raw

SALAD WITH MANGO AND CHIA SEED DRESSING

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY MAY START WITH A SALAD

Yesterday I posted an article from The Independent on my Facebook page that criticised the governments efforts (or lack of) to tackle the obesity crisis. The predictions are staggering, by 2050 some 50% of children are expected to be obese or overweight and in the same year the annual cost of obesity is predicted to be £50bn. Year 2050 may seem like a distant future but we need to do something now so these numbers never come true.

Today I saw a disturbing article about the rise of breast reduction surgeries (funded by NHS) on girls under 16, the youngest being 11. These are not cosmetic surgeries, NHS is not that generous, these procedures are due to obesity. These girls are suffering serious back pains and apparently cannot exercise due to their large bust. I do find this outrageous and can’t but get angry at the people who have failed these girls and allowed them to get into this kind of situation.

A recent study at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California shows that obese children have a raised risk of gallstones. The risk is 4x larger for the moderately obese and 6x for the extremely obese. My aunt used to suffer with this painful condition that has always been associated with adults not kids. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, especially children.

I do strongly believe we have to assume personal responsibility for what we feed our kids. As for the government, maybe taxing the processed, sugary and fatty foods would be a good start. The money made from these taxes should be put into companies who supply healthy food, the fruit and vegetable growers and the companies struggling to produce and sell healthy options in market flooded by cheap junk. The money should also go into education of both adults and children. Maybe that way we can avoid health tragedies.

When it comes to personal responsibilities, salad is always a good start, especially one with dressing made without any refined oils. I constantly try to come up with oil free dressings and finely feel like I struck gold with this one. It is slightly French inspired (I used some fine Dijon mustard). The oil replacement? Chia seeds soaked in water, the jelly like mixture makes a great emulsifier similar to oil. And since chia seeds are an amazing source of good fats they will also boost the absorption of fat soluble vitamins from your veggies.

Chiamangosalad


SALAD WITH MANGO AND CHIA SEED DRESSING

I love using broccoli stalks, it makes me feel great about reducing waste but they are very delicious indeed. You can substitute julienned kohlrabi for the broccoli.

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side salad

ingredients:
salad
1/2 a red leaf or dark leaf lettuce
1/3 of medium red cabbage (about 2 cups)
3 stalks of broccoli
half a medium red onion
1 mango

chia seed dressing
1 Tbs chia seeds
60ml water
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp agave syrup
2 Tbs sherry vinegar


cgi

method
  1. First, make the dressing. Soak the chia seeds in water for about 10min. You should end up with jelly like texture, it kind of resembles frog spawn :)
  2. Add rest of the ingredients, stir thoroughly until well emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Make the salad.
  4. Wash the lettuce and tear into bite size pieces.
  5. Shred the red cabbage as thinly as you can, I used a knife but a food processor or mandolin will work great.
  6. Next peel the broccoli stalks and cut off any hard ends, cut the stalks into thin matchsticks (julienne).
  7. Slice the red onion as thinly as possible.
  8. Peel the mango, cut the mango cheeks away from the stone and slice very thinly.
  9. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing and serve.
0 Comments

MORE FRUIT AND VEG Part 3: Salads - WATERCRESS, FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD Part 2: Salads

MORE FRUIT AND VEG
Part 2: Salads
WATERCRESS, FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD

There is no denying that salad is the most obvious way of getting some veggies and fruit in your diet. Unfortunately there is this idea of utter torture associated with salads. In many people’s minds dieting equals torture and dieting equals salads.

There are some horrid salads out there, the other day I was served such a salad, alongside my veggie burger in a restaurant. It consisted of big pieces of ice berg lettuce, thickly sliced white onion and one thick slice of tomato...That was it. I was not impressed and will not be visiting that restaurant again.

Growing up in Czech Republic the salad option was very limited when I was a child (things have improved now...), we had a cucumber salad, lettuce salad, tomato salad usually dressed with vinegar/water/salt/sugar or kefir. There were also lots of mayonnaise heavy salads and my Dad still likes to dress his veggies that way. Nostalgically I still make the sweet and sour cucumber salad but I have widened my horizons substantially.

Talking about progress I remember when my grandma returned from visiting her brother once, his daughter married a Frenchman and influenced (somewhat) my aunt’s salad preparation. My grandmother was horrified when she saw my aunt placing lettuce leaves into a tea towel and swinging the bundle furiously over her head like a lasso, creating an impromptu salad spinner. Also the shock horror when she dressed it with oil, mustard and vinegar!!! My granny was not impressed...I was intrigued.

I admit not all salads I make are an amazing culinary experience, sometimes I just pile lettuce leaves on my plate alongside a portion of my main dish. I am happy with that. Great sweet lettuce doesn’t even need dressing on it at times. Other times I want something a bit more exciting. Something that will wake up my taste buds. Like this watercress, fennel and orange salad.

WATERCRESS, FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD
If yo want to make this salad ahead keep the watercress separate from the rest and combine just before serving. The orange juice will cause the delicate watercress leaves to wilt quite quickly.

ingredients
1 medium fennel
1 half of a medium red onion
1 pack of watercress, any thick stalks removed
3 oranges
1 Tbs olive oil

watercressorangesalad

method
  1. First, prepare your fennel, remove the thick outer layer, cut the bulb in half and cut out the hard core at the base. Slice the fennel as thinly as you can, I used my mandolin for that job.
  2. Slice the onion in the same fashion.
  3. Using a sharp knife ( a large bread knife works great too) to remove the orange peel and pith of 2 oranges. You can either segment the orange, or just cut into pieces. My orange segments looked rather small so I decided to cut the orange up, segmenting just wouldn’t work.
  4. To make the dressing juice the third orange (mine was small, you may only need half an orange if it is large), add salt pepper and the spoon of olive oil. Stir well.
  5. Combine the watercress, onion, oranges and fennel together, dress with the dressing and serve.
0 Comments