December is absolutely upon us, the finale to a lightning-speed elapsed year of 2013 and all of the celebratory carry-on and over-indulgence that will accompany the season right up to the New Year and beyond. There’s no easy escape for anyone, best just to go with it. Musicians particularly will most likely be following a hectic schedule right now playing at Xmas parties and participating in Candlelight Carol events around the country. This can mean hours of rehearsal then being placed on a stage to read endless charts of Xmas songs, like Mariah Carey’s epic arrangement of Joy to the World including three key changes, multiple chord-subsitutions and references to the ‘Three Dog Night’ song thrown in as well just to keep us on our toes. To keep up the level of concentration needed in these situations, being well-nourished is vital. Take a bag of almonds and some bananas to the rehearsal.
I have decided this year to be well armed for the onslaught figuring a few weeks of healthy eating will put the body in ship-shape preparedness for the upcoming weeks and damage-control can be enforced prior to excessive consumption. For this task am thinking along the lines of Green.
There are no limitations to an All-Green Salad, truly fresh being the most important element. Make sure every green ingredient of your choice (or follow list below) is fresh and clean by washing all leaves/herbs free from residues – organic included. Even if you’ve grown it all yourself it still must be rinsed thoroughly. If you have cultivated your own greens you’ll be aware of the freshness and taste sensation as opposed to you know what. If you are purchasing from markets or grocers, go for the most vibrant looking and use that very same day. The French approach – shop seasonally and if you are good with time-management, daily for optimum zest.
Broad Beans are the stars of this salad and are in season now, but really anything green and lush will work. Don’t be afraid of Broad Beans. Yes they are fussy and time-consuming to prepare but the results, both nutritionally loaded with protein and fibre also taste wise are worth it if you set aside the time to prepare them. Based on top of an all-green salad and served with Green Tea for the ultimate de-fox, this is a nice early Xmas present for your body. You could also serve this up with some cooked prawns and basil oil tossed through as a Turkey alternative on The Day itself. You’ll have yourself a very merry little Christmas indeed.
All-Green Broad Bean (Pre-Xmas Detox) Salad
1 Cup prepared Broad Beans
1 Bunch of Rocket Lettuce
1/2 Cup of Green Peas
Mint Leaves, shredded
Basil leaves, torn
Bunch of Chives, chopped
* To prepare Broad beans – Split the pods and remove the beans, discard pods. Blanch beans in boiling water for a few minutes, drain then place into ice water. Slip the skins off simply with your finger, or make a small incision with a knife and pop the inner bean out (this is the time-consuming part)
* Place the rest of the salad ingredients in a bowl with the beans, toss gently.
* Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Lime Juice
For a bit more of a zing, try the salad with this Basil Oil Recipe (which also is delicious with prawns)
1/2 Cup Basil Leaves
1 Garlic Clove
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and ground Black Pepper
* Place all ingredients in a food-processor and blend well.
* Pour what you don’t use straight away into a jar and store in the fridge, it will keep for a week. (Just bring it to room temperature before next use as the oil solidifies). Once you try this oil, you’ll find you want to put it on everything – it’s spectacularly good on poached eggs for breakfast 🙂