Happy Sunday everyone! I have decided to do a series of posts called ‘Salad Sunday’ with a new salad recipe every Sunday in order to inspire you all to add more vegetables to each meal. I truly believe in the power of fresh, raw foods and what better way to get them than by eating salads.
Growing up my family had salad only on Sundays. Salads were special and accompanied a special meal. I personally loved having something fresh with all my meals and missed our salads throughout the week. Nowadays I have 2 huge salads a day with my meals and they are amazing. I love the energy boost I get from eating fresh vegetables that have not been processed or cooked.
Fresh uncooked and raw vegetables contain a whole host of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes. Enzymes can be thought of as the life force in food and in our very own bodies. Enzymes play a vital role in digestion and the enzymes in raw foods help our bodies with the digestion process. By eating raw vegetables we use fewer of the enzymes produced by the body and as a result, we expend less energy in the digestion process. The saved energy and enzymes can then work on other metabolic systems in the body to make them run smoothly. This may result in better hair, skin, nails, detoxification and mental clarity. Yes, all of that from eating more raw foods.
Ok, now on to today’s salad. I made this recently as a reminder of my trip to Morocco a few years back. I was there in August (the hottest month of course) and I ate EVERY meal out. This was insane to me. I couldn’t find any grocery stores or make any salads but I soon discovered that every restaurant had a salad menu. The Simple Moroccan Chopped Salad was a staple for me. It was fresh, refreshing and helped me digest some of the heavier dishes that accompanied it (like tons of bread, couscous and things I don’t normally eat at home).
This salad is simple and super easy to make. Have it with lunch or dinner (or both) to boost the enzymes in your meals. I wouldn’t have it as the main meal but you could bulk it up with some nuts, quinoa or even avocado (yum).
Cucumbers are considered a beauty food for the skin as they contain tons of silica which gives skin its sheen (just think of the shiny smooth skin that the cucumber itself has!). Cucumbers also contain a substantial amount of water which hydrates the skin and allows skin to look supple and glowing. The high water content along with fiber found in cucumbers aids in digestion by binding and escorting toxins out of the body. Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid (an anti-inflammatory compound) which may help prevent water retention hence its use as an under eye de-puffer! Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, helps to maintain collagen structure in the skin and is very useful in times of stress.
Tomatoes are in season now and taste AMAZING! The beautiful sweet taste tells me that their nutrient value is through the roof, so go get some. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and alpha and beta-carotene (which convert to vitamin A as needed in the body) which are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are needed to prevent or slow aging. Vitamin C in particular is important for mitigating the damage of stress, maintaining collagen in the body in areas such as the skin (less wrinkles!) and helps with heart health (reduces LDL oxidation which damages the lining of the arteries). Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gained notoriety in recent years for its ability to protect our cells and DNA from oxygen damage. Although available in supplement form, I suggest getting your lycopene from the whole food and not as a supplement. Phytonutrients work in a biological system and may not have the same properties when isolated and packaged. SOOOO… eat the whole tomato instead of popping a lycopene pill!
Ingredients serves 2, please buy organic if possible
- 1 field cucumber chopped into small cubes
- 1 large heirloom tomato chopped into small cubes
- ¼ cup of chopped white onion
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup of chopped dill
- Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt to taste
- Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Serve immediately or let marinate for 10 minutes. Mmmm!
Enjoy this summer favorite of mine! Share it with someone who needs reminding of Morocco or just in need of some fresh veggie ideas 🙂
Peace and vegetables,