Creating a divine green salad

Creating a divine green salad isn't difficult for the home gardener. It's about an unhurried ten minute walk through the veggie patch plucking leaves of lettuce, a bit of this and that depending on your mood, and then adding some fresh herbs.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 6 December, 2018.

By Bernard Preston

It's little wonder so many folk despise a salad; they contemptuously call it rabbit food. And so it is, if there's only iceberg lettuce and a couple slices of tomato on your plate.

That's not a salad. Even adding a dressing overloaded with omega 6 rich inflammatory oil, and various preservatives and flavour enhancers cannot turn it into something tempting.

If you want a divine salad, then you have to grow it; water the plants, nurture them with love, spice them with worm wee and you have all the makings of a gourmet meal. It's got to be fresh. Anything picked yesterday just won't wash if you want your taste buds demanding more.

Yes, the average salad is boring beyond imagination, and probably not very nutritious. Yet, with researchers showing that those who consume eight or more coloured foods per day having a 35 percent lower all cause of death, it's worth considering, not so?

But iceberg lettuce and tomato just won't pass muster, will it?

As you wander through the garden, start the planning. What's your mood for today? Want something hot and spicy? Well, then some jalapenos must be on your platter; red if you really want the heat, or some young green ones are delicious too.

Some like it hot; have you seen the movie?

And then of course as many different coloured lettuces as you have, plenty of herbs like sweet basil, tomatoes and peppers and you have the beginnings of a proper salad. Don't forget the spring onions, or chives, a must in any salad worthy of its name.

Creating a divine green salad

Creating a divine green salad is about interesting flavours and adding colours.

There's such guilt and worry about our food in these times; gone are the days when we could actually enjoy what we're eating without trepidation about what the scale is going to tell us the moment we step in the door.

Banish the thought. Let's enjoy our food again, healthy stuff that's not going to turn us into whales with painful arthritic knees and diabetes and deep concerns about heart attacks and strokes. Roll on the divine green salad.

Creating a divine green salad with added vibrant colours is not for those who are burning the candle at both ends; it won't last the night in any case, so perhaps there's no point. This is for folk who want to enjoy the privilege of going to their grandchildren's weddings with all their marbles intact.

Your salads are pretty grubby believe you me; a good wash is in order.

Just notice all the colours; apart from the divine flavours fresh from the garden, that's what we are after. It's the phytochemicals in our salads that improve our eyesight, keep our blood pressure down and keep those nasty cancers at bay.

Okay, so it takes time. Yes, it does; spend half an hour plucking and preparing your salads, or fifty times as much visiting the pharmacy and the doctor. I'd rather the unhurried wander through my garden than a rushed visit to the ER; it's all about your philosophy of life. Mine's erred strongly on the side of prevention of disease.

And as I wash these gourmet salads, my taste buds are getting excited and I'm probably beginning to drool. The flavours will be divine.

Rinse your salads several times to get the grit out; if they are bought at the shop then you'll be hoping to get any pesticides and bacterium off them too. I don't need to tell you these are organic lettuces. They are grown in compost, watered with worm wee and plucked, a leaf here and another there, with love and an unhurried sense of time.

Still, wash them thoroughly; salads are the second most common cause of foodborne illness; it's not likely from your garden, but five days later from the farm anything can happen.

You probably can't see it, but there are five different lettuces here; okay, so the reds are getting a bit thin.

Spread them out nicely on your salad bowl; no lily-white iceberg here, even if it's nice and crunchy.

Now it's time to add the bitter herbs; Easter is coming up as I write. Here we have parsley on the left, cilantro and my favourite sweet basil on the right, and of course some spring onions.

It's beginning to look like a proper green salad at last; all the ingredients to keep your colon happy are right here. No colorectal cancer for you.

Now to add some colours; they are vitally important if you want to protect the prostate and the boob; reds are particularly important for the lycopenes, but enjoy whatever you can lay your hands on.

I've concentrated on the tomatoes and peppers today, but on the morrow we'll have some raw beetroot, thinly sliced and radishes perhaps; whatever tickles my fancy. Corn on the cob is a favourite in the summer and avocados through the winter.

We have a glut of these baby tomatoes at the moment and numerous different kinds of peppers; they are second only to citrus in their vitamin C content.

The pepperdew is my favourite and you really do take potluck. If our honeybees have just visited the jalapenos then they may have pollinated it with some really hot pollen; if they were last seen at the sweet paprika, as we call them in Holland, then you might have a very mild one.

Now it's starting to look like a real salad.

Iceberg and tomato? Bah, that's not a salad.

I really don't promote weighing your food, counting calories, or wondering if you've had your complement of colours; that just ruins a hearty meal. Just tuck in and enjoy.

But just for the record there are at least 15 different coloured foods already on this plate; it's a feast of anti-cancer.

And if creating a divine green salad like this is too much trouble, well, I'll be diplomatic and say no more. A Dutchman would retort, those who won't hear must feel.

No salad to my mind is complete without either hummus or pesto, and olive oil. Today is a garbanzo bean day; your salad needs some protein.

Our authentic hummus recipe takes me all of five minutes, twice a week to rustle up; I make a big tub and it's as easy as puddin' and pie once you've got the ingredients together. It's made from garbanzos, also known as chickpeas, tahini, fresh lemon, cumin and olive oil.

If you take nothing else from this page today, learn how to make hummus in your own kitchen; it's a huge step up to better health, and it really makes any boring salad into something special.

Not shown on our plates, we've added feta cheese and ten or so pickled olives; on the side is our delicious sourdough bread recipe that we bake on alternate days. That also takes only five minutes; dinkum.

Using 100 percent wholemeal flour and our sourdough bread recipe, and five hours of course in the solar electric oven it's really a breeze to make these delicious foods. Slow food, made fast, is our motto.

You've probably heard that butter is back, and should never have been banished in the first place; no margarine if you value your nerves. Hence my interest as a chiropractor. Hydrogenated oils are toxic to the body.


What's missing from this divine green salad of course is half an avocado; they were out of season when I printed this page.

Avocados have many virtues of their own, but one in particular is their fat content improves the absorption of other carotenoids from your greens. These are the vital substances that provide so many benefits in the body, from better eyesight to less cancer and inflammation in muscles and joints.

Read more about avocados at Critical Reviews in food Science and Nutrition, Vol 53, 2015.

Have a Guinness with your salad

Unfortunately many great stories end prematurely because someone refused to eat a salad, but by all means have a Guinness with your lunch.

A Guinness was definitely the best of the half dozen beers I sampled on a recent trip to the UK. But make sure you are sober when weighing up the advertising.

What's potting in the garden

What's potting in the garden is Bernard Preston's delight once he's finished treating his chiropractic patients for the day. Creating a divine green salad, with all those fresh, scrumptious, life-giving herbs and coloured veggies really means taking an interest; otherwise you're reliant on wilted lettuce picked a day or often far longer ago; this summer vegetable garden page may have some ideas for you. 

Worse, new research published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology states that salads are the second most common source of foodborne illness via such routes such as contaminated washing water, non hygienic equipment and human handling and, in particular, salad leaf juice that increases Salmonella growth by up to 280-fold over the typical storage time of five days.

From start to finish, picking, washing, and sorting may have taken nearly half an hour in the Garden Cathedral, and another thirty minutes to enjoy a delightful meal; just the palpable release of spirit makes it worthwhile; one hour for your lunch? Well, there's five minutes for preparing for our olive bread recipe

The autumn veggie garden will tell you all about these salads and a lot more.

Depression and anxiety

You may be surprised to read that creating a divine green salad like this will also help depression and anxiety. Quite apart from the healing of the inner being that comes from gardening, Dr Karen Swartz, director of the mood disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins reports that people with low folate respond less well to medication for depression.

A green salad is one of the prime sources of folate.

Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a semi-retired chiropractor with a background in physics; he is passionate about growing and enjoying healthy food, and preserving our environment for our children. He collects and stores solar power and rainwater, grows organic fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and bees. He is the author of four books.

Bernard Preston is without apology a kinky greenie; he hates cancer and pain, drugs and doctors. You can either enjoy growing and creating a divine green salad like this, or... be sickly, and probably drop dead ten years before your time. It's such a boon to take no medication at seventy years old.

You too could enjoy a life without medication; it certainly has it's merits!

Folk often think he's vegetarian; he's not, but we are trying to cut down on red meat to perhaps once or twice a week. The World Health Organisation is unequivocal on the subject. So we turn more to fish and fowl, and vegetable protein from chickpeas and broad beans, for example; the latter are a whole 25% protein; and provide L-dopa, a very important phytochemical that a part of the brain called the Substantia Niagra uses to manufacture dopamine; a deficiency causes Parkinson's disease.

» » Creating a divine green salad

Bernard Preston

If you've enjoyed this creating a divine green salad page, then you'll love the Bernard Preston books. Except in the United States they are only available now as ebooks. Got a Kindle or tablet? They are dirt cheap; find them in the navigation bar on your left. 

Love of a rose

Few books have resonated with me recently like Love of a Rose has done; here just one passage on creating a divine green salad.

"Indeed, no banquet yet has ever tasted half as good to Papa Meilland as the crisp golden chips his mother used to pile high on their plates flanked with a mountain of green salad; or her steaming, thick vegetable soup helped out with a thrifty salted morsel of last year's Lord Pig."

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What's this site about?

Bernard Preston books

A family affair by Bernard Preston comes after the trilogy that starts with Frog in my Throat.

Consulting a chiropractor

Femoral nerve AP Xray from one of Bernard Preston's books.

Bernie's healthy choice foods

Cooking green beans Bernard Preston passion

Bernie's bread

Bread machine loaf by Bernard Preston

Bernie's garden

green beans and granadillas Bernard Preston

Bernie's bees

Bees workforce in Bernard Preston's garden

Bernie's chickens

Chickens for free range eggs.

Bernie's solar

Residential solar panels at Bernard Preston's home

Bernie's rainwater harvest

Harvesting rainwater to a reservoir in the garden means a steady supply that is unpolluted by environmental toxins.

Phytochemical foods

Authentic hummus recipe

Sesame tahini

Parsley benefits

Growing lettuce

Sweet basil is my favourite herb. Eugenol oil is the active ingredient.

How to grow chilli