-Tofu (optional and for non-vegans it can be replaced with cottage or farmers cheese and for raw vegans with cultured cashew cheese)
-Fruits: grapes a handful (both green and red); 1-2 apples (chopped Julien); 1-2 kiwis (cubes); 1-2 pears (finely chopped); 1 avocado; 1/2 mango (finely chopped)
-Leaves: watercress (1 large bunch); baby spinach (1 large bunch); boston lettuce (1 head); a few chopped basil leaves fresh; a few wild chives chopped; flax seeds sprouts on taste; edamame and sweet peas (fresh raw) a handful;
-Dressing: 1-2 tbs. lime/lemon juice; 1-2 tbs. green oil (pumpkin or olive), or even raw cold press sunflower oil (which has a characteristic unique flavor) or flax oil with DHA (packed with omega-3's); a mix of saffron/turmeric/tamari (optional, you can add a little pinch of pepper); raw sunflower seeds
Preparation: mix well all the ingredients.
Health benefits: This salad is packed with nutriments and has a complex taste. It is very satisfying, as well and low calorie, low fat (rich in "good" fats). This salad is high in green leafy vegetables, fruits and seeds. Edamame (fresh soybeans) are packed with proteins. Seeds are rich in "good" fats. Tofu (cashew or cheese) add extra protein content. Oils may have numerous health benefits, but caution needs to be employed regarding oils (in particular olive oil) when a person suffers of hypercholesterolemia, see Dr. Caldwell's research! Olive oil however is rich in phytonutrients like: phenolic compounds, carotenoizi, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin: "Olive oil contains some minor constituents including, characteristic phenolic compounds which contribute to the stability of the oil, antioxidant properties, lipoxygenase activity inhibition and anti-microbial activity" . Thus using olive oil sparingly is OK for people who do not have high cholesterol and it has anti-microbial and anti-oxidant qualities. From the scientific point of view, flax oil is the best for heart health due to proper omega-3: omega-6 ratio and high omega-3 content.
The spices used in this salad have amazing health benefits. Spices are so wonderful not only for their aroma but amazing beneficial qualities. Tamari sauce it is a variety of soy sauce produced in Japan from fermented soy beans, it is thicker, less salty and more flavorful. Tamari has similar health benefits with Miso and to name a few: powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic. Any fermented food is probiotic and thus very healthy. Because it is salty, it should be used just a little 1/2-1 tbs which mixes very well with the other elements of the dressing. It is rich in minerals and B vitamins (which are good for hypercholesterolemia) and like any other soy product it is high in protein. Saffron (Crocus Sativus) is the rarest of spices with a wonderful exotic aroma, used mostly in arabian and chinese cuisine. It is first of all a digestive adjuvant. It helps with bloating, acid reflux, indigestion, soothes colon and stomach. It also good for liver and kidney health. It has anti-inflammatory qualities that makes it great for people with arthritis, athletes. It reduces lactic acid formation in muscles so it is wonderful for those who perform strenuous exercise. It helps with depression and reduces stress-induced anorexia. It has immunoregulatory benefits, it is an antioxidant as well and also contains substances like Crocetin (a carotenoid) that work on cancer! Turmeric (or Curcumin) is an indian spice with amazing health benefits as well. Turmeric has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial capabilities (it kills Candida Albicans, which is a fungus that leaves in our tissues as part of the normal flora, but which in some conditions develops abnormally causing health problems; interestingly Candida was found elevated in cancers and seems to promote when elevated tumor growth, candidosis being another bothersome condition). Turmeric was found to work on cancers as well, like colorectal carcinoma and glioblastoma (brain cancer). It attenuates fatty liver and arteriosclerosis. It is also gastroprotective and antidepressant. Those are just a few health benefits of turmeric. "Epigenetic regulation, which includes changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications, and alteration in microRNA (miRNA) expression without any change in the DNA sequence, constitutes an important mechanism by which dietary components can selectively activate or inactivate gene expression. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a component of the golden spice Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, has recently been determined to induce epigenetic changes."