Last fall, I instagramed a shot of my favorite running trail covered in flaming orange leaves and said, "When I hate my eternally cold and gray life in February, remind me how much I loved Philadelphia in October." I didn't realize I would need such a reminder at the end of March when the weather is supposed to comparable to a lamb, but I do.
In attempt to kick winter in the tail and fight the last of the winter blues, I did a 30-day yoga challenge, and, half way through, I must say it's been such a welcomed change from a long season of sitting very still.
As a result, our dinner pattern has been thrown off a bit. Big dinner right before a 5:45 yoga class? Yikes. So I've been relying on small, nutrient-dense mini-meals before class to stave off any stomach grumblings, then eating a second supper after class... Is anyone ever hungrier than after a 90-minute hot yoga class?
Most days that pre-yoga snack is something really simple: avocado toast, a green smoothie (suddenly so into smoothies!), or a ginormous spoonful of peanut butter... but today, I can't wait to eat this salad!
If you've never had a raw, shaved asparagus salad, today is your day! I love how shaving asparagus with a potato peeler turns the stalks into silky, tender ribbons, perfect when dressed simply with lemon juice and salt. This asian-y rendition with carrot ribbons would be quite welcome alongside some homemade fried rice or a piece of fish. Or, in my case, a big portion served alone as a simple lunch.
One final word: miso. A couple of months ago, I started to read about and notice the lack of fermented foods in my diet and began to wonder about the bacteria ecosystem in my gut. While I haven't experienced any negative effects, it only makes sense that our digestive systems need healthy bacteria, like the ones present in fermented foods eaten by just about everyone all throughout history, except us.
So, like the 21st century woman that I am, I googled fermented foods and looked at a wikipedia page with a list (in case you were wondering how reliable of a source I am), and I learned miso is a fermented food. Who knew! An easy way to slip fermentation into my diet. A small step. A win for salad dressings because miso is so savory and delicious.
Miso, for those unfamiliar (as I was until a few months ago), is actually fermented soy bean paste, and since soy beans have a bad GMO reputation, its worth seeking out some organic, GMO free miso. I like this brand, and guess what! Miso basically lasts forever, so the big tub won't go bad.
I'm curious about any gut/fermentation experts out there who might share ideas for working fermented foods into your diet (fermenting veggies at home sounds fun, but kinda scary!). Do you have any secrets?
ribboned asparagus & carrot salad :: sesame, miso, ginger
Serves 2 as a light lunch, 4 as a side
What you'll need:
1 bunch asparagus
4 medium carrots
2 stems of green onions, chopped
black sesame seeds for garnish
1 inch of fresh ginger root, minced
1 tsp miso paste
1 T honey
2 T sesame oil
juice one 1 lemon
Holding the thick end of a raw asparagus stem, gently apply the pressure of a potato peeler down the stalk. Rotate it until you've peeled as much you can and then break of the middle section of the stalk and toss it in with the peelings. Do the same with carrots, applying a bit more pressure to create ribbons. Chop green onions and add them in.
For the dressing, grate the ginger on a microplane zester (or mince very, very finely) and combine with all the other dressing ingredients. Shake in a jar, or whisk thoroughly to emulsify. Taste for salt... miso has an intensely salty flavor, so you probably won't need to add any.
Toss ribbons with the dressing and garnish with sesame seeds.