Thank you in advance for your suggestions. I was just diagnosed with ms and or nmo disease and one of my biggest concerns is how to alter my love for salads. I've been loving my salads for years now and unfortunately animal protein combined with either feta or blue cheese have been the back bone of every salad. I'm looking for any and all suggestions on how to keep the salads going with better flavor and texture all while keeping me energized and not sluggish like I do after my pre ms salads. For the past four to five years I've been fantasizing about going vegan or almost going vegan, I just never thought it would take MS to make this happen. Again, thank you in advance for any suggestions and thank you for accepting me into your group.
Hello Frank, and welcome!
Like you, I love serving up fantastic looking plates of salÃ d and used to top them with cubes of marinaded feta, roughly crumbled blue cheese, curls of freshly shaved Parmesan etc etc.
In the first few months after adopting the OMS regime, life can seem more about things you can't eat than about things you can eat . . . . but the good news is that you can continue to enjoy fantastic salads:
- Take nuts seriously. Buy good quality, keep them in fridge (good flavour comes in large part from essential oils & these quickly go rancid at room temperature), dry toast on a low oven to bring out flavour and use as salad topping
- larger seeds - like pumpkin (petitas?) can be put to similar use.
- for nut-based cheese alternatives, search for the recent forum discussion on 'Cheese . . . I miss cheese'. It contains useful links. For an almond 'feta' you can make yourself, have a look at http://www.maplespice.com/2011/04/baked ... l-oil.html
- roasted chickpeas flavoured with spices, or with lemon zest and fresh herbs, make a fantastic crunchy salad topping that easily rivals (unhealthy) cheese croutons - see http://www.theleangreenbean.com/how-to-roast-chickpeas/
- if circumstance & inclination allow, shellfish - quickly tossed in a large pan with a bit of softened fresh ginger & a handful of fresh herbs, make for a superb salad component.
- assuming you continue to allow EVOO in your diet, don't neglect the dressing. My standby is EVOO, a dash of cold pressed walnut oil, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, dried oregano, freshly ground black pepper and a few flakes of sea salt. For more substantial dressings, perhaps to accompany robust cooked ingredients like roasted squash, use the 'mayonnaise method' and combine, for example, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons date or pomegranate molasses - or maple syrup - with softened or raw shallot (as you prefer). Whisking constantly, add 60 ml / 1/4 cup of EVOO. You'll have a rich creamy dressing fit for a feast!
- consider getting into home-smoking. With a large pan, piece of foil, a steamer insert and a small bag of wood chips, you can turn even the humblest of root vegetables into an intriguing culinary experience to transform your salads. For inspiration, check out Amanda Cohen, who runs the New York vegetable restaurant 'Dirt Candy'.