A ‘Wholesome Plant’ Salad
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Viji
Digging deep, I realized, only “u and i” separate soul from soil…
It’s so strange… As much as I like to keep the house clean, the space I love the most is the dirtiest; our backyard, where I can dig a hole, and drop a tiny seed! And, right from the moment the rain wakes this seed up, it starts its tough life, to push through the soil and find its way out. Basking in the sunshine, the plant starts producing all sorts of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, only to share with the world. Where else can we get this much return on our investment? I think, when it comes to plants, “economics” has a different meaning. Never does the plant ask us how much are we going to pay for all that we are picking; neither does it worry about who is picking – humans, animals, birds, insects however big or small they are – the plant treats them all the same. In the end, it goes back to the same soil, and gives back everything it took for its life to enrich the soil once again for giving the next seed a turn. I can’t stop wondering about all that a seed can do. The story of one tiny seed teaches me a larger life lesson than anything else!
My mom remembers me always wanting to plant something every day, right from the age of two, and if I didn’t have anything to plant, I would at least move one plant. She says that I loved the smell of dirt more than anything else and as always, she is right.
I am so happy these habits haven’t changed even a bit after all these years. I love plants. We don’t exchange a word, and yet we love each other, in silence! I am the happiest when I am with them, whether it’s inside the house or outside, and I am the happiest when I am digging. It amazes me always, how superior we think human beings are. But in reality, we need plants for our survival and not vice versa.
Here’s a salad to celebrate plants. It is made only using plant based ingredients, including the dressing. Not necessarily of the same plant though, this salad celebrates all parts of plants such as roots, stem, leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some cooked quinoa for the soil. It is very easy to make and absolutely delicious and addictive too!
Apple Key Lime Orange Dressing
- 1 Apple
- 2 Oranges/Clementines
- 2 Key Limes
- 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Slice the apple into thin pieces. Keep some zest of the key limes to sprinkle on the salad. Squeeze the juice out of the oranges and the key limes. Blend them all together until smooth. Add salt, pepper and the olive oil. Mix well.
As there are no rules in salad making, feel free to add or substitute your favorite ingredients or only use whatever you have and how much ever you need. Don’t worry about the long list; it’s not complicated.
‘Wholesome Plant’ Salad
- Half a cup of dry quinoa (yield about 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa)
- 1 cup water
Rinse quinoa very well. Combine quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- A few asparagus, trimmed and halved, and grilled or sauted or boiled
- Carrot, radish, cucumber, and pear, one each, thinly sliced
- One avocado, peeled and cut into small pieces
- Mixed greens and microgreens (one pound)
And a handful each of:
- Green grapes and cherry tomatoes, halved
- Pomegranate seeds
- Raspberries, blackberries
- Strawberries, quartered
- Cashews, almonds and walnuts, raw or dry roasted
- Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, dry roasted
- Dates, pitted and halved
- Edible flowers such as carnations and pansies
In a large salad bowl, toss together greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Sprinkle the cooked quinoa. When ready to serve, gently toss with as much dressing as desired, mixing with your finger tips. Garnish with the flower petals, sprinkle some key lime zest and serve immediately.
On this earth day, let’s get our hands dirty… by making this salad or planting a seed. (Or both!)