Gluten Free For Good


 

More About Melissa



I eat a big salad almost every day during the summer. Salads make a great meal when you crave something light, yet healthy and filling. “Light” and “filling” can go together and a salad can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; it doesn’t matter. Who decided breakfast was pancakes, lunch a sandwich, and dinner pizza, anyway? Obviously not someone with celiac or a gluten intolerance. *See the final version and my favorite salad dressing recipe below.

Why dedicate an entire blog entry to lettuce, you ask? What’s there to say? Other than it makes for good rabbit food. Lots!

First off, I get my lettuce from a wonderful local organic source called Grant Family Farms. The Grant family has been growing organic vegetables for the past 25 years and were the first to be certified organic in the state of Colorado. They’re also a CSA designated system, of which I plan to apply to be part of for the next growing season. Right now I’m getting Grant Farms produce at my local health food market.

What is CSA? “A CSA is an innovative and resourceful strategy to create a straightforward partnership that brings together community members, farmers and agricultural land into a relationship of support. The CSA system provides a direct link and responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land upon which it is grown and those who grow it. Based on an annual commitment to one another, community members provide a pre-season payment to purchase a “share” of the season’s harvest. The member then receives a weekly box of a wide variety of fresh produce through the growing season, harvested at the peak of ripeness and flavor.” Grant Family Farm website.

lettuce

the basics
The scientific name for lettuce is
Lactuca sativa, which is derived from the Latin word, lactuca, which means milk. When you break apart a piece of lettuce from most varieties, a slightly bitter, milky substance is released, hence the name. The variety in the photo I took above is “loose leaf” lettuce. It is the best known version and includes green and red leaf lettuce. I also have a little Chinese cabbage thrown in to the mix (the very light colored leaves). That makes for a good blend of nutrients to start from. That was my launching pad, see final product below.

nutritional profile
In general, the darker the leaves, the higher the nutritional content. Iceberg is the lowest on the totem pole. Reach for the dark green and red varieties. Romaine and loose leaf provide LOTS of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, manganese, chromium, potassium, and fiber. They also carry a good share of thiamin (vitamin B1), iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), phosphorus, and calcium. And a decent amount of protein (surprise), omega 3s (surprise again), tryptophan, niacin (vitamin B3), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). And all for a measly 15 calories for 2 cups. Wow, you just can’t go wrong with a good heaping plate of lettuce. Of course you need to top it with all sorts of good things; the more diverse the better. No need to stick with plain old tomatoes and carrots. Not that you shouldn’t include those, but be daring and try whatever you have around. Plums, pineapple, shredded raw beets, shredded raw squash, dates, seeds, nuts, cooked rice, jicama, avocado, cranberries, cabbage, apples; whatever comes to mind. Pile it on!

is organic better
Choose organic when it comes to lettuce. It’s on the
Environmental Working Groups list of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables. YIKES! Lettuce came up with all kinds of nasty numbers. Check out the Complete Data Set of rankings from worst to best. Maybe lettuce should be one of your organic choices.

This is the “after” photo of my lettuce launching pad. The dressing is one I made up and my absolute favorite. And it works on everything and is healthy! Yippee!


Melissa’s GF salad dressing

what you need
• 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar)
• 2 tablespoons Annie’s Naturals organic Dijon Mustard (contains white vinegar made from corn)
• 2 tablespoons agave honey (I use Madhava raw organic agave nectar)

what you do
put all ingredients in a small jar and shake well; refrigerate and use as needed; it’s yummy and it’s
SO easy

Enjoy in good health!

 

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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