Do you eat to live or live to eat? It’s a valid question. The kind that gets you pondering on point number 4 on your 2016 resolutions’ list – “Eat healthy this year”. Every year millions of people aspire to eat healthy meals, lose weight and spend less on junk food and more on vegetables.
The science behind why most people prefer junk food over a healthy salad lies in the taste factor. We’re less likely to say no to a large meaty pizza topped with extra cheese and olives, than we are to a bowl of broccoli. I mean, the very thought of it wants to make you dial a home delivery service. For the pizza, not the salad.
However, eating healthier is actually less costly and less damaging than that box of pizza.
The following salad recipe will have you thinking about every salad you’ve ever had before this one. Like, was it really that good? Was it worth that 100 bob extra tip? Forget the make-shift Kachumbari that comes with smokies nowadays. Some choma sausage vendors even have the audacity to ask ‘utakula na salad madam?’ This right here ladies and gents is the real deal.
You’ll be amazed at how inexpensive it is to make your own salad and the best part is that all these ingredients are readily available at your nearest Mama Mboga or market.
–1 Onion finely chopped
-2 tomatoes sliced
-2 halves of Bell peppers aka ‘Hoho’ (red & yellow)
-1/2 Red cabbage finely chopped
-1 Carrot finely chopped
-1 tablespoon of Vinegar
Pluck the leaves off your lettuce and begin placing them in a separate bowl. Cut one half of your bell peppers, wash them and begin slicing as desired. Do the same for your avocado. Cut thin slices of carrots, tomatoes and onions. I like those 3 ingredients in my salads, but I find that they’re better off seen than heard. You can now cut your pepper into small pieces (add as much as you want if you’re a hot food person, but if you don’t like chilli at all eliminate pepper from the ingredients). After you have all your ingredients chopped and ready, mix them up. Go crazy at this point.
Add a tablespoon of vinegar, slice your lime in half and use both to season the salad. Add half a teaspoon of salt and rosemary leaves just to give it an extra kick.
Health benefits of the ingredients used
I know it looks purple, but I have no explanation as to why it is called red cabbage. Its rich color is a result of a high number of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are responsible for keeping heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other lifestyle diseases at bay. Red cabbage has 6 to 8 times vitamin content as compared to green cabbage.
Bell peppers are perfect for rainbow salads (such as this one) because of their beautiful rich colors. They’re also rich in Vitamin C which is responsible for keeping your bones and teeth healthy and Vitamin E which keeps your skin and hair youthful.
-Make sure you cut thin slices of the red cabbage
-After chopping your onions, soak them in salty water for 2-5 minutes to reduce their intense taste.
-Wash every leaf of lettuce separately and thoroughly.
-You can use a lemon in place of lime. However, the difference between limes and lemons is that the previous is juicier.
-You can enjoy this salad every day!
Earlier I said all these ingredients are very affordable. How affordable?
-Lettuce 50 Ksh ($0.05)
-Red cabbage 60 Ksh ($0.06)
-Bell peppers each at 20 Ksh ($0.02)
-Onion & Tomato both 5 Ksh each ($0.05)
-Avocado 5 Ksh ($0.05)
With prices this low, it’s a wonder why most of us can’t have such a nutritional salad as part of our daily diet. One thing I never remember hearing throughout all my years is ‘Don’t eat too much vegetables!’
The great thing about a salad is that you can always diversify your recipe. You can add strawberries, apples, broccoli, cucumber, coriander, peanuts, etc.! If you like this salad recipe, try it out and leave a comment about your experience!
Please note, all the vegetables were obtained at wholesale prices at my local market.