From Dr. Daryl Gioffre
The last thing you want to do after a long day when it’s hot outside is stand over an even hotter stove or roast dinner in the oven for hours, heating up your entire home. That’s why summer is the perfect time to enjoy tasty weeknight salads that only take a few minutes to prepare. I’ve got three salads below that you can – and should! – enjoy all summer long.
They feature fresh, seasonal alkaline ingredients that you see all over the farmers’ markets and produce sections at this time of year. And they’re flexible: if you don’t like one of the ingredients, feel free to swap it out for another plant-based food you love.
All of the ingredients are nutrient-rich and highly alkaline, so they’ll give you more energy, better digestion, fewer headaches and muscle aches, and better overall health. If you’re looking to slim down this summer and feel less bloated, focus on foods like the ones in these salads and avoid acidic foods like dairy products, animal-based proteins, gluten, and sugar.
With each recipe, I’ve included directions for a freshly-made dressing. I find preparing my own dressing makes all the difference in the world compared to the store-bought kind. Most pre-made dressings are filled with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, MSG, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil, all of which are acidic, not to mention they are loaded with pro-inflammatory Omega-6 Fatty Acids which you need to avoid. The average American has a ratio of 19:1 in favor of Omega-6 (bad) to Omega-3s (good), so not only do you need to increase your healthy fats high in Omega 3s (i.e. fish oil), but also look to decrease these hidden sources of Omega-6 fats.
Each salad serves four dinner portions, so if you are cooking for one or two, simply save the undressed leftovers and dressing separately to enjoy delicious, alkaline lunches.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Basil Mint Dressing
8 cups baby spinach
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cucumber, diced
2 Haas avocado, diced
1 cup white beans (drained and rinsed well)
1/2 cup pine nuts or raw sliced almonds
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped mint
Sea salt (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt) and black pepper to taste
Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl and dress. Serve and enjoy!
Summer Salad with Citrus Dressing
1 head of kale, cut into small ribbons
1 small bunch of red radishes, sliced
1 cup snow peas
2 carrots, diced
½ small red onion, sliced
1 avocado, chopped
2 tbsp. hemp seeds
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 tsp. pepper
Sea salt to taste (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt)
For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Dress only what you will eat with the dressing. Save any leftovers separately.
Creamy Spicy Tahini Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce or a few handfuls of kale
1 cucumber, sliced or chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced or diced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup filtered water
4 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. shoyu or wheat-free tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos
1 tsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. Sea salt (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt)
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne
Place dressing ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed. In a mixing bowl, combine dressing with romaine or kale, tomato, cucumber, and pepper. Serve and enjoy!