If you've ever been to one of my events, or visited me at my Mom's, you know you'll always find this salad around... It crunchy, its refreshing, it's tart and salty and just... Yummy! This salad has completely revolutionized my views of celery, which used to be a big no-no, and has promoted it to become one of my favorite raw (and cooked!) vegetables!
Actually, the original recipe had some mayo in it, but as I turned vegan and my sister's gut has un-friended many foods including mayo, the recipe was downsized to an olive oil-lemon dressing only... Which is still yummy, but I always missed the creamy-ness that came with a mayo (and truthfully have always been a BIG mayo fan). So finally found a great way to cream-it-up... Hemp seeds.
Adding the hemp seeds also enriches the salad with protein, essential fatty acids, magnesium and phosphorus... Yes folks... Creamy AND Nutritious CAN go together, while keeping it 100% raw and vegan! BTW if you don't have hemp seeds in the house, you can use cashews or almonds, as long as you soak them before hand, or just just stay with the olive oil/ lemon combo.
And did you know... that when eating celery, one would actually burn more calories than consume? Of course the olive oil and hemp seeds could add some fat in the picture, but plenty of research today shows that polyunsaturated/ healthy fats can actually help you lose weight!
So what are we waiting for??? Let's being this super EASY, HEALTHY, RAW deliciousness!
Mom's Celery Salad, with hemp-lemon-parsley dressing
For the Salad
One medium head of celery
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked for 12 hours, drained, rinsed (OR lightly toasted) and chopped
For the Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice- raw honey, or a couple of drops of stevia)
Start with chopping up the celery- remove the root part, by cutting about 1-2" from the bottom. Remove any outer stalks if they seem old or stringy, and rinse well. Cut some of the larger stalks into half length-wise, and then chop them up, or run them through your food processor with the "slicer" blade. TIP- don't discard the center or top leaves, those are yummy and tender, and go really well in this salad!
Now add your chopped parsley and walnuts to the mix. Soaked walnuts will keep your salad 100% raw, while lightly toasting them (in a toaster oven or a hot pan) will make it...mmm... quite delicious. So, feel free to experiment and find your favorite version!
Now for the dressing... Place all your dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. While the small "Magic XXX" blenders seem to really cream the dressings nicely (unless you're multiplying the recipe, the quantities above are usually very little in the large power blender container), any blender should work fine. The dressing should have a good balance of tart and sweet, so depending on the size of your lemon, you may have to add a little bit more sweetener. Taste and adjust to your likings.
Now... that's pretty much it! Fold the dressing into the salad, mix well, and you're good to go!
VERY IMPORTANT TIP- this salad tastes much better when prepared a few hours before the meal. The celery tends to release water, soften and absorb the dressing nicely. So you might not burn as many calories on chewing, but the pleasure factor will definitely increase :)
Enjoy... And Be Nourished!