By: Noor H. Salem, contributing columnist
Many times when we hear salad, we instantly visualize a few slices of tomatoes and cucumbers on a bed of iceberg lettuce. In my humble opinion, a salad could, and should, be beyond just that. A salad can be made into an exotic fruit and nut flavor, or be loaded with some roasted vegetables. I find cooking a piece of art, and with your own touch, you can turn any few ingredients into a masterpiece. I enjoy trying new styles of salad, and adding superfoods to them for a boost of vitamins and energy.
This salad is bursting with antioxidants, healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fiber, and a number of vitamins and minerals. It’s loaded with vitamin C, iron, and even carotenoids. Many don’t know it, but black seed is a great natural remedy for heartburn. Try having a spoon of the black seed honey blend (which we discussed last week), or consume some black seeds with your food, instead of hastily reaching for lab-made pills. As mentioned, black seeds are known to prevent cancer, aid in digestion, prevent Alzheimer’s, and relieve arthritis pain. Don’t underestimate the benefit of this tiny seed mentioned in the traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If you don’t know how to buy, prepare, or consume it, read about it in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. Besides consuming it, using black seed oil for your hair and skin has also been proven to lead to better health.
I recommend you make the base if this salad with organic spring mix (a mix of kale, Swiss chard, arugula, and even frisee lettuce) or spinach. Frankly, these dark pigment greens are loaded with many more vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients than iceberg lettuce. Yes, romaine lettuce is high in vitamins, and carries more phytonutrients, but these dark leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard are even better for your health! You can still eat tasty salad, and it’ll be loaded with more benefits. I even enjoy using kale as a base for tabouli, and tossing in Swiss chard or collard greens is delicious too. The avocados add a ton of healthy fats to the salad, granting you cardiovascular benefits, as well as satiety. Cucumbers are high in vitamin k, potassium, and are a water dense vegetable. The dressing for this salad is high in healthy fats due to the olive oil, Vitamin C, and more than 80 minerals from the pink salt. It’s the perfect combination of tart from the vinegar, and a citrus-taste from the fresh lemon. This salad, can in no way, compare to store-bought salad dressings swimming in genetically engineered ingredients and unhealthy fats. Try this delicious salad, and feel free to add or omit ingredients to reach your preferences.
6 cups organic spring mix or baby spinach
4 avocados, ripe
3 cucumbers, peeled
1/8 cup black seeds, whole
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar, raw
1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 teaspoon fresh or dried cilantro
½ teaspoon rosemary, ground
- Place the spring mix or baby spinach in a serving bowl.
- Wash, peel, and slice the cucumbers. Add around edges of the bowl.
- Cube the avocados and place in the center of the bowl (atop the greens).
- Sprinkle with the black seeds.
- Mix all dressing ingredients; drizzle it on the salad. Toss and serve.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, Sunnah Superfoods, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.