Contagious Health in the House

So, what is contagious about salads? It couldn’t be the leafy, buttery green goodness of the tender lettuce leaves. It couldn’t be the rich, flavorful, savory and creamy taste of the dressings it includes. And it couldn’t be the endless amounts of food items that one can add to their salad. What is contagious about salads is writing guest posts! Ha, bet you didn’t think that was coming, did ya?
It is my pleasure to introduce Melissa from Contagious Health (and boy isn’t it?!). This girl knows her salads and knows how to create an awesome guest post- which I am happy to share!
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I was too honored when Lori asked me to be a part of her salad month! Albeit I’m writing in on the last couple of days of May, better late than never, right?

I love my salads! In fact, I was born due to a salad. What does that mean, you may be wondering? Well, right before I made my grand entrance into the world, my mom ate a lemony-garlicky Cesar salad. She claims this kick-started the labor. I’m thinking I got a taste of that salad and wanted more! My love affair with salads has grown exponentially over the years, and especially since I started blogging as incredible recipes are being created every day!

I love my salads chunky and “raw.” I love to chew my salads and so chunks of carrot or cabbage are the norm for me. Lately I’m loving the addition of quinoa or lentils to the mix. I know another special lady concurs. As well, sprouts of any kind are mounted high in my bowl! On rare occasions fruit will make the cut, mainly an avocado or some fresh, in-season strawberries.

What dressing do I drown…err…top my salads in? Well, lately I’ve had a small obsession with miso. I first tried miso a couple of months ago in a recipe by Nomi Shannon. After that first encounter I was hooked!

Miso is a fermented soyabean paste although it can be made with other ingredients such as rice, barley, or wheat. It is fermented using a yeast mold called a “koji.”  The fermentation process ranges from two weeks to years, depending on the type of miso required. As miso is grown with a B12 synthesizing fungus, it is often stated as a B12 source for vegans. But please still take your supplements as miso does not provide the full daily recommended value of B12J. Trace minerals zinc, manganese, and copper are also present.

Here is a list of some different varieties of miso:

  • Hatcho (soybean)
  • Kome (white rice and soybeans)
  • Mugi (barley and soybeans)
  • Soba (buckwheat and soybeans)
  • Genmai (brown rice and soybeans)
  • Natto (ginger and soybeans)

So now that we are all miso experts, let’s get onto the salad! I usually make a salad with whatever veggies I have in my fridge or like this past weekend, whatever is in my Mom’s garden!

Miso Happy Salad (ya, ya I know it’s corny:J)

  • 1-2 cups lettuce or greens (I used romaine but there are a zillion different kinds you could use including arugula, mizuna, kale, collard greens, spinach, dandelion greens, or chard )
  • 2 carrots, chopped or grated if you wish
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped or grated
  • ½ zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup squash, steamed and cut in cubes (I used acorn squash)
  • 1 cup chick peas
  • 1 cup sprouts (alfalfa, clover, broccoli, lentil, daikon, sunflower, mung bean etc etc!)
  • Optional: avocado, nuts/seeds

Dressing

Feel free to play around with the flavors of this dressing. If you want the tahini to make more of an appearance, cut back on the miso etc! You could also add in your favorite herbs or spices.

  • 2 tbl miso
  • 1 Heaping tbl tahini
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Ground pepper
  • Water as needed
  • Optional: 1 tbl olive oil if you want a richer dressing

I look forward to making this salad nearly everyday, it’s that good! The soft texture of the squash with the crunchy veggies…perfect. The miso dressing webbed in the layer of sprouts….yum! All the wonderful flavors melding together to make a nutritious salad, fantastic…priceless!

Enjoy the final week of Salad Month!
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Is anyone else drooling over this salad right now, or is that just me? Wow. What a salad! Thanks again, Melissa for your amazing guest post! SO much great info and I will definitely be making this dressing , with the salad goods, SOON!

And don’t forget… I still need your help!!!