Happy Salad

This salad is popularly referred to as detox salad…but since that implies that one is in an unhealthy state to begin with and that one would need this salad to get out of a bad place, I have renamed it Happy Salad. Sorry. It just looked sad when it was called detox salad. And if Dorie Greenspan can talk to her food as she cooks it to get it to behave and turn out happy, then I think I can re-name a food to give it a good start in my world.

But you cannot deny that this is a time of year when we ask a lot of our bodies. Halloween was just a few days ago and I put the hurt on a bag of Butterfinger candy bars myself. I have no regrets. I adore them. But it is nice to follow up an episode like that with a little friend I like to call…Happy Salad.

Yes, I’m kind of a nerd.

If you do not have a food processor, you are going to get some exercise on this. I put the vegetables in the food processor one at a time and pulsed them until they were quite fine. The final dish is similar to a very fine cole slaw consistency.

3 carrots, peeled
¼ to 1/3 of a head of green cabbage
5 green onions, sliced, white and light green parts only
1 crown of broccoli (one big cluster of florets…not the big giant head)
3 Tablesoons maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons fresh grated or minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
Juice from ½ a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup sunflower seed kernels, or to taste (I like a lot)

In the bowl of a food processor pulse the cabbage until it is a very fine chop. Remove the cabbage to a large bowl. Process the carrots until they are chopped very fine and remove them to the same bowl. Process the broccoli until it is chopped very fine and remove it to the bowl containing the cabbage and carrots. Throw in the sliced green onions.

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing thoroughly and add it to the bowl containing the vegetables. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top.

This is meant to be a lightly dressed salad. If you like a very wet salad, increase the ingredients accordingly. I have also seen versions that used agave nectar or honey. I think the idea is to just try to use a natural sweetener and not processed sugar. I happen to have a gallon of maple syrup on hand so that is what appealed to me.

The only thing this salad is missing is bacon, but I guess that would kind of defeat the purpose. So be warned, this is good for you.


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