Posts in Salads
Skin Glow Salad
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Hi everyone! 

Today's post complements the Skin Glow Foods video on YouTube. I've been having a few conversations on the channel lately about the importance of tending to our physical bodies so that we can feel good, both physically and mentally, when we're tending to our creative work. Our bodies are our creative vessels. And if we take care of them, they'll show up and take care of us when we want to get to the juicy stuff, the creative stuff. This has nothing to do with being superficial. Our bodies give us the opportunity to express ourselves creatively in this physical world, so taking care of them is taking care of our creativity. 

With that said, I talked about my three favorites skin glow foods: papaya, avocado and dark leafy greens. If you want to learn a little more about them, check out the vid =) But really, these foods give me so much more than just glowy skin. They're three of my daily staples for my overall health and wellbeing. They're filled with enzymes, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that keep my body strong, healthy, and yes GLOWING on the inside and out.

I love incorporating these foods into my daily meals. They work especially well in smoothies and salads. Avocado with extra-virgin olive oil complements pretty much anything, but I especially love adding this combo to soups or stews.  

To make it really easy for you to incorporate them into your daily regimen, I thought it'd be fun (and useful) to create a recipe that includes all three of these little health warriors. This salad works great as a yummy and energizing light lunch, and it's also a delicious side dish. 

 

Skin Glow Salad (1 serving) 

Ingredients 

For the Salad
1/2 cup papaya chunks
1/2 avocado
2 handfuls of your favorite organic dark leafy greens
(spinach, kale, Swiss chard etc. all work great) 
Goat/sheep milk feta cheese (to crumble on top, optional)
1 tbsp hemp seeds (to sprinkle on top, optional) 

For the Dressing
2 tbsps organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsps coconut aminos/ or a dash of Real Salt
(I highly recommend investing in a bottle of coconut aminos, they're a delicious and healthful alternative to soy sauce, my favorite brand is Coconut Secret: http://amzn.to/2pw5KTT

Mix all dressing ingredients in measuring cup/mug. Add 2 tbsps of dressing to bottom of your favorite salad bowl. Add greens and papaya chunks. Toss well making sure that all leaves are covered with dressing. Garnish with avocado slices, crumble feta (if using) and hemp seeds. If you like, drizzle remaining dressing on top; the dressing also stores well in the fridge for a few days if you have any left over =) 

Enjoy and may you all glow from the inside out! 

With love and creativity,

Leah <3

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words & photos by Leah Salinas
 

Summer Stone Fruit Salad

The past few weeks have felt a little challenging. I've felt sad about some of the events happening around the world. And on a more personal, immediate level, I've been going through a period of time where I seem to have an exorbitant amount of paperwork to tend to. I can't think of anyone I know who relishes the act of diving into administrative tasks (although I know you're out there, you lucky souls, you!!), but that doesn't mean that organization and getting all of your ducks in a row isn't absolutely essential. As human beings we tend to seek the path of greatest comfort, so I resisted my pile of paperwork at first. But as you can probably guess, this only made me feel worse. I came to the point where I realized that I was spending all of this time THINKING about doing these tasks, so I might as well just get up off of my booty and actually DO them. And when I finally took that leap (I feel silly referring to this as a leap, but hey, in my case it takes a leap to get into all of that paperwork goodness), something wonderful happened. And yes, it's creativity related (or else I wouldn't bore you with my relationship to administration). Even after only checking some of these items off of my to-do list, I felt like I had created this new space in my mind and in my life. Space that I could now fill up with fresh creative inspiration. This whole experience was a gentle reminder of how important it is to sometimes focus on the boring, organizational stuff. If nothing else, so that you can feel fully supported in knowing that everything is in order when you're turning your attention to the fun & creative work.

What does all of this have to do with summer stone fruits? Well, not much really. Apart from the fact that while I was taking care of administration, and feeling a tad stressed, I reminded myself to turn to things that bring me joy. And right now, one of those things are summer stone fruits. The fresh farmers-market kind, all ripe and juicy and sweet and yummy. I just can't get enough of them. When I bite into them I feel like I'm biting into summer, and all that's wonderful about it; the sunshine, the warmth, the colors and the joy. When I'm at the market, I get so excited about all of those beautiful plums and nectarines and peaches that I sometimes go a little overboard and buy a few too many. Which is totally okay. Because it inspires me to create awesome new recipes to share with you. Like this one. I love dishes that are savory-sweet, and this is definitely one of them. Also, the high-enzyme content in the stone fruits makes this salad really easy to digest, so that your body can access all of those immune-boosting, creativity-building nutrients. Bon appétit =) 

Ingredients (for one large bowl) 
(use organic whenever possible)

1 6oz bag  baby spinach (heirloom spinach is delightful as well, if you can get your hands on it)
1-2 cups of your favorite summer stone fruit, chopped into pieces
1 medium avocado
1/2 cup crumbled goat or sheeps milk feta
1/3 cup pine nuts/ slivered almonds/ sunflower seeds for extra crunch

Salad Dressing

3 tbsps. mustard
2 tbsps. coconut aminos
2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1tbsp. raw honey

Guidelines

Combine all dressing ingredients in a cup or a small bowl, whisk together and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients, except feta & nuts/seeds, in your favorite large bowl. Mix dressing with salad. Garnish salad with feta & nuts. Depending on how much dressing you like, you may have some left over, it'll store wonderfully in your fridge for your next salad adventure. 

Creativity Boosters

All summer stone fruits have amazing creativity boosters. So regardless of which ones you choose, you'll be nurturing your creative vessel (aka, your bod =)). Here are the properties of some of them:

Peaches ~ Peaches are rich in beta-carotene, which protects your cells from free radical damage. In order for your body to be able to absorb beta-carotene, it requires fat (1); the olive oil, avocado & feta in this salad takes care of this =). Peaches are also high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium & iron. (2)

Nectarines ~ Nectarines have a similar nutritional profile to peaches (they belong to the same species), and they actually have slightly higher concentrations of Vitamin A and C. (3)

Plums ~ The fiber in plums helps to regulate the digestive system. As someone who has experienced a sensitive tummy in the past, I love any type of food that is easy on the stomach and promotes digestion. I feel like I can function so much better creatively when everything down there is working smoothly ;-) Plums are also awesome for your nervous system, thanks to the high concentration of vitamin B-6. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates serotonin production, which supports sleep, appetite and concentration. (4)
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Enjoy your beautiful bowl of summery stone fruit sunshine and may it bring some brightness into your life if you're experiencing any dark moments!

with love & creativity,

Leah

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author: Leah Salinas// photos by: Leah Salinas

Sources

(1) Britton, Sarah. My New Roots: Inspired Plant-based Recipes for Every Season. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2015. Print. p. 150
(2) ttp://foodfacts.mercola.com/peach.html
(3) ttp://superhumancoach.com/benefits-of-nectarines/
(4) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-plums.html

Rainbow Roasted Veggie Salad

I'm beginning to feel spring in the air. I love that feeling. I just got back from an afternoon walk and the sun was kissing my face and warming me up from inside. The balminess was wonderful. But there are still moments when that winter chill creeps back and I seek warmth. I seek it in hot showers, in warm embraces and in comforting meals. The thing about comfort foods is that they're often associated with making you feel sluggish and foggy minded. Since this isn't exactly conducive to nurturing creativity, I've spent a part of this wintertime creating recipes that feel comforting, but are still light and energizing, so that I can enjoy them knowing that they'll fuel my best creative work. 

This roasted veggie salad is one of my favorites. I love salads. But on really chilly days, I'm often not as excited about eating them because they've got that cooling quality. This recipe still contains all of the refreshing, light and enzymatic qualities of a salad, but it also offers the warmth I'm craving in the colder months. It's packed with protein. And the combo of olive oil, avocado & feta cheese offers potent food for the brain. Plus, it's also just really pretty to look at =)  I love having this salad for lunch, as a post workout meal or a light dinner. 

Ingredients (serves 1) 

For the Dressing

1 tbsp. goat or sheep yogurt

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 tsp. grated elephant garlic 

2 tbsp. coconut aminos 

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes

Sprinkle of Real Salt

For the Salad

2 cups chopped curly leafed kale (or any fun greens you want to play with)

1 medium sized garnet yam

1 small beet 

Approx. 1 tbsp. organic sunflower oil 

1/2 avocado

Feta (enough to sprinkle on top) 

Almond slivers (enough to sprinkle on top) 

 

Peel yams and beets and slice into wedges. Place wedges in an oven safe baking dish. Using your hands, lightly coat with organic sunflower oil. Spread out wedges. Place in preheated 400° oven . After 10 minutes flip with a spatula. Bake for another 10 minutes. Turn on broil and allow veggies to broil for 3-5 minutes so that they're slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. For the broiling part I always check my veggies regularly to make sure that they're not burning. 

Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender. Blend on high to yield a creamy consistency. If your dressing is too thick, you can add a bit of spring water to thin it down. 

Toss kale, avocado and as much dressing as desired in your salad bowl. I like saving some of the dressing to drizzle on top. Once the yams and beets are finished toss them over your greens. Sprinkle as much feta and extra dressing on top as you like. Add some cayenne if you like things fiery and spicy. 

Take a small stainless steel skillet, toss in your almond slivers and dry roast on medium heat for approx. 3 minutes. Sprinkle almonds on top. Finito! 

 

Enjoy, everyone. And may your transition from one season to another be fueled by your best creative work. 

Sending you creativity & inspiration,

Leah 

author: Leah Steiner // photos by: Juliana Mariia Rose @jules.m.rose