The Art of Undressing



There are times when it’s all about adornment...

And then,

there are those moments

when taking it all off

becomes poetry unto itself...


Naughty things.

I’m talking about salads.

"Eat lots of salads." Yes, we know.

We are more than familiar with that mantra.

"Dark, leafy greens."

Then what?

Let’s glance down the neckline of what we’re really getting at here.


What goes onto our salads is as important as what goes in.

We all know to avoid the super trans-fatty, commercial glop that calls itself salad dressing on a market shelf.

Ok, fine.

So we saunter into the natural foods store.

Everything here is clean and healthy, right?

Non, mes chers.

I become incensed when I get on a label-reading jag in a health food aisle.

Sugars, soybean oils, strange additives...you have got to be joking.

Except, it is not funny.

For many, many moons of eating clean, and adoring simple delights I whip up myself, I tend toward making my own everything. It is so much better to have everything fresh, yes? Yet, this is not always entirely feasible. So, I do like to have some prepared things on hand. Over these centuries I have discovered exactly two dressings on the market which pass my admittedly high standards. They are both made by Bragg’s, the company who so kindly introduced apple cider vinegar to the mass market.

They have two delicious ones: Sesame Ginger and Balsamic Vinigrette.

Which means I have bought TONS of bottles of Sesame Ginger and Balsamic over the years. Lovely as they are, after two weeks straight, I am beyond bored.

Shake off dietary inertia with me, won't you?


Which brings me to the classics: fresh lemon or lime and sea salt, with a drizzle of olive oil. Mmmm. Or my standard French blend of the above with a dash of Dijon mustard, perhaps a bit of vegan mayo, capers? Sherry vinegar in place of the citrus is gorgeous too.


But then, the inevitable ennui returns.


Let's try something sexier: a zesty, slightly retro Thousand Island-esque blend, but with a bite.


Exotica Dressing

  • 1 C. raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours, rinsed and drained

  • 2 Organic tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 red peppers, chopped

  • 1 stalk organic celery

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • Pinch of organic paprika or cayenne

  • Water, Celtic salt, pepper, and liquid stevia to taste

Smooth it all in a high-speed blender, adding water as needed for a consisitency you like. You can omit the cashews if you are allergic, or just want a lighter version, it just won’t be as creamy. Add less water at first, as the water in the vegetables will thin the dressing as it sits in the refrigerator. Add a little salt, pepper, and a few drops of maple syrup or raw coconut nectar, as you desire, and as much red spice as you can handle.


Now, how about a flirty vinaigrette loaded with beautifying properties?


Vampy Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, soaked 6 hours, rinsed and drained.

  • 1/4 C chopped parsley

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/3 C cold pressed olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh or dried burdock root

  • 1 Tbsp fresh or dried nettles

  • 1/2 Tsp Celtic salt, or to taste

Blend everything on high speed until creamy. You may need to add pure water or more citrus to thin it out a bit, as much as you like. You can find the burdock and nettles fresh, usually, in your health food produce section, or dried where they keep the bulk herbs. Both are high in silicon, as are the pumpkin seeds, a mineral essential to smooth skin, shiny hair, and strong nails.


If you’re pressed for time, all these ingredients can be tossed in your salad, as opposed to a dressing, and tossed with citrus and olive oil. The burdock gives a nice crunch with the pumpkin seeds.


A few thoughts, mes amis, on creating your salads:

Besides the things you gravitate toward, the things you love,keep these in your inner circle:


Organic cucumbers - Leave the skin on. It contains the mineral sulphur, considered to be the foundational mineral of beauty, as a good sulphur intake provides glowing skin and hair. Cukes are also a good source of B vitamins (a little pick-me-up), and extremely hydrating.


Radishes - High it silicon and Vitamin C, they also aid digestion and eliminate toxins.


Celery - Bloat-busting, anti-inflammatory, high in calcium, silicon, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin A.


Nutritional Yeast - An excellent source of vegan B-12 (one itty bitty teaspoonprovides a day's worth!), high in protein (as much as an egg or a glass of milk), high in fiber and folic acid.


Avocados - Rich in beauty fats, antioxidants they contain glutathione, which slows the aging process and boosts immune functions.



Bon cueillette!


Bisous,

Alise