I really am not trying to jump on the New Year’s detox bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for folks eating a cleaner, healthier and more natural diet, but I wish it didn’t come once a year. My dream is that folks will not only see the merit in eating vegetables and fruits, whole grains and natural meats, but that they’ll notice how good they feel after eating the way nature intended. And maybe, just maybe, it won’t be a once a year diet. It’ll become a lifetime of eating in a way that benefits not just them, but our planet too. Here’s an idea, how about instead of giving each other gifts next year for Christmas, we all eat naturally and healthfully for the year (and beyond, hopefully), and that will be our gift, not only to ourselves and each other, but to our planet as well.
Is that wacky?
Sadly the politics of food make it difficult for folks to have affordable access to natural foods. When a “meal” at a fast food joint is cheaper than a head of lettuce, the problem is much bigger than personal choice. How do we fix this problem? I try to vote with my pocketbook. If I can contribute by shopping at farmers’ markets and at places like Whole Foods, (and never, ever, ever, ever at fast food) I can help create a higher demand for quality natural foods, then, in theory, that will eventually lower the cost of food making it more accessible to America’s poor.
At least I hope so.
It’s a start.
My gift to get your healthy lifestyle started is a very simple and nutritious winter salad. Blood oranges are now in season, and oh my goodness they are delicious this year. The perfect balance of sweet and tart. I tossed some dulse seaweed in this salad to boost the cleansing element, but that can easily be omitted. If you do choose to include dulse, then be sure each bite has both blood orange and dulse. The marriage of sweet, tart and salty is indescribably wonderful.
Feel free to use this recipe as a template to inspire salad ideas of your own. Really, the possibilities are endless.
One bunch watercress, leaves snipped off
One to two blood oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
One to two beets, roasted and thinly sliced
One quarter to one half of a fennel bulb, shaved
1-tablespoon dulse thinly cut with kitchen shears
Ginger Shallot Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1-2 tablespoons finely mined shallot
Zest from one lemon
Juice from half a lemon
1 tablespoon ginger zest
Splash of sesame oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake till well combined.
To roast beets, cut the top and bottoms off and wrap trimmed beets in foil. Roast for 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven. When the beets are finished roasting, remove from oven, open foil and let cool. Once the beets are cool to the touch, rub them with paper towels to remove the skin.
Toss dressing with all of the salad fixings and serve with a mug of hot green tea.