Cooking away the CSA, week 21: Creamy and sweet summer salad

A healthy salad: Devoid of anything fake, but full of lots of good fat.

A healthy salad: Devoid of anything fake, but full of lots of good fat. by Sarah Henning

It has come to my attention that maybe a few of my readers are afraid of the big F-A-T word when it comes to eating.

I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going to say it again: I, too, was once scared of F-A-T making me F-A-T.

But, as part of my growth in understanding food as fuel and how our bodies work, I’ve also come to love that big, scary macronutrient.

So, let’s get this out there: Not all fat is bad.

Not in the slightest.

There is a reason an avocado is all monounsaturated (aka heart-healthy) fat. There’s a reason nuts and seeds are full of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. There’s a reason the fat in coconut oil happens to be medium-chain saturated fat, which the body loves to burn for energy.

We are meant to eat fat.

Real, naturally occurring F-A-T.

What we’re not meant to eat are the fake, processed foods completely devoid of their original, natural fats. Or “foods” created in such away that they are more chemicals than technical food. This is not food, even if it’s “low-fat.”

I’ll repeat: This is not food.

I could get on my soap box and go on and on about this. But I’ve only got so much space, so just believe me when I say: Do your research.

Know how food as fuel is supposed to work.

And then stop buying denatured crap. Buy real stuff.

Focus on real food.

Do not focus on numbers and percentages and labels — if you really want to avoid the Standard American Diet (aka the SAD diet) don’t buy food with labels at all.

End soap box rant.

So, in light of this discussion, I’m going to share a recipe made with REAL food, that’s full of GOOD FAT.

It combines our Rolling Prairie CSA cherry tomatoes with fresh spinach, ripe raspberries, avocado, hemp seed and a simple drizzle of olive oil and white balsamic with a squeeze of lemon.

Healthy, real and most definitely not SAD.

Creamy and Sweet Summer Salad for two.

Creamy and Sweet Summer Salad for two. by Sarah Henning

Creamy and Sweet Summer Salad

2 handfuls baby spinach

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 6-ounce container of raspberries

1 tablespoon hemp seed, divided

1-2 avocado, divided

Good-quality olive oil (I used Extra Virgin's garlic-infused olive oil)

White balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic)

Lemon juice

Line the bottom of two salad bowls with baby spinach. Top with 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and half a container of raspberries. Place 1/2 tablespoon of hemp seed in each bowl, along with 1/4 of a whole avocado. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, a splash of balsamic and finish with a bit of lemon juice. Enjoy. Serves 2.

What’d we get this week? The motherload of: slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, hot peppers, bok choy, edamame, cantaloupe.

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