Shred your Greens (and so forth)

In the winter, I’m not very enthusiastic about green smoothies or juice, but I do like to eat a lot of salads.

See, since I dropped grains out of my diet, I’ve had some people pick on me about how all I’m eating is cheese and meat (lots of Atkins Diet jokes coming my way). Well, it’s not actually true. I still think a veggie-centered diet is the way to go. It’s just that instead of accessorizing my meals with buckwheat, quinoa, or sprouted grain bread, I’m accessorizing more often with farm eggs, raw cheeses, grass-fed organic meats, and wild caught seafood. Oh, and some yogurt—but I’ll be honest, when I overdo the milk products, my skin pays for it. I had meat/fish twice last week.

My favorite delivery system for veggies is in the form of a salad—but not big fluffy leafy salads. I like chopped salads. With lots of stuff on them. Coated in dressing (please eat fat with your greens, it helps nutrient absorption). That way, everything in the salad is about the same size, and to me it’s more enjoyable.

There are two ways I chop greens: with a mezzaluna or by rolling the greens into a log and slicing them.

rolled up chard (spine cut out). Note: once I slice the log of greens like this, I chop it twice length-wise....then I get perfect small pieces.


Mezzaluna (9in, 2 blades)

Last week, I looked at Alexis Stewart’s blog, and saw pics and a link to this Kale and Brussels Sprouts salad. As soon as I realized it was chopped, and that it contained something fun (brussels sprouts), I was sold on it.

I was alone this weekend (and was almost 100% unproductive, but that’s another story), and so after I dug my car out of the snow on Saturday morning and dragged myself to Wegmans, I bought the ingredients for three things.

1. The Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

2. Chicken Broth

3. You’ll see in the next post!

You can find the Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad here.

This is what I modified:

  • I added 1 tsp of sugar (actually, Just Like Sugar) to the dressing – it was SO tart!
  • I added an extra cup of chopped almonds
  • I used Swiss Chard instead of kale (the Canandaigua Wegmans didn’t have Tuscan Kale)


The first version, for dinner last night (extra almonds really made this awesome!)

Here’s Take 2:


Day 2 for lunch, plus crab (and a sprinkle of chipotle powder). The salad part tasted even better---after marinating in the dressing overnight.
Full disclosure: Before I ate it, I added more crab, and mixed it all together. It was awesome, but I stopped myself from eating more at lunch (so I could have it for dinner too).

Take 3 will happen tomorrow, and it involves an egg.


My conclusion: I loved this salad, and it worked perfectly for my habit of eating the same thing several days in a row. A reviewer on Epicurious had mentioned that she added pomegranate arils and I think that would be great too.

This was a good reminder to me that I really like to make salads from a recipe—Much of the time I just throw in whatever’s in the fridge, but often that isn’t quite as delicious!

What I’m getting from my salads this weekend:

  • Chard: calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, chlorophyl, fiber, water
  • Almonds: protein, vitamin E, folate, choline, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, monounsaturated fat, fiber
  • Brussels Sprouts: vitamin c, vitamin K, choline, potassium, B vitamins, manganese, and iron
  • Crab: folate, potassium, zinc, protein, phosphorus, selenium
  • Egg (tomorrow): Protein, riboflavin, selenium, omega-3 (DHA–enhanced via food)

So if I pick one or two salads to make each week, then I should do a pretty good job of getting a wide range of nutrients over a week (that’s my goal). Note: A lot of things that I make, Joe does not want to eat, so if I can’t pawn some off on my Mom and Fred (across the street), then I have to eat the same thing for three days in a row or throw it out. Full Disclosure: I throw a lot of things out, and I want to get better at not doing that.

A few more things:

I intended to do so much work this weekend, and I did the essentials (essentials=work that must be done or I’ll get fired). I got distracted by my kitchen (just finished the chicken broth a few minutes ago—and even cleaned up). I also ended up visiting my Dad and a friend this weekend, and spent time with my Grandparents and my cousin (who came to town from Staten Island with his new wife—he’s in the Coast Guard and recently moved from Hawaii to NYC. He had long johns and two winter coats on today.). Today is my Grandpa’s 88th birthday, so we had pie. (well, I didn’t–it had grains in it. And I know my life has changed because I didn’t even want it a little bit).

I worked out and went in the sauna twice (I think I was procrastinating doing work because I also cleaned the house).

I almost forgot to tell you!!! The almond flour that came from my almond milk escapade is amazing! It’s super fine (even more than the store bought kinds I’ve bought), and it includes the skins (which is called almond meal vs. almond flour which has the skins peeled off so it is white. The skins have a lot of nutrients, but often when you buy almond meal, it is not quite as fine and soft as almond flour).


Do you think about getting a variety of nutrients? Do you think about the nutrients in food that you’re eating? I didn’t in the past, but now it’s part of how I enjoy my food—I really loved my zinc-rich crab today! 

What is your favorite salad recipe? I need ideas! 


20 thoughts on “Shred your Greens (and so forth)”

  1. lauren@spicedplate

    Loving this, all of it.  Every bit.  Yeay for salads, saunas, and almond flour!  I’m always thinking about nutrients and adjusting my meals based on what I need on a given day…I feel like I become more and more aware of what my body needs/wants every year!

  2. I have been on a huge salad kick lately! I love mixing in hummus for a thick and delicious topping. I’ve also been digging goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and dried cranberries on top of my salads! Anything to spice things up! 🙂

  3. Wheeeee! I knew I recognized the crab 🙂 Can we make those crab cakes again? Yes? Okay good deal. I looove chopping my greens like that — so much more enjoyable than stuffing a giant leaf in your mouth!

    Miss you love! And please send love my way 🙂

  4. I’ve never chopped greens like that – might need to give it a go. Part of why I started my blog was because I realized I wasn’t eating the proper nutrients. These days I am def. more aware of when I’m missing certain things.

  5. I’m dying to hear what you make with this almond flour! I’ve never used it as the “only” flour in a recipe… just mixed it in with some all-purpose.

  6. at first when you said you had an unproductive weekend, i thought, oh no! but seeing what you DID do, i am thinking, YES! way to go, lisa! because i think putting family get-togethers and interactions first is the way to go. so yea for you! (although i DO understand that you also intended to get other stuff accomplished). and you got salads made! and you cheered on joe (hearty congrats to him, btw – i saw your tweets!) and sauna’d!
    thanks for the almond flour update – i was wondering about that!
    i pay attention to getting fat, protein and carbs, but that’s about it. my fave salad is a kitchen sink salad: base of iceberg (i love the stuff, have to say) with everything and anything thrown on top. yum!

  7. Mmmm…iceberg! It’s Joe’s favorite too—I enjoy it as well, none of the nutrient dense leafy ones are as crunchy! It gets a bad reputation nutrition-wise, but really, it’s high in water and fiber…how could that be bad?!
    Thanks for the congrats to Joe—this was the first time he was happy with his race results! He was on pace for 1:25:30 and ended up with 1:25:17. I’m glad it worked out since he went all the way to Houston for it! (Also, he enjoyed watching the Olympic Trials the day before—he carted my huge camera there to take pics, ended up with 200, and realized he had the camera on the “still” setting so they’re all blurry. Oops!).
    Did you get snowed on this weekend?! It’s quite frigid down here….I’m ready for Marco Island—when are you free? 🙂

  8. Girl Loves Pizza

    Monday nights are big salad nights in our household. We rotate through three go-tos. Tonight we have greens with tuna and cannelini beans on top, yum! I’m going to start chopping my greens really small like yours, it seems way more fun! 

  9. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I do try to really think about what I’m eating and the nutrients in each piece of the dish. Sometimes I do better than others of course. Happy bday to your grandpa!

  10. I DO think about nutrients. ALL the time.

    Years ago, I made sure that EVERY day I ate a huge number of vegies from a variety of nutrient groups: an onion (red, sweet, scallion, etc.), garlic, mushrooms, some type of greens, a crucifer, a beta-carotene rich veg, a lycopene-rich veg.

    I was a bit rigid, you could say. These days, I am not so fastidious about keeping track, but have a general mindset of covering the bases.

    Now that I’m more aware of other health concerns, I have other things I try to get in there regularly: “bone broths” and chicken on the bone, for example. I’ve always eaten salmon and cod.

    Question: With low thyroid function, I am aware I should not eat my crucifers raw. So should I lightly steam the kale and brussels sprouts in this recipe? Thanks for your input!  Otherwise, looks yum!

  11. I am a huge fan of chopped salads, but not as much lately.  When the cold comes in I much prefer my warm roasted veggies, so I’ve been juicing a lot of the greens that come in my CSA delivery instead.  It never seems to be too cold for fresh juice for me!  🙂

  12. Looks like that salad was full with TONS of amazingness!
    I’ve actually been scared to try salads with raw kale, chard, brussels sprouts, etc. I’ve been meaning to give it a try, but never got around to it. Your salad looks super good and if you say it’s good, then I trust you!

  13. I love finely chopped salads.  Never would have thought of adding chopped brussel sprouts though!  Yum!  Oh, I had a question about your last post on the almond milk. I buy Almond Breeze all the time.  Almonds are so expensive…is making almond milk actually cheaper than buying?  I found a recipe that looks so good for raw garlic bread that uses almond pulp.

  14. I too prefer my salad chopped, so much easier and neater to eat.  Your combination is so healthy must plant more Swiss chard, kale and brussel sprouts this year.

  15. Making almond milk is only slightly cheaper (I buy organic almonds only when they’re on sale)…the really thrifty part is turning the pulp into flour. When I do that, I’m saving tons because (at least around here) almond flour is over $8 a pound. If I didn’t use the pulp for flour, it would definitely decrease the overall thrift factor! I also like that the almond milk has just filtered water and almonds…rather than the 13 or so ingredients that are in Almond Breeze (but that’s a different story!).

    The brussels sprouts are great in salad—when shredded, they are crunchy and delicious 🙂

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