Spotlight Saturday, in the kitchen

Spiral vegetable slicer

Zucchini noodles prepared using a spiral slicer

Spiral vegetable slicers (also known as spiralizers) are kitchen appliances used for cutting vegetables, such as zucchinis, potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, apples, and beetroots, into linguine-like strands which can be used as an alternative to pasta.

 Spiralizers usually contain three blades: a round blade for spaghetti, a small flat blade for ribbons, and a large wide blade for spiral strands. Vegetables are clamped between the blade and crank. As the handle turns with a bit of pressure, the vegetable is pressed between the turning handle and the blade, which cuts it into spirals.

Spiralizers are often used to produce vegan or vegetarian meals or to transform high calorie meals into healthier options. Recipes containing spiraled ingredients are available on health blogs, (particularly vegan, vegetarian and paleo) and on social media sites or like this Tangled Thai Salad here.

I have to admit, not only am I learning to love easy, simple and quick creations but I’m also really loving being in the kitchen! And that’s HUGE!

So go spin a veggie, Jackie

P.s. I’d love to hear what you create.

How to Grow Your Own Sensational Salads

In the middle of a sweltering summer, you know what sounds amazing? A chilled bowl packed to the brim with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, refreshing cucumbers and crunchy celery.
No wonder the last week of July, (I vote for every week), is designated National Salad Week. I can’t think of a more satisfying dish for this time of year.
Yes, eating salads is quite good. But growing them is even better.

I’m going to show you how to grow a Salad-lover Tower Garden.
Salad-lover Tower Gardens are “full of things like lettuces, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, edible flowers and other crops commonly used in salads.”

Sound like your ideal garden? Let’s dive in!

It’s the little things in life, right?
20 Plants Salad Lovers Should Grow
To help you plan your Tower Garden, here are 20 plants to grow for delicious, raw salads:
Amaranth – spinach substitute that grows remarkably well in warm, humid weather

Arugula ­– popular mixed salad green with a pleasant, peppery kick

Asian greens ­– tasty family that includes the bold mizuna, spinach-like tatsoi and others

Beans – delicious (and healthy!) ingredient in hearty, filling salads

Borage – produces edible, cucumber-flavored flowers

Broccoli ­– a single serving has about twice as much vitamin C as an orange

Cauliflower ­– pale cousin of broccoli with similar health benefits and taste

Celery ­– rich with fiber, easy way to add more texture to a salad

Chard – top superfood, often included in premade salad mixes

Cress – recently ranked as the most nutrient dense food

Cucumbers – iconic summer crop, increase the cool, crisp factor of any salad

Kale ­– packed with iron, often shredded to make a simple salad

Lettuces – with so many interesting varieties to choose from, you could easily grow a lettuce-only Tower Garden! (And some people do.)

Mustard greens – like lettuce, a pretty big family that includes several delicious, spicy varieties

Nasturtium – edible flower with a peppery, cress-like flavor, doubles as natural pest control

Peas – sweet, snap varieties often added to salads

Spinach – perhaps the most popular salad ingredient next to lettuce, very sensitive to heat

Strawberries – delightful topping if you like sweet salads

Sweet peppers – enliven salads with color and crunch

Tomatoes – bursting with flavor, cherry tomatoes are a popular variety for salads

These are my top recommendations, but there’s really no wrong way to make a salad. What would your list of ideal salad plants look like? Leave a comment to let me know!
How to Arrange a Salad-lover Tower Garden 

Want to eat fresh salads every day? You’ll need to reserve about 2–3 growing ports per family member for lettuces and greens.
Feel free to adapt the above plan as needed. For example, if you don’t like mustard greens but love lettuce, grow lettuce in two ports and leave out the mustards. As you tweak the plan, just try to keep the same big-to-small, pyramid-like arrangement. This will help keep your Tower Garden balanced.

“Lettuce” Eat! 

Lettuce and other greens grow quickly, and yours may be ready to harvest just weeks after planting. Salads are pretty simple to make, but you should check out the 5 Tower Gardener-vetted salad recipes in the Tower-to-Table Cookbook if you haven’t yet. (I’ve been meaning to try the Thai kale salad!) And here’s a fun idea: take your greens on the go by packing a salad in a jar. If you don’t eat harvests right away, place your lettuce and greens between paper towels in a sealed container and refrigerate them. When you’re ready to use them, follow these easy steps to make your produce fresh and crisp again:

Do you have a question? A must-try salad recipe? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below. 

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Make health your hobby.

My family and I have been eating primarily an 80% raw food lifestyle for 10 years. I have seen and felt some amazing changes in both my body and my 5 children. Irregular behaviors have diminished, eyes are clearer, less brain fog, more mental clarity and focus.

As a homeschooling mamma of 4 I have to be at the top of my game both mentally and physically. Let me tell you, it could get rather challenging to keep up with life in my household. Thank goodness for fruits, vegetables and clean, organic NON GMO vitamins.

How many times have you passed the stores isles that are loaded with vitamins for kids and just wonder…. which one, how many, are they good, can I trust the ingredients? Spare yourself the mental anguish of pulling out your hair in disgust, I’ve already searched for you and the only supplements that I would EVER put in my family’s body are Juice Plus, check out this Children’s Health Study and see for yourself.

If I didn’t use them myself I wouldn’t share however, I’m living the changes and boy is it nice. No more headaches or aggressive behaviors in my children, more energy without the CAFFEINE IV. I run circles around my kids, now they have to catch up with me. It’s great!

Give it 90 days and tell me you don’t see and feel a difference!

Make Health your Hobby!