vitamin loaded salad

Thanksgiving weekend is over, here in Canada. I hope you took a moment this past weekend to be thankful. I hope you spent some time outside, looked up at the trees, gazed through the sunshine, told the ones you love that you love them, or just expressed gratitude, for whatever it may be. Grateful for being alive. Grateful for the food that’s on your table. For the water that’s running through your faucet. Grateful for the beauty that is this season. For those spectacular coloured leaves that would leave anyone speechless.

We came back from Montreal Monday night after a strenuous six and a half hour drive. It was exhausting, but it was well worth the trip . A beautiful weekend spent for the most part outdoors, admiring the beauty that is October. This month is without a doubt one of the most beautiful months of the year and its beauty astonishes me every year. I’m all too often so focused on summer that I tend to forget how beautiful October is. This past weekend was the best reminder I could have asked for. The colours were mind blowing. A spectacle that would make you stop and stare at the trees for hours.

It’s funny how when I looked at the photos I took over the weekend, the colours seemed to match almost perfectly with those of this salad I had planned on posting this week. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. And after the excesses of Thanksgiving, this antioxidant and vitamin loaded salad is the perfect meal to get anyone’s body back on track.

Purple cabbage, orange sweet potatoes, yellow beets, red apples and green parsley are all tossed together with a soft yellow dressing, recreating in a bowl the spectacle that the trees are offering in the mountains. The tangy miso and ginger dressing offers a nice punch of flavours, while the parsley brings freshness and peppery notes to the dish. And these tamari and maple roasted pumpkin seeds are the cherry on top of the sundae, pleasing the palate with a sweet and salty contrast, while adding a nice crunch.

This slaw is loaded with the most colourful Fall vegetables, providing incredible nutrition and cell protection in each bite. Vegetables that have a rich color are not only pleasing to the eye, but they are also richer in antioxidants than their dull-colored counterparts, due to their natural pigments. Yellow and orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, are rich in pigments called carotenoids, which our bodies convert to vitamin A (an essential nutrient for healthy vision, skin, bones, heart and immune system).

Red cabbage and red beets get their color pigment from specific antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Red cabbage is one of the most nutritious vegetables around, as it contains powerful anticancer compounds known as glucosinolates. In fact, the entire cabbage family of vegetables (including broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower) contains more phytochemicals with anticancer properties than any other vegetable family.

The salad will soak up the dressing quite fast so it is best eaten right away. You can shred the vegetables using a mandoline, the shred blade on your food processor, or even a sharp knife. If you prefer a crunchier texture or need to hold the salad a little longer, I’d recommend shredding or slicing your vegetables on the thicker side.