Plant Based 411
All You Need Is Love (and This Salad)
By Nancy Eisman
In honor of American Heart Month, National Wear Red Day, and of course Valentine’s Day, I’d like to shine the light on both love of self and love of others. Heart Disease awareness is one of the keys to identifying and correcting any lifestyle habits that stand in your way of living a full and healthy life. Love and kindness, to yourself and others, brings a love boat full of rewards for your mind, body, and spirit.
Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based ingredients in your diet can help on all these fronts. Physical and mental wellness are intertwined with what foods nourish our bodies, and through the healthful and beautiful foods with which we nurture our family and friends. It may be that “you are what you eat” is true after all.
While flowers, chocolate (ideally dark), and anything in the shape of a heart are the iconic symbols of love on Valentine’s Day, I think we should actually have more days of the year to celebrate love in all its incarnations. We can also make the effort to create delicious, special meals to express our affection more often. Yes, this colorful, seasonal salad is perfect for 2/14, but it’s just as perfect for any other day you want to show some love.
Love This Salad
(4 servings for sharing)
2 Romaine Hearts
4 Hearts of Palm, sliced
8 Artichoke Hearts
4 Steamed Beets, sliced into heart shapes if you’re so inclined
1 package Red Pearl Onions, blanched for 10 minutes, peeled
Rosemary Bread (found at TJ’s, or any bread you like)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Champagne Passion Fruit Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Champagne or White Wine Vinegar
2 Fresh Passion Fruits
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, and passion fruit. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To compose the salad, place 4 mounds of romaine lettuce hearts on a serving platter. Top and surround with the hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, beets, and pearl onions. Place 2 croutons on each portion, drizzle dressing over salads, and serve.
Rosemary Croutons – Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut 2 hearts out of each of 4 slices of bread. Brush both sides of each heart with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and toast until golden.