I’ve been waiting for zucchini season to share this little gem of a salad. I first created this recipe as part of an assignment for the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program and it was a hit with the students who attended my first cooking class. And so, this recipe holds a special place in my heart—it’s been tough to wait this long, but finally the season is right.
Secret’s in the Sauce
All sentiments aside, this salad is pretty dang delicious. It’s the sauce that really takes this dish to the next level. A beautiful brilliant orange hue, sweet and salty notes, punctuated with a zingy ginger kick and creamy smooth texture—hitting your taste buds from all sides.
Kick Pain to the Curb
When I developed this recipe I was trying to fit as many anti-inflammatory, collagen-building and cartilage supportive ingredients as possible to help people with osteoarthritis, but you don’t need a diagnosis to enjoy the benefits from all of these powerful ingredients.
This salad contains:
- a wide array of antioxidants including gingerol (ginger), curcumin (turmeric), capsaicin (cayenne) and anthocyanins (purple cabbage and black rice), helping to reduce pain, increase mobility and protect against cell damage;
- vitamin C (broccoli, kale, red cabbage, zucchini, cayenne), which functions in the manufacture of collagen, a protein component of cartilage, bone and connective tissues;[i]
- vitamin K (broccoli, kale, zucchini), which is responsible for converting osteocalcin, a protein found in bone, to its active form;[ii]
- sulfur (broccoli, kale, red cabbage, garlic), a mineral found in the protein structures of the joints (as well as hair, skin and nails). Adequate intake can repair and rebuild cartilage, connective tissue and bone.[iii] Sulfur also aids in calcium absorption;
- boron (broccoli, kale, avocado), a trace mineral that has been shown to greatly reduce the excretion on calcium and aid in building and maintaining healthy bones;[iv] and
- soluble and insoluble fiber increasing satiety, feeding healthy microflora and promoting bowel regularity and digestive health.
Bring this to your next potluck
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. This salad is the shiz in more ways than one. It’s a great dish to bring to a picnic, potluck or cookout. Serve it as a side or all on its own—it has the perfect balance of fiber, protein and fat to keep you satisfied until your next meal or snack.
I want to know: what’s your go-to dish to bring to a picnic, potluck or cookout?
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup cold pressed sesame or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp red miso
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2” fresh ginger, peeled (about 2 tbsp worth)
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2-6 hours, if possible)
- ½ cup water
- pinch of sea salt + more to taste
- big pinch of cayenne + more to taste
- 3 cups broccoli florets and stems, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup kale sliced into thin ribbons
- 1 medium zucchini julienned, spiralized or cut into thin strips using a mandolin
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup grated carrot
- ½ cup cilantro, minced + more for sprinkling
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1 ½ cup cooked black rice
- Avocado, black sesame seeds, chopped cashews.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The sauce should be thick, but pourable. Thin with a little water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Place the chopped broccoli in a steamer basket. A minute or so before the broccoli is done add the chopped kale. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile chop the remaining ingredients. Add to a large bowl with the sprouts, steamed kale and broccoli.
- Just before serving, toss with 2/3 of the sauce. Reserve the rest to spoon on top. Serve topped with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of black sesame, chopped cashews and reserved cilantro.
Cook the rice the night before or use leftover rice. If you can’t find black rice, use short-grain brown rice instead. If you pre-chop the veggies, this recipe comes together in a flash.
[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] Murray, Michael; Pizzorno, Joseph; Pizzorno, Lara. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005. p 103, 113, 124, 125.
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