Winter on our doorstep means salad is rarely on the menu. This is part biological and part emotional, but regardless your health and waistline may suffer for it. To make salad exciting, it needs to be rich, flavourful, and have the right quantities of greens, colour, creaminess and crunch.
Time to put a spin on a 120 year old American classic – the Waldorf Salad. Combining fruit with a creamy dressing, nuts and laying it all on a bed of fresh greens. More than one WildFitter has been known to have this for breakfast. This updated version takes on central American flare, with only health supportive ingredients and a combination of spices that also enhances digestion.
According to Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, we are meant to eat seasonally, cooking and only eating warm foods in winter to avoid using up too much energy that could otherwise be used to keep us warm. When raw foods are ingested, the body utilises its internal energy to warm the food up in order to digest optimally. So, it is thought that too much raw food dampens the agni, or digestive fire in the body – putting a strain on your energy reserves and digestion.
However, while you might not crave salads as much during the colder months it’s important to keep eating them because they have an important job to do. Raw fruits and leafy veggies have such a powerful healing and cleansing effect on the body because they contain live enzymes, potent vitamins and phytonutrients and a great deal of insoluble fiber. They nourish the body and scrub out the colon, helping dense food move through, and are overall quite a necessary and useful balance to the rich, cooked foods we tend to enjoy this season.
The dragon fruit itself is one of those incredible tropical fruits that has many vitamins and trace minerals, as well as protein and essential fatty acids. This in combination with a huge quantity of phytonutrients make it a food you will want to indulge in while it is in season.
Prep Time: 15 minutes (+ 1 hour rest time).
Cooking Time: 0 minutes.
Makes: 2 servings.
1 dragon fruit, sliced lengthwise, flesh removed
1 granny smith apple
½ cup chopped parsley
4 cups baby spinach leaves
Chopped beach almonds or walnuts to garnish
2 Tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
⅓ cup coconut cream
2 Tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
⅛ teaspoon allspice
⅛ tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
To make this simple salad, begin by chopping up the ginger and grating the lemon zest into a medium bowl.
Add the coconut cream, mayonnaise, parsley, honey, lemon juice, ginger and spices to the bowl and whisk it all together to combine well. Allow it to chill in the fridge at least one hour so the flavors can blend. Traditionally, this dressing is just mayonnaise and lemon juice, but the extra touch of coconut and spices give it a unique and special flavor. If you are not a great fan of coconut, you can make yourself an alternative cream base soaking ¼ cup of nuts in water overnight, then blending them with a few tablespoons of water until smooth.
Next, chop up your fruit. Cut the dragon fruit lengthwise and pull the flesh out with a melon baller or a spoon.
Next chop up the apple into bite sized pieces.
Combine the fruit in a medium sized bowl and mix in the dressing. Serve over two plates of spinach or your preferred greens.
Alternatively, serve greens and fruit in a large bowl and serve the dressing on the side or drizzle over top.
Store up to 2 days in the fridge without the greens, 4 days with dressing in a separate container.