What’s it Like in Dr. Dave’s Salad Lab? (Here’s a peek…as told by Dr. Dave.)
I do not have the time or motivation to cook complicated plant-based recipes by Dr. Fuhrman. I have done it a few times, but it is not a sustainable habit for me. So, I almost 90% of the food I eat is raw. And, of that 90%, at least 75% of that is salad-based. I find it is the fastest, simplest way for me to create meals in bulk.
So here’s an example of how I create a salad that I divide into 5 meals over 3 days.
The fundamental basis of my salad creating is “What is in the fridge?” For this salad I had a wide variety of greenery and other goodies to choose from. This is not always the case and often my salad is couple of heads of romaine and a couple of other veggies. So please do not walk away from this with the idea that all of my salads are this busy and rich.
First, and foremost when it comes to salad ingredients are the greens. In this case, I used 2 heads of romaine (ANDI 510) and 3 heads of bok choy (ANDI 865). Per Dr. Fuhrman, I chop the greens up really small so I don’t need to chew them so much. Chopping also activates lots of enzymes and phytochemicals in the greens to make the nutrients more bioavailable.
2 heads of romaine
Bok choy, raspberries, and green onions
Now for the extras! You’ll notice in the image above, I like to include fruit in my salads. Raspberries (ANDI 133) are somewhat nutrient dense and add a sweetness/tartness that breaks up the mundane flavor and texture of a salad. There are 4 bunches of green onions chopped up in that image also. Green onions (ANDI 173) are a milder way to get some G-BOMBs into your salad. Although later you’ll see that I included more onions!
I love me some bell peppers! Nutritious red and yellow bell peppers (ANDI 224), 1 of each, add vibrant color, juiciness, and sweetness to a salad. We had some cilantro (ANDI 481) leftover from another meal, so I decided to throw that in. Cilantro is a micronutrient powerhouse and when mixed into this busy salad, I could not even taste it.
Red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and cilantro
Next up, I chopped 2 medium raw red onions (ANDI 107) and 2 pink grapefruits (ANDI 120)! What a weird combination, but I had both of them handy and decided to go for it. The grapefruit added more sweet/tart juice to the salad so that I almost did not even need a dressing. A QUICK WORD ON ANDI SCORES: They are not the end-all-be-all of deciding what are the healthiest foods. They are part of the information we use to choose our food. There are thousands of micronutrients, phytochemicals, and enzymes contained in whole foods that no single score will ever be able to completely capture. So use the ANDI score as a guide — it is an excellent one.
Raw red onion and grapefruit
Another weird salad addition? Sauerkraut 1.5 cups. Raw cabbage has an ANDI score of 352, but I am certain fermented cabbage has a higher score than that thanks to the microbes making tons of additional micronutrients during the fermentation. SECRET TIP: Strain the sauerkraut before adding it to a salad. Put it into a strainer and then use a bowl to press the kraut and get as much of the juice out of it. Catch that juice and drink it!!
Straining the sauerkraut
Blueberries (ANDI 132) and 1 cup (chopped) baby carrots (ANDI 384) are next. Why? Again, because we had them in the house. Now, baby carrots are not as micronutrient dense as regular carrots because they are missing the peels.
Carrots and blueberries
Now, the last 2 pictures show ingredients that anyone trying to lose weight should use sparingly — avocados, nuts, and seeds.
First, the avocados (ANDI 28). I used 2 for this salad. Remember, this is a salad that will be divided into 5 separate salads. Avocados add creaminess and richness, along with some good plant-based fat. Chop them us and just stir them in.
Finally, the nuts and seeds portion of the program. Again, be careful with these while trying to lose weight. Raw walnuts (ANDI 30) add some meaty flavor and make this a very filling salad. I used about 1.5 cups. Sunflower seeds (ANDI 64) provide tons of minerals and a gentle crunchiness. I used about 1/2 cup. The ground flax seed (ADNI 103)/chia seed (ANDI 77) blend is one of my favorites to add to salads and smoothies. I used about 1/4 cup for this salad.
Mix it very, very well in a ginormous bowl and doesn’t it look pretty! This took me about 30 minutes to prepare, but that takes care of 5 salads so return of investment is huge.
Beautiful bowl of goodness!
Divide it into whatever clean pyrex containers are not already being used for other leftovers and pray you can find the lids (That’s a side rant about pyrex lids. Those things disappear faster than socks in the dryer!) The bowl in front is the portion I eat right away.
A few days of salad!
Then I sit down with my lovely, amazing family and enjoy this salad with my most favorite salad topper — pico de gallo (Not sure what the ANDI score is but it’s onions, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro)! That’s right…I am adding even more onions! G-BOMBS!!! Yes, I eat the entire container of pico. Then I sometimes top it with a little dab of coconut aminos.
Dinner of champions!
After that meal I am full and micronutrient-saturated!
Remember, a salad is like a painting. Just pick up the brush (or knife, in this case) and start creating and enjoy! — Dr. Dave