Scandinavian Inspired Summer Detox Salad

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This is a salad I grew up eating with moms salmon dinners.  She said growing up in Norway you eat quite a bit of fish and a cucumber salad is often also found at the table. It is so light and accompanies a wild caught freshly cooked salmon pretty nicely.  I have noticed cucumbers making an appearance in many Scandinavian dishes, one of my favorites along side this salad is on top of open faced seeded bread sandwiches with norwegian deli meat.  I decided to use the bases of my moms recipe and add my own spin on it.  I love incorporating as much fresh herbs as possible, I do not have a fresh herb garden yet in LA but my mom has one at her home in Seattle.  Being able to make an entire meal out of my own garden one day is definitly a goal I hope to accomplish in the near future.

While working in Greece, one weekend we drove out of Athens to a beautiful village on the water.  It was so beautiful I will never forget it. A friend explained to me that the people who lived there, lived off of the land, some had vineyards and spent there time harvesting wine, others had goats and cattle to make cheese and they would all meet at the market and exchange goods. Did I mention the view, and how crystal clear the water was, you could probably accidently drop your wine glass off the edge of a boat and watch it float all the way down to the bottom… and then retrieve it.  I loved the food in Greece because of how fresh everything tasted and I believe this fresh and healthy taste is achieved by adding herbs grown from the garden.  Olive oil, lemon, garlic, rosemary, dill, parsley, oregano, thyme, and mint might all be found in one crazy salad or on top of tart fresh feta cheese.  I went riffling through my old iPhone to see if I had any pictures from that spot and found a few.  They do not do that wonderful day justice but I wanted to give you just a taste of what I am talking about.

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Currently I have been buying the fresh herd plants from Trader Joes and whole foods and hope to create an herb garden soon! I chose to make this salad a bit of a “detox” salad using fresh cilantro, parsley, dill, apple cider vinegar, lemon and a touch of cayenne for a kick and little maple to give it a sort of sweet and sour taste. My inspiration for this dish kind of stems from the infamous “master cleanse” and the “detox” juices found in my local juice shops. I love to read the menus at Juice shops to get new ideas and because they are usually so informative when it comes to including the health benefits of every ingredient used in the juice. I thought I might do the same and inform you of a few great health benefits from the herbs I used.

Parsley- Rich in many vital vitamins, including Vitamin C, B 12, K and A. These all help keep our immune system strong, tones your bones and helps heals the nervous system, too. Parsley has a number of other great benefits including help with inflammation, reducing free radical damage and many more!

Cilantro- Is full of powerful antioxidants, which help the body fight disease and aging. Studies show it may also help with inflammation, and may contain protective agents against food born illnesses such as salmonella.
–Another cool idea I read about involving coriander seeds said. “Mixing coriander seeds with milk and honey is an excellent way to naturally reduce fever.”

Dill- Is a great source of calcium and also contains flavonoids, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.

Apple Cider vinegar has so many health claims its overwhelming. But I will say I am on board and try to incorporate it into my daily diet and lifestyle. Some internal claimed benefits are that Apple cider vinegar is Rich in enzymes & potassium, supports a healthy immune system, may contribute to weight loss, promotes digestion and ph balance and many others. I use Bragg Apple cider vinegar and incorporated it into this salad as dressing or I guess in this case its more of a marinade (with out oil) that the cucumbers soak in! When I am not adding it to salads I add it to water or juices, and even use it for some of its topical skin and cleaning uses! I encourage you to give ACP a try:)

 

Scandinavian Inspired Summer Detox Salad

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Serves: 4

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Light, refreshing and healthy cucumber summer salad with fresh herbs.
Ingredients
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • ½ of a Lemon (for squeezing)
  • 2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • handful of fresh Parsley (about 2 tbs when chopped)
  • A handful of fresh Cilantro (about 2 tbs when chopped)
  • 2 fresh Dill Weed Sprigs
  • 2 Green Onion Stalks
  • 1 tbs of Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1 shake Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • Mandolin slicer or Scandinavian cheese slicer or sharp knife (to make thin cucumber slices)
Instructions
  1. -Use a mandolin or thinly slice the cucumber (I love to slice them extremely thin almost transparent)
  2. Place the thinly sliced cucumber in a bowl and set aside.
  3. -In another bowl; add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt and shake of cayenne pepper and stir together.
  4. -Mince the herbs and the green onion into the vinegar mixture and then add the sliced cucumber , lightly toss.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to eat!
Notes
You can also use the mandolin to thinly slice some onion or red peppers or add thinly sliced green onions! It is lovely along side salmon or other fish dishes!

 

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