Feeling over-heated or run-down from the summer sun?
This salad will certainly help you cool down and restore your energy during a long day. It’s flavorful, nutrient dense, and full of vegetables that help to balance out the PH level of the body due to their natural alkalinity. Green vegetables are especially cooling.
Collard greens, the main green in this salad, provide ample amounts of the antioxidants Vitamins A and C, which may protect cells from damage caused due to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs from free radicals, which are unstable molecules produced as a byproduct in our mitochondria.
Free radical production is increased when our diets are nutrient poor or we are exposed to environmental toxins. Exercising moderately, getting enough sleep, and eating nutrient rich foods high in anti-oxidations and that help reduce inflammation all help to reduce our free radical production and lessen oxidative stress in our bodies. Collard greens also help lower cholesterol.
Beets are filled with the phytonutrients betalains, which come from the vibrant crimson pigment of their coloring. Betalains may reduce inflammation and aide the liver in the detoxification process. Consuming raw beets, or beets that have been slightly cooked, is more beneficial for absorbing betalain, as the pigment decreases the longer that it is cooked. Beets are also known to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow, as they contain nitric oxide which helps to open up blood vessels.
The cilantro adds a zesty flavor to the lemon and tahini dressing combo.
3 collard green leaves
1 large beet
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon of tahini
1/3 bunch of cilantro
juice from 2 lemons
Rinse all of the vegetables in cold water. Then, remove the stem from the collard greens and chop. Cut the yellow pepper in half and remove the center, dicing the rest of the pepper. Peel the beet and chop into squares. Fold the cilantro in half and dice it (a quick and easy way to maintain the flavor in the cilantro and get the desired consistency), and add to the mixed vegetables.
To make the tahini dressing, combine the lemon juice and tahini over the salad. Toss in, and serve. Add sea salt to taste, if desired. Makes enough salad for two.
Author: Lizzie Kramer
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s own.