Here’s a great non-starchy salad that is so versatile! I got inspired to make it from the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) recipe called “Freshy Bowl” which is on p. 265 in the THM Trim Healthy Table cookbook. (You can read my preview of the book here.)
The recipe is basically chopped up bell peppers mixed with finely chopped cilantro and a jalapeno/ginger/garlic citrus dressing. I simplified the recipe to use ground ginger and garlic powder, since I have a hard time keeping whole ginger root fresh. It always goes moldy because I don’t use it fast enough. I’ve tried all the tricks! Also, after years of using garlic cloves in a garlic press, and cleaning the thing out, I started using garlic powder as well. I guess part of me is becoming less whole foodsy in my old age, haha, and a “Drive Thru Sue,” like one of the THM authors, Pearl. I just want things to go faster, and not bother about grating ginger and crushing garlic! I also used lime and grapefruit juice because I was out of lemons to make lemon juice.
If you don’t have enough bell peppers you could use some other hardy non-starchy veggie like cabbage, shredded up. That makes the salad a lot more budget friendly, especially when bell peppers are closer to $2 each instead of $1 each or less. The idea behind the original recipe, according to Serene Allison, the creator, is to have a ready-made salad of raw food that lasts a long time in your fridge and still looks fresh when you pull it out. She says she makes this recipe once a week so she has an instant side salad for any meal. That way she doesn’t have to make a new salad every mealtime. Bell peppers and cabbage are sturdy enough that they don’t wilt right away, even with a dressing on them. Serene says she likes to put this down as a bed on her plate for whatever main dish she is having.
I made this for dinner at a recent overnight retreat with other moms. My friend Heidi made the fancy main dish, something caprese, with basil leaves and mozzarella cheese made from raw milk. She amazingly whipped up that cheese from scratch while some of us were gabbing and I was chopping up the peppers. Since I still watch my sugar intake I ditched the French bread that was part of the caprese ensemble and put chunks of cheese on my salad, with the chicken. The cheese tasted heavenly with this! Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the salad with the cheese, I was too greedy and ate it before I remembered to snap a pic. If you do eat it with cheese count the recipe as a THM-S.
Anyway, here is my variation of the recipe:
- 9 bell peppers, mostly red, orange, and yellow (maybe have one green one but that’s it as the green ones have such a bite to them)
- juice of three citrus fruits (I used 2 grapefruit since we recently went grapefruit picking and 1 lime, but the official THM recipe calls for strictly lemon)
- 1 large jalapeno cut very finely, with seeds removed, unless you like the heat
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 c olive oil or MCT oil (cut back to 1/8 cup, which is 2 T, for an FP dish)
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp mineral salt
- 1 bunch finely chopped cilantro, after you remove the stems
Chop up the peppers, in slivers or cubes, mix the dressing, and then toss all together!
Like I mentioned, you can jazz up the salad to be a main dish with cheese, cubed or shredded chicken breasts, shredded beef, beans (black would look so pretty!), or some other protein. If you have it with brown rice or quinoa it would be a THM E meal. Adding avocado would make it a THM S meal. Yum! The possibilities are endless! You could also use it in a wrap! Or add to an omelet or egg scram for breakfast in the morning. Go experiment and enjoy your taste buds chowing down on this flavorful dish!