recipes and tips for better living

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hey Spicoli, Weed's Not Just For Smokin'! Cleanse Your Liver, Blood, & Kidneys With This One(derful) Edible Weed

If Stoney Spicoli (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) only knew about the vibrational energy and healing powers of dandelion he'd be super stoked on eating Weed...and I'm sure lots of it.

Last weekend i took a great cooking class from Nida Mansour. It was put together through Natural Healing Institute in Encinitas, CA where i've taken many classes. The focus of this specific class was on Super Foods. Nida did a great job at demonstrating her well thought out, healthy, and delicious recipes incorporating maca, cocao, gogi, and hemp seeds into the mix. Steve Schechter (director of NHI) was very thorough at explaining the benefits of these foods, as well was very patient and informative to my many various questions (yes, i was "that girl"...the one that asks too many questions). These classes are hosted every other weekend and focus on the various systems of the body and the therapeutic healing elements of food.

Nida was kind enough to allow me to share this great recipe she taught us over the weekend. The recipe calls for dandelion greens, which i know might scare some of you off (images of bright yellow flowers and green weeds springing up in the yard). You can buy dandelion greens at your local health market or co-op. Indeed they are bitter, but dandelion helps stimulate bile production and makes a great blood and liver cleanser (so for all of you winos..this salad's for you!). According to the USDA one serving of uncooked dandelion greens offers you 280% of the daily requirements of beta carotene and 1/2 the daily requirements of Vitamin C for adults. The flavor combinations in this salad help to cut out it's bitter taste. It's also a great way to bring bee pollen into your meal and sneak it past any family members that may not be jiving on the idea of bee pollen.

Dandelion & Radish Salad with Pomegranate Bee Pollen Dressing:

1 small bunch of dandelion greens, chopped/sliced very fine
1 carrot grated
4-5 small radish, grated
1 small beet, raw, grated
2 Tbsp Fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp Flax Oil
1/2 tsp. seaweed powder/dulse flakes
1 Tbsp. Pomegranate Syrup
1 tsp. bee pollen
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, or combine all ingredients from Basil to Lemon in a blender and pour over first 4 ingredients.

I was blown away when I tasted her deeee-licious salad. I went to recreate it at home the next day. While i was limited to the ingredients I had on hand (no pom syrup, no radish, and no orange), I was still able to make a splendid alternative version. I blended the dressing with an extra lemon in place of the orange, used a little agave instead of pom syrup, and sprinkled a little cayenne to up the spice i was missing without radish. It still made an amazing dish! You might consider tossing in a few pumpkin seeds for a little protein boost!

If you are interested in classes with Nida, you can go through her directly at or contact NHI at

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