Mary’s Salad

by Gena on September 10, 2009

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Hi all!

Glad that the kelp noodles got such a good response! And thank you for your kind congratulatory wishes to Chloe :)

You’ve all had a chance to get acquainted with some of my favorite salads. There’s the fennel, cherry tomato, and avocado salad — a summertime classic. There’s my imitation of Pure Food and Wine’s magnificent S&M salad, which is always a salty, savory treat. There’s the butter lettuce, cherry tomato, and corn salad, dressed with a rich “buttermilk” dressing. And who could forget my ultimate favorite: massaged kale salad?

Tonight, I present a favorite salad that was inspired by my very dear friend Mary.

It’s not surprising to me that this is Mary’s favorite salad creation. It’s sweet, bright, and nourishing — in short, it’s a whole lot like Mary herself! It’s also summery and fresh, which feels apt, given that Mary is a beach lover like me. The base of this salad is Mary’s favorite green, butter lettuce. To that, she adds red cabbage, grapes, and our favorite food, avocado. The dressing is a simple lemon and stevia mix: the avocado in the salad provides enough fat to make oil unnecessary. To my own rendition of the salad, I added some celery, which complimented the red grapes nicely.

This salad is easy to prepare, easy to digest, and absolutely delicious. Thank you, dear Mary, for the inspiration!!

Mary’s Salad

(serves 1 person with a big appetite — and Mary and I always have big appetites!)

Ingredients:

1 small head butter lettuce
3/4 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
2 stalks thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced red grapes
1/2 – 1 whole avocado (depending on size)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
A few drops liquid stevia, or agave to taste
Salt

Directions:

Mix all of the vegetables and the grapes together in a large bowl. You may want to do this with your hands, so that the avocado gets smooshed around and coats all of the lettuce leaves. Drizzle stevia or agave on the salad along with lemon juice. Mix it all up, adjust lemon and sweetness to suit your palate, and season with salt. Voila!

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There’s nothing quite like inspiration from a good friend.

I hope you’ve all had a good four-day week! I’ll be back this weekend with a a recipe and a Question of the Week!

xo

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl September 10, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Mary has good taste :-D Another lovely salad creation!

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Laura September 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm

This salad sounds incredible! I love the simplicity. :)

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 10, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Lookin’ good there Miss Gena! Oooohh I made your cauliflower with orange vinaigrette salad last night: Total Two Thumbs Up! I am blogging about it in the morning and will send you the linky. Thank you for that. I forgot how much I adore cauli. Like when I was a kid, I coulda lived off cauil and brock. Lately, I’ve been doing lotsa brock and brussels, but cauli was neglected. Not now, thanks to you, it’s been brought back to the forefront. Yay for your recipe!

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Teresa September 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Awesome! I’ve never used stevia in a dressing before- thanks for the idea! And I must start switching up my greens in my daily salads. Too be completely honest, I’m not sure if I’ve ever purchased butter lettuce before. I’ll add that to my list as well!

I have however been loving your buttermilk chive (w/ a few add ins) dressing all week as I made it for the first time this weekend. I can’t remember the last time I had a creamy dressing. Since going vegan years ago, I have become very accustomed to (and happy with) vinegar and oil combos.

I love salad!

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Stephanie September 10, 2009 at 10:45 pm

oooh! seriously tasty looking. i must be finally cultivating a taste for salads!

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Lauren September 11, 2009 at 4:18 am

Beautiful salad! I love the addition of sweet grapes into salads. :)

Hope you have a fantastic day dear. :)

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Maria September 11, 2009 at 4:56 am

Butter lettuce has such a pleasant texture, doesn’t it? It’s my very favourite to buy at the market. I tend to end up noshing on the sweet, supple leaves before I can even use it in a salad!

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Wendy September 11, 2009 at 4:58 am

Hello Gena,
I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to make your blog so wonderful.
I wanted to let you know that for the past week I have been 80% raw and feel absolutely wonderful and have a 5 pound weight loss to boast of! :)
I feel lighter, more energetic, and just happier all around.
This coming week my goal if to get closer and closer to 100%.
To anyone like me who has been lurking on this page for the past several months (hah, what can I say?), in the word’s of the Nike conglomerate corporation of death (kidddddding..) “Just do it!”
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
-Wendy

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Gena September 12, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Wendy, congratulations!!! That is so awesome to hear. Glad I inspired you a bit. xo

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Chocolate Covered Katie September 11, 2009 at 5:02 am

When it comes to salads, I ALWAYS have a huge appetite (like bigger-than-a-whole-box-of-greens huge). And with how good YOUR salad looks, it might be a good idea for me to double the recipe just for me! Haha maybe not, but it DOES look pretty darn tasty ;)

Love,
Katie

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Gena September 12, 2009 at 8:34 pm

It’s definitely double-worthy, Katie!

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Whitney @ Lettuce Love September 11, 2009 at 5:02 am

That salad looks delish! And avocados always make any meal a million times more yummy.

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Lauren September 11, 2009 at 6:29 am

Beautiful salad from a beautiful lady! :)

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Hayley September 11, 2009 at 6:58 am

That is one beautiful looking salad! It looks pretty easy to make, too. It’s funny Averie mentioned your cauliflower salad with orange vinaigrette – I was thinking I’d try that one, too!

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Ami September 11, 2009 at 9:35 am

That is a beautiful salad!

I also recreate Sarma’s S&M salad pretty often. The textures and flavors are just so satisfying!

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Lainie September 11, 2009 at 9:42 am

What a lovely, unique salad creation! Can’t wait to try.

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Amy September 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

Hey Gena,

This is so timely – I was just staring at a head of purple cabbage in my fridge and wondering what to do with it.

Thank you!

Amy

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elise September 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

loving mary’s salad! butter lettuce here i come.

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karmalily September 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

This looks great! The majority of my salads are based around darker greens – simply because it’s more nutrition for the price. But this recipe makes me want to pick up some butter lettuce next time I go grocery shopping.

I can’t wait to try this – I’ve never had grapes in a salad before.

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) September 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Yummy looking salad. Smooshed avocado always makes me happy. :)

Just made your Alfredo sauce. So easy. So delicious. Once again, I love you.

Have a good weekend Gena!

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Lucca September 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm

This looks beautiful — thank you gena and mary! butter lettuce always reminds me of being a small child, helping my mother in the garden. We would plant butter lettuce (or butter-crunch lettuce, as it was called), and harvest the ‘thinnings’ from between the heads so that they could have room to grow. The thinnings became something of a ritual for us, the tiny, tender leaves so sweet and silky, barely robust enough to support dressing — we would toss them on small plates together, with a few drops of oil and a few grains of salt, and know that summer was coming. In the leaves one could taste something so precious, and so brief — they could not stand the strong virginia summer sun, so were only momentarily available, to be replaced by the bigger, sturdier heads we had left in the ground to mature.

Thanks for bringing these memories back!
xo, Lucca.

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dreaminitvegan September 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Great salad for this continuing heat.

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Kathleen September 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Hey….this guy looks familiar…that’s because I won it at BEAMGREEN!! I loved Mary’s idea of gifting salad ingredients in a bag. I’ll definitely have to try your version soon:) Cheers!

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Gena September 12, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I was thinking of you, dear Kathleen!

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) September 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I definitely have you to thank for my new habit of dressing salads with my hands. I’m kind of an OCD hand-washer so smooshing greasy stuff through my fingers is pretty much my bad-girl moment for the day. Truth.

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MarathonVal September 12, 2009 at 10:29 am

This is so fitting since I’m just now about to make my very first massaged kale salad ;) I hope it turns out half as good as yours always looks!

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MarathonVal September 12, 2009 at 10:29 am

This is so fitting since I’m just now about to make my very first massaged kale salad ;) I hope it turns out half as good as yours always looks!

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The voracious Vegan September 12, 2009 at 11:41 am

Aww what a sweet post! The salad looks lovely and the pictures are beautiful. I’m always on the look out for a new salad idea, thanks!

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KRISTEN'S RAW September 12, 2009 at 11:54 am

Awesome photos!

The jury is still out on kelp noodles for my husband and me. We couldn’t get past the texture or their sea essence. Hmm… your little concoction did look yummy though. Maybe if I reduce the amount of noodles and have them more as a garnish – LOL – but seriously. I’d like to love them, but I don’t. I’m willing to try again though. :)

Cheers XOXO – SEE YOU SOON!!!!!
Kristen

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Gena September 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Gaaaaaaaah! Can’t wait to see you 8-)

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KRISTEN'S RAW September 12, 2009 at 11:55 am

Oops, it seems my comment went on the wrong post – ;)

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Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) September 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Hi! Found you from Hayley! I am excited to hear that you can eat the kelp raw! I always pressure cook them so they get nice and soft like “real” pasta. Does the “crunch” not bother you? They couldn’t be lower in cals- I think the whole thing is 20 cals!!!

Beautiful photos of the heavenly home and garden.

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Gena September 12, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Hey Deb, welcome!

We never, ever, ever discuss calorie counts here at Choosing Raw :) BUT they are not calorie dense, it’s true, which means they’re a great food for dieters. I like the crunch, but I can see why others wouldn’t.

G xo

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Gliding Calm September 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm

What a delicious, beautiful salad!!!

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Stephanie October 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm

When I started to go raw a few months ago I thought I would never succeed because I thought I didn’t like salads and I don’t have a juicer — let alone a vitamix! But the more raw foods I eat the more I find myself enjoying salads. Not anemic iceberg and tomato salads but real, simple, tasty combinations of veggies, fruits, sprouts, seeds, and nuts.

But my belief that I don’t like salads has persisted. I pack one for myself every morning and I usually eat them without a grudge, so long as the dressing is a good one. but I don’t see a recipe for salad and then get a hankering for it later. That’s how I saw this recipe a few weeks ago, said it looked tasty, and then didn’t give it another thought until today.

I packed up this salad for lunch but a change of plans led me back home where I ate a lot of nut pate and “crackers” instead. Out of habit I’m still avoiding salads. But I ended up back at work tonight hungry with nothing but this salad. And you know what? I wish I had brought second helpings!

While my beliefs about what I like are slow to change, my taste buds are definitely responding to all of these new foods. I just have to remember to keep feeding them this healthy fare and I’m hoping my brain will catch up soon.

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