Eating mostly plants truly makes me feel great, energetically, digestively, glowing from the inside out kind of way. After watching the documentary Cowspiracy and reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, I could no longer think of myself as eco-conscious eating daily in a way that was contributing to the bankruptcy of the planet’s natural resources, that life is tied inextricably to our lives.
Eating healthily is about being informed and making conscious decisions. This means that if you choose to eat animal products, endeavour to understand where it comes from, how that animal lived, the process and systems surrounding its death and how it got to your plate. If you take these few steps, then conscious eating follows. For me, that meant a lot more veggies and my body has thanked me for it a thousand times over.
That said, I still love a good Cesar salad once in a while! Anchovies are the most abundant fish stock in the sea, an excellent brain healthy fat source. Here is my take on the classic with bright rainbow chard, sweet potato for a healthy carb and a twist with black sesame. It is splendidly dairy and gluten free with olive oil instead of butter. I promise you won’t miss it or the croutons.
Rainbow Cesar, Sweet Potato & Black Sesame
Cook Time: pre-roast a few sweet potatoes on a Sunday, you can keep extending them for lunches and dinners for up to three days and make this a 15-minute dinner. If not, then it’s a 45min meal
Serves: 2 as a main, 3 as a side dish
2 heads of baby Romaine
2-3 leaves of different color rainbow chard (yellow and red are beauties)
1-2 handfuls of watercress (optional)
1 roasted sweet potato
4 whole anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons (and up to 3 tablespoons) Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar (balsamic makes it nice and rich)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 whole lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 fat pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pinches of flat leaf parsley
2 pinches of black sesame seeds
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
Preheat the oven to 250C and bake the sweet potato for 30-40 mins or until a knife pierces the tater easily. Then make the dressing, by adding all the ingredients except the oil to the blender. Then drizzle in the oil while it is whizzing away. Pow, beautifully emulsified Cesar dressing in 2 minutes.
Tear the romaine into bite size pieces with your hands. Roughly chop the watercress. Chop the rainbow chard stem into half a pinky width, it will act like a sweet, crunchy rainbow celery. When you get to the green bit of chard, double the width of the cut so you have more of a soft yet sturdy green which holds the dressing beautifully.
Let the sweet potato cool for up to 10 mins and chop it up.
Toss it all together, garnish and enjoy.