Friday, October 9, 2009

Hearts of Palm and Hemp Salad Dressing

Nothing too original for supper last night...just made a salad (and garlic toast again; doesn't garlic toast make any meal great?), but Ryan, Tornado, and I LOVE salads (if made properly). (We're working on Dash and Sissy, and they're getting better.)

Ingredients: baby romaine, romaine hearts, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, onions, cannelini beans, Tofurky kielbasas cooked and cut into chunks (our favorite analog), and West Soy baked garlic and herb tofu (our favorite kind of tofu).

We also tried adding two new products, and they were both hits...

The first one was hearts of palm.

I'd never really tried them before, until I recently had lunch with my little sister Tracy at Cafe Bossa Nova in Little Rock. It has Brazilian cuisine with vegan options. I always feel better about "vegan options" at a restaurant if the item is actually called "vegan ____" and the waiter seems comfortable with the word. I ordered the black bean soup and the salada de palmito, which is imported Brazilian hearts of palm, red onions, and tomatoes drizzled with a balsamic vinegar, olive oil and oregano dressing. I realized I need to start using this vegetable, which is packed with iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. It's also low-carb, not that I care about that sort of thing, but you may.

Tornado loved them so much he asked that I put them in his lunch the next day.

In regard to Dash and Sissy and salads...well, they had altered versions of our salad. Sissy had broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, tofu, kielbasa, beans, a tiny bit of the lettuce/spinach, and the dressing. Dash had broccoli, tofu, kielbasa, beans, a tiny bit of lettuce/spinach, and the dressing.

We know what they will refuse to eat, and we try pick our battles. Dash is the pickiest, and we're just happy that he WILL eat baby carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. If he won't eat zucchini, squash, or brussel sprouts, then fine. He will eat small amounts of lettuce and spinach on a sandwich. He HAS gotten better about trying a lot of things we ask (very nicely) him to try, so we feel proud of him for that. Which, I think, proves that you just have to keep surrounding them with healthy foods, talking about how good it is for them, and offering it to them.

We also used this new (I guess it's new? They were giving out samples when I was at Whole Foods today.) Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy dressing. It was just as good as any dressing, to me personally, and the only ingredients are organic cold-pressed unrefined hemp seed oil, organic raw agave nectar, organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic celery seed, and Celtic sea salt. The benefits of hemp oil (over 90% unsaturated) are Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids and GLA (which is gamma linolenic acid). I don't perfectly understand everything there is to know about EFA's, but I do know that oils are supposed to be in a ratio of 3:1 (in regard to omega 6 and 3), and hempseed is. Here is an article talking about the health benefits of hemp products.


  1. I can't believe you've never had hearts of palm before!! Sooo good, I love them in salads with artichokes ;)

  2. I saw something with hearts of palm at the WF food bar, but didn't try it unfortunately! Nutritional stats sound awesome though, and you all seemed to love it. Will try to find again next time!

  3. I am a sucker for a big hearty salad so I am glad you shared this one. I have never try hemp oil before, but I definitely plan to give a try now.