Adrenal-Friendly Recipes: Fresh and Healthy Salads
Salads have a bad rap for being bland and boring. Truth is, salads are what you make of them and should be thought of as a mixtape: a greatest hits of diverse items catered to fit a mood or situation. I’ve put together some tried, tested and approved salads that are far from bland and boring. Feel free to get creative and remix accordingly!
Wild Rice, Cucumber and Orange Salad (serves 4)
- 1/2 lb. wild rice
- 3 3/4 cups of water
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 each red, orange and yellow bell pepper, each deseeded and cut into thin strips
- 3 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 red onion, cut into thin strips
- 1 large orange – divide into segments and cut each segment in half
- 1 English cucumber, cut into small chunks and deseeded
- A handful of parsley or coriander
- Put the wild rice and water into a large pan and bring to a boil. Stir, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the rice is al dente (firm to the bite). Uncover the rice for the last few minutes of cooking to allow any excess water to evaporate.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the dressing. Put the crushed garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a small lidded jar and shake vigorously. Add extra vinegar, oil or seasoning as desired.
- When the rice is done, drain and place into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the rice and mix thoroughly. Then mix in the bell peppers, cucumber, orange, tomatoes, red onion and parsley or coriander. Enjoy!
Couscous and Eggplant Salad
- 1 medium sized eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 lb. green beans (fresh if possible)
- 1 Cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Cup of couscous, uncooked
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. pine nuts (roasted or unroasted)
- 1 regular can of organic chickpeas
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped basil leaves
- Kalamata olives, or olives of your choice, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise into long thin slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Put a little olive oil on a large plate and dip each slice in the oil, letting the excess drip off. Transfer the eggplant slices to a barbecue grill rack heated to medium and cook, moving them around often to prevent scorching. When the slices are tender, golden and lightly charred around the edges, transfer to a clean plate and season with a little Himalayan crystal salt. Alternatively, you can cook the eggplant in a ridged grill pan heated to medium high, or roast the strips in an oven heated to 400* F.
- Put the couscous in a bowl. Pour 1 Cup of boiling water over the couscous. Stir once, then cover and let set for 10 minutes. Add a little butter (optional) and fluff with a fork. Cover again and leave until cool.
- Blanch the fresh green beans in a saucepan of gently boiling salted water for a few minutes, just until they lose their raw crunch. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately, then drain again.
- Mix the dressing ingredients (lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper) and pour onto the couscous. Gently mix. Add remaining ingredients, plus salt and pepper to taste, and gently mix again. Now you’re done and ready to enjoy!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Salad
- A 1-2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 to 8 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts (roasted or unroasted)
- 1 tsp. powdered cinnamon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Shredded mint leaves, for added taste and decoration
- 1/4 Cup of good quality honey
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350* F / 180* C.
- Rub the squash and sweet potato chunks in olive oil and cinnamon powder, add garlic and roast for about 20 minutes, until sweet and tender. Toss carefully once or twice for even browning.
- When done, take the mixture out of the oven and let cool by placing it in the fridge for 15 minutes. You can do this ahead of time, but preferably not the day before.
- While the roasted mix is cooling, prepare the dressing. To do this, add the honey (you may need to warm it up a bit to make it more fluid), balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to a lidded jar and shake to mix.
- Place the roasted mix in a bowl, add the red onion and mix carefully.
- Sprinkle in the pine nuts and shredded mint leaves.
- Add the dressing, chill, and enjoy. If you’re making this salad ahead of time, wait until before serving to add the dressing.
Red Cabbage and Feta Salad
- 1/2 large red cabbage, finely shredded
- 3/4 Cup feta cheese
- 1 apple, diced (optional)
- 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- In a bowl mix the shredded cabbage, feta cheese, chopped apple and sunflower seeds.
- In a lidded jar, mix the dressing ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and salt.
- Pour dressing into salad, mix and enjoy.
About the Author: Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 27 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida, psoriasis, as well as adrenal fatigue, thyroid and digestive disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. He has also written what may well be the most comprehensive Natural Psoriasis Treatment Program available. You can find more articles by Dr. Bakker on his blog at www.ericbakker.com