I've been so sleepy lately; with the change of season and the warmer weather settling in, my body needs a few days to adjust to summer mode. If you know me you might be aware that my highest levels of energy come around midday, but lately I've been feeling instead like a toddler after lunch: ready for a power nap.
There's no way on earth I'd do siesta, I figured that as soon as my head hits the pillow during the day, all my thoughts, plans, ideas, philosophies and complaints come together and start pulling my eyelids open so I don't even try anymore.
Instead I use the power of food. Choosing the right ingredients for the right mood makes a huge impact in our bodies. Think of how you crave soups or spicy dishes on a cold day, or vegetables and broths when you're sick. Fresh and flavorsome meals with crunch to keep you busy, vibrant ingredients such as ginger or lime to awake your senses and pretty colors to look at energize you and give you that pick me up needed when a siesta is not an option. Deliciousness and nourishment are a very welcomed extra.
Fennel is one of my favorite raw vegetables. Crunch and juicy but not as overwhelming as celery, its delicate herbal and aniseed flavour pairs beautifully with creamy tahini and avocado and the addition of the pea shoots makes this salad a powerhouse of raw nutrients.
If I serve this as a main I like to pair it with chickpeas sautéed with onion, garlic and spinach for a filling dish. Otherwise its great as a starter or as a light lunch served with tempeh.
If you'd like to get into the fennel loving wagon with me, I encourage you to try this salad by Diana Henry or this summer soup from The River Cottage or pair with one of my all time faves, rhubarb, in this cocktail to get you started with the Christmas festivities.
Crisp iceberg and fennel salad with creamy tahini dressing
1 iceberg lettuce cut in 3 cm chunks
1 fennel, sliced finely
1 handful of pea shoots
1 avocado, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp picked fennel strands
Creamy tahini dressing
2 tablespoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of good quality miso
2 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tbsp tamari
2 tablespoon of mild oil ( I use rapeseed or rice bran)
2 tablespoons of hot water
1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated with a microplane
Prepare the vegetables in a big bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl mix all the ingredients for the dressing with a small whisk until thoroughly combined and creamy. The hot water will make this easier.
Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing to the salad and using two spoons or your hands mix gently so the dressing coats lightly all the leaves.
Serve immediately with more dessing on the side.