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  • Jane Sloan


Dandelion Salad

Hello Aries! It’s springtime in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of a new Astrological year. It’s still cold here in Toronto, but the trees are starting to show their buds and I smell spring...and it turns me on! I feel the twitching of my stagnant muscles calling to move and move now. I have a new project percolating in my head and I want to get on it, before the ideas are even complete. Yes, I am impatient, I am passionate, I am Aries. For me, entering the Aries time is like being let out of a cage. I just want to run, but I have no idea in which direction yet. I do know that now is the time to prepare my body for this year’s course. My body and mind are sluggish... I need to clear the stagnation, limber up and get to the starting line. When you are considering food for the Aries season it helps to look at the season from which we have just come. In winter we tend to hibernate. Our activity level is generally low and we have been consuming hearty heavy foods to keep our bodies warm and comforted. With the onset of spring, Aries and Mars want to speed things up. There are seeds to plant and many months ahead to cultivate, grow and harvest these new crops. For this we will need energy, drive and initiative. We need a strong vibrant body and mind to get all this work done. So we will ramp up some Aries energy with cleansing and fortifying foods that nature naturally provides at this time of year. Aries rules the head, the face, brain, skull, eyes, the upper part of the jaw, the pituitary and adrenal glands and the distribution of mental and physical energy. Mars rules red blood cells, adrenal glands and muscular system. Aries and Mars are both hot and dry and we need this influence to pull us from the damp, cold winter. This choleric energy will wake up circulation, burn up viruses and bacteria, purify the blood and get us moving. To do this Aries will gravitate to spicy and bitter foods that pack a punch of nutritional value. Garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, nettles, yellow dock, red clover, burdock, milk thistle, are a few of the culinary treasure that I will employ this Aries season. I get so excited at this time of year because I know that in a very short time the markets will be bursting with fresh local produce. I am craving the crunch of raw foods and the young bitter greens that are going to stimulate my digestive juices to aid cleansing. The bitter foods that sprout up in spring time are wonders for cleansing and strengthening the liver – which holds any pent up anger that your Mars energy needs to express. Most people shy away from the bitter foods... because... they are bitter! The food industry has taken great pains to remove the bitter constituents of food so that we don’t need to taste it. We are no longer accustomed to it... but we need this flavour and we need to taste it for the body to respond with it’s natural cleansing cycle. So for my Aries meal, I will prepare what I need and love to get this body in fighting form... but, I will do my best to balance the flavours so that everyone will enjoy.

This is a staple meal of mine that I use from spring through summer. The ingredients will change as the availability of local produce broadens, but I always start with several weeks of the beloved dandelion. The Aries creature may get a little impatient with all the chopping, but this recipe will make a lot of left over salad that makes meal prep a breeze for the rest of the week. Dandelion Salad In a large mixing bowl add the following: ½ bunch dandelion leaves - finely chopped 3 medium carrots (I found rainbow carrots with Aries colours from yellow to red)- grated about 3 inches of a big fat diakon radish -grated ½ white or red onion- finely chopped 2 small garlic cloves -very finely chopped about ¼ cup sundried tomatoes- finely chopped ½ bunch asparagus – lightly steamed (just so the asparagus turns bright green) and coarsely chopped At this point you have enough for a small crowd or for tonnes of leftovers that you can use for the rest of the week. I kept enough out for 2 servings (approx 4-5 cups) and put the rest in a covered glass bowl in the fridge. As long as you do not add any dressing, this salad will keep well for 4 or 5 days. Dressing for 2 servings: ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp Pickle juice ( from naturally fermented pickles like Bubbies) ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 generous Tbsps of Olive oil A pinch of sea salt and some generous grinds of cracked black pepper Put the Dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake until emulsified or whisk in small bowl. Pour over the salad and toss well. Be generous with the dressing. The oil, fermented pickle juice and AC vinegar will help draw out the minerals from the dandelion. This salad goes well with just about any protein – fish, poultry, meat, legumes, eggs, quinoa, lentils, beans...... Today I made one with a seared lamb kabob and feta cheese for my guest and the other with butter beans and sesame seeds for myself. Garnish with 8-10 julienned basil leaves

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