Yesterday's Grand Canyon Salad

After 2 weeks on the road, I was in the mood for some cooked vegetables, but I was on the same kind of schedule, preparing food at night for the next day (on weekdays, I'm gone from 8 am until 9 pm usually).  My go-to meals right now are the Grand Canyon Salads, also known as, 6-Week Plan in a bowl (Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations for a healthy diet, p. 216 of Eat to Live, 2nd edition, p. 179 in the 1st edition).

So here's what I did with my full kitchen and stove:

Bottom layer:  strawberries and blackberries.  The organic strawberries are on sale now and are fantastic.  This is the time of year to gobble them up!  I meant to add the beans here but forgot so they ended up in an upper layer.

Next:  romaine lettuce, spinach, 1 Tbsp strawberry balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp seed mixture (in each bowl).  The spinach is local and it tastes sweet.  I am surprised at how delicious and how much better it is than the California variety we usually get--that tastes salty and stale in comparison.

Next:  cooked vegetables:  cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, ramps (yum!  local and grown wild), and mushrooms.  Top this with another Tbsp of vinegar in each bowl.  I cooked in the pressure cooker for 30 seconds, let sit for several minutes, then had to put them into the freezer to cool. 

Now I remembered the beans, and added 1 can of black beans divided into the 3 bowls.

Next, a treat:  toasted spiralized sweet potatoes!  I got this idea from someone on the Fuhrman forums.  Spiralize the sweet potato, then cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350 F, stirring occasionally. Here's my spiralizer in action:

The sweet potatoes out of the oven:

The views of the salad, top:

and side:

Total calories:  1241.  That wasn't enough, so I had some carrots and corn and tomatoes when I got home.  That increased my calories to 1500.  That still wasn't enough as I woke up at 5 am hungry this morning.  I hate when that happens.  Now that I'm back up to my pre-injury exercise levels, my caloric needs have jumped up.  I will have to increase my calorie intake to match.  I might post about that when I settle on a good average daily intake.

Verdict on the salad:  it was very good.  You can't beat the berries this time of year.  The cooked veggies were a nice change and the sweet potatoes were nice.  On the other hand, I think I might prefer just eating a baked sweet potato all on its own.  I love baked sweet potatoes and can savor the flavors more.  Cooking and cooling the veggies took too much time.  I want to start playing my flute again so will be even more pressed for time on weeknights.  However, I think I can compromise and partially cook them in the microwave, and let them continue to cook internally while they cool in the bowl.  So I'll try that next week.  Several people have asked, should they cook the mushrooms?  YES, to kill some fungus or toxin.   That's what Dr. Fuhrman recommends.   I usually slice or chop them, then put them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.  That's all it needs.  I think they taste better cooked too.  On my trip I didn't always have a microwave so didn't cook them all the time, but in general I do.