxalic acid atoms become inorganic as a result of excessive heat and may form oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys.” (p. 62).

“When the food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital ORGANIC and is replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic acid in our raw vegetables and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.”

“The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or INORGANIC, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is a beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions in the body.”

“When the oxalic acid has become INORGANIC by cooking or processing the foods that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium even combining with the calcium in other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. This results in such a serious deficiency of calcium that it has been known to cause decomposition of the bones.” (p. 63)

We learn, over and over, the value of eating foods in their raw form. When I returned from Portland, someone contacted us wanting to return their 12 Steps kit, very alarmed, saying, “I talked to my doctor and he said raw foods are bad for me!” What a tragedy that any health-care practitioner says this and people organize their entire diet around it. To be very simple: raw food is in its most   natural state and most easily accepted by the body. Watch animals in nature: do they cook their food?

my plans for Part 2 classes, and another recipe

Poor pregnant Desiree and Shaunie asked me to tone down the number of recipes we taste-test/demo, for Part 2, and I struggled with that for hours planning the class this weekend, because I want to do more, more, more…..

It’s still more ambitious than the Part 1 classes. Here’s what I have planned for Sandy this Friday night, Orem next Tues. night, and Riverdale next Thurs.:

Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie

Sprouted Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes with Raw Applesauce

Flax-Veggie Crackers (with homemade hummus)

Green Olive-Lentil Spaghetti and Raw Sauerkraut (that I made 2 years ago)

Chocolate Beet Cake (and maybe some Halva candy)

I’ll pass out the recipes at the class this time–I didn’t know how many participants in the class wouldn’t have 12 Steps.

And here’s a recipe from Tues. night (use the Tangy Dill Dressing recipe I’ll post tomorrow). The whole-grain pasta helps this salad be a complete, filling meal in itself. It’s a recipe I adapted to be more healthful, from my favorite dish at Macaroni Grill that is no longer on the menu:

Spinach Orzo Ensalata

1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil it approx. 6-7 mins and rinse well)

10+ cups spinach (about 2 10-oz. bags), chopped

1 pkg. fresh basil, cut into ribbons

2 tomatoes, diced small

1 can black olives, sliced

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

1/2 cup raw pine nuts (optional: toasted)

optional: shaved/grated Parmesan to taste

Toss all ingredients except optional Parmesan. Add dressing to taste and toss. Top each plate with shaved Parmesan and serve.

 

Raw green food and kidney stones

I have more requests to address oxalates.

It’s another one of those “they” things: first they tell us greens are good for us, and then they tell us oxalates will cause kidney stones and other problems.   Many people are fearful of kidney stones since they’re not only common (estimates are than 10 to 15 percent of Americans are diagnosed at some point), but also terribly painful.

Here’s the thing: it’s a gross oversimplification to say greens contain oxalates, oxalates cause kidney stones, and so you shouldn’t eat greens.   First of all, calcium is so plentiful and highly bioavailable in greens, and calcium binds to excess oxalates to render them harmless and easily removed from the body.   With all but a few serious health problems where specific nutrients are banned by your doctor, green foods are VITAL and should be eaten DAILY.   Some evidence says BLENDING oxalate-rich foods neutralizes it–voila, green smoothies!)

Foods high in oxalates include soy, beer, wheat, nuts, beets, chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, and strawberries.   I eat wheat, nuts, beets, chocolate, spinach, and strawberries regularly, most of them daily.   But if you have a problem with kidney stone formation, I would address eliminating three deadly S’s rather than greens: SODA, SUGAR, AND SALT.   Those chemically upset your body’s ability to utilize minerals like calcium and magnesium, leading to stones.

I know a schoolteacher who suffered with stones and eventually kidney failure, probably because for 30 years she didn’t want to have to leave her classroom to go to the bathroom, so she avoided drinking water.   Drink LOTS of water to avoid kidney stones!

How did I discover the “green smoothie” that I named this site after?

It’s a great story, really, how I happened upon the “green smoothie,” the attention-grabbing part of this site dedicated to helping you eat right.

I was 27 years old, sitting on the front porch one warm summer day when my oldest child was a year old.  Knowing me at that time, I was probably letting him play in the sprinkler and eat an Otter Pop.  (This was long before I knew about corn syrup, and food dyes . . .)

I’d just put some canned pineapple juice, and some alfalfa sprouts and lots of spinach, in my blender.  I was sitting there drinking it when my baby toddled over and peered into my glass.  He asked me what it was, and (in one of those genius Mom moments), I said, “green ice cream.”

Well, that created a demand.  He wanted some.  I said, “No, this is Mommy’s milkshake.”  More demand.  It was all part of my evil plot, of course.

I finally relented (as I’d planned to all along) and let him sip some out of my straw.  He was hooked and a lightbulb came on in my Mom brain! This drink, the Neanderthal version of what I now make, came to be known as “Green Cream” in my young family.

 

Well, that pineapple juice thing I made (for over a decade, actually) is totally inferior, nutritionally, to what I make as a green smoothie nowadays.  (Not only is concentrated pineapple juice not a great food, but you had to “slam” that concoction or it settled into an ugly mess, undrinkable just five minutes later.)  But it began a quest for ways to get my kids to eat lots of leafy greens and sprouts.  And it taught me that blended foods are key in that quest.

Now I have a BlendTec Total Blender [link to it in the store].  You really must have this item if you are serious about nutrition.  Before I had a turbo blender, I had to settle for the above-mentioned “green cream” that had to be “slammed” before it became undrinkable.  A regular blender won’t allow you to use frozen fruit, fibrous greens, and lots of ice, for many years without troubles, with the Total Blender’s fantastic warranty.

Why is this so important, the purchase of a Total Blender?  Because you’re going to get 15 SERVINGS OF GREENS AND FRUIT in your one quart of green smoothie daily.  That puts you in the top 5 percent of Americans, for the quality of your diet, with just one simple habit that takes just 10 minutes a day.

I can’t overemphasize it.  It’s not just the best thing I have in my kitchen, it’s the most important thing I own, PERIOD.  I use it half a dozen times a day, and so it’s worth every penny.  We’ll talk more in my next newsletter about why a green smoothie habit is the first thing to change.

May you be blessed with good health from DAY ONE of starting this habit!

To Your Health,

–Robyn Openshaw

p.s.  If you can’t get a Total Blender right now, that’s okay.  Just start with whatever blender you have, but be aware that you may not be able to use lots of frozen fruit and very fibrous greens.  Your blend won’t be as smooth, but use water, spinach, and fruit, and get started anyway.  The important thing is just to START.