baby spinach leaves
organic carrots (Publix "Greenwise" brand)
organic black beans (a couple tablespoonfuls)
white onion (like a handful of irregularly shaped chopped pieces)
organic green olives (just olives, water, and sea salt)
avocado pieces (a generous handful, also irregularly chopped)
cherry tomatoes from a farm in Immokalee, FL
a generous sprinkling of garlic powder
a few shakes of lemon juice
a few shakes of balsamic vinegar
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Oh. My. Goodness. So delicious!!! The only thing this salad is missing is some type of grain, like bulghur wheat or quinoa, neither of which I know how to make yet, ha ha ha. I just combined all the ingredients in a big tupperware bowl, although I didn't fill it to the top. I actually probably have my whole day's worth of vegetables in there, but that's another story. Anyhoo, I leave lots of room in the container so I can shake up all the ingredients and mix them real good. When I do that, with the avocado in there, it gets nice and creamy - the vegan way! And in my opinion it greets the palate much more agreeably and it sits with you better, and there's no unfortunate aftertaste like you sometimes get with dairy-based salad dressings. And again, if there was some sort of whole grain with it, it would be a complete meal.
I eat it until I'm full and then ... I'm done. I don't have that sleepy, I-just-gorged-myself feeling afterward. I just feel normal. If anything I feel like I have more energy. I can't rave about this enough; there are so many delicious tastes in this salad, so much natural nutrition, and it's relatively easy to make. Also - no worry of food contamination. Worried about salmonella and e. coli??? Don't eat meat - that's where it comes from.
But what about the tomato/spinach/pepper recall earlier this year??? There is an article which speculates the contamination came from a factory-farm upriver, but I could not find any conclusive proof of this. And according to this article I probably won't find it, because it would really make the FDA look even more like bumbling idiots than they already do (if there's any truth to the claim, and I'm inclined to think there is). The latter article does come off sounding a bit, well ... cynical, shall we say. The author makes it clear he's got no time for the FDA and their devices. But no matter how you take it they do raise some good points along with the eyebrows. Read the latter article all the way to the end to get their whole side of the story.
Just researching for this journal entry I did find an article that seems to make the most sense of all: click here to read about the problem with food safety falling out of government control and into the hands of the private sector. This article I found to be quite compelling on so many levels. For instance, this article is clear-cut proof that Florida growers - indeed, growers anywhere in the world - need to be able to grow their own food if they choose, without fear of the government coming along and meddling at any time, as long as they follow the rules and don't get anybody sick.
It was seeing the movie Eating, Third Edition that has convinced me I was on the right track when I first began to grow suspicious of grocery store produce. And my recent findings with the Lee County Agriculture Extension just puts me over the top.
Ultimately, I want to plant my own vegetables. I want to be able to go out to my backyard to get my salad fixins, not the local grocery store. What singularly better way to reduce my "carbon footprint" than that???