January 21, 2012

Skin Beauty Salad

I never really used to worry about my skin health back in Finland. There was hardly any need to be concerned about sun damage, I didn’t have bad acne or other skin conditions and I was getting enough sleep, exercising and eating well. When I moved to Australia, I was surprised how many people were complementing me on my skin. No one had ever said anything about it to me before and I had just taken good skin for granted.

After 6 years in Australia, however, my skin has clearly changed. Not just because I’ve aged (obviously), but also because it’s hard to avoid the harsh Australian sun. Even though I don't sun bake, I do all my exercise outdoors and thus spend quite a bit of time in the sun. I do use sunscreen (there are some great non-toxic creams available!), wear protective clothing and try to avoid staying in the sun for long periods between 11am and 4pm. I also get my skin checked regularly for any suspicious spots. Equally important, I take care of my skin by eating well.

Karen Fischer, skin beauty queen and author of ‘The Healthy Skin Diet’, recommends increasing the amount of alkalising foods in your diet to promote healthy skin. These could include salads, cooked and raw vegetables, avocado, almonds, fresh lemon or lime and apple cider vinegar. Excess acidity in the body can cause a variety of skin problems and result in a dull complexion.

Moisturising foods, especially those containing valuable omega-3 fats, are essential to your skin’s well-being. For vegetarians and vegans, foods rich in omega-3 include flaxseed, walnuts, soy beans and tofu. Other important foods to include in your diet include avocados, a variety of seeds (pepitas, sunflower, hemp), nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts), good oils (flaxseed, walnut, coconut) and leafy greens.

This beauty salad combines many of those ingredients vital for good skin health. Tahini dressing coats the chickpeas and the baby spinach leaves, and grilled zucchini and diced avocado bring extra creaminess to the dish. I also added some soaked almonds for an extra layer of texture. Delicious!


Skin Beauty Salad
(serves 2)

230g cooked chickpeas (or use 1 tin)
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1/2 avocado, diced
1 small handful of almonds, soaked in water overnight
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/2 cm disks
olive oil, for brushing
2 tablespoons unhulled tahini (or use this recipe)
1/2 lemon, juiced
water
pinch of salt
1 small garlic clove
freshly ground black pepper

1. Lightly brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and grill on a pan for a couple of minutes on each side. Set aside.

2. Combine tahini, lemon juice and grated garlic in a small bowl. Add enough water to form a smooth, runny dressing. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and coat them with the tahini dressing. 

4. Place the baby spinach leaves in serving bowls, top with tahini coated chickpeas, diced avocado and the zucchini slices. Sprinkle with soaked almonds (or seeds of choice).

 

29 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and healthy salad! Have a great weekend Maria!

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  2. Grilled zucchini (courgette) is one of my favourite summer flavours - this sounds like an ideal salad for me! I definitely find that the more savoury things I have in my diet the better my skin looks :)

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  3. I love Karen's book- it's so informative! This salad looks delicious, I'll have to make it soon as I'm loving tahini dressings lately :)

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  4. Hyviä neuvoja,ja koska minäkin asun aurinkoisessa maassa,tärkeätä ottaa huomioon myös ruokavalion vaikutus ihoon.itse yritän välttää aurinkoa niin paljon kuin mahdollista,mutta se on kyllä aika vaikeaa täällä;D

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  5. I just read an article on healthy fats on Halthy Green Kitchen and now I see this lovely salad that puts into practice many of those good tips! Good job! It looks wanderful!

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  6. Scrumptious¨This a fabulous combination.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. Yum! I had grilled zucchini the other day but this looks awesome for these summer days :)

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  8. this salad really looks refreshing & delicious

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  9. This salad looks delicious but after living for 50 years in Africa - need I say more! Diane

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  10. Fabulous salad for glowing skin, no doubt. Bookmarked it and now religiously going to eat this healthy salad ! Loved the addition of tahini dressing !

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  11. I think your salad sounds fab and if it's good for your skin too, let's get chopping! Oh, and I'm going to eat it in the shade.

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  12. Who can say no to a beauty salad? Not me!

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  13. Wow yummy this salad looks delicious. I too am an avid believer in adding alkalising foods in to my diet. I actually notice a significant change in my skin when I eat more greens and raw, living foods.


    Thank you for a great recipe! xx

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  14. Having very many more years on my back than you and having lived in Australia for most of them, I still get compliments on my skin - and good food choices are for sure responsible! Grilled fish on on the lunch menu for today: guess which salad will accompany it? Actually just have to add a few more items to what was planned :D ! Looks beautiful, I know it will taste so too!!

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  15. Mmm I love tahini dressings!

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  16. Delicious salad with ingredients after my own heart!

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  17. what a gorgeous salad! i love grilled zucchini, chickpeas, and tahini salad dressing!

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  18. Wonderful salad Maria!

    It's true about Scandinavian skin. Not only is it clear and smooth, but it's usually sunspot free due to long periods of 'rest' from the sun.

    I found that Soleo worked well as a sunscreen in Australia. It's 100% organic and free from nasties.

    Day 9 on the detox and feeling great!

    xx Charlotta

    P.S. Are you moved in to the house yet?

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  19. I'm convinced that tahini lemon dressings take any salad over the top!

    I'm so happy that Sarah Wilson linked to your blog today. I bought Sarah's I Quit Sugar book a while back. I also have fructose malabsorption, which I only discovered a few months ago, so I have been more conscious of my sugar consumption than ever. As a vegan, I am SO excited to see that you are posting a vegan sugar-free challenge. I don't really need to do the challenge per se, as I've already done that in finding a low FODMAPs diet, but your site will really help me with new recipes and meal ideas.

    ...Plus it's always fun to read about other people's experiences being an ex-pat in Oz, being one myself!

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  20. How did I miss this salad it looks great and I really need skin beauty foods right now! I've been getting pimples >_< too much fried food here in HK.

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  21. I just finished eating this wonderful salad! Thank you so much for posting the recipe x

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  22. I def wanna try this but what are we soaking the almonds in exactly?

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  23. Hi there!

    Sorry, I should've been more specific. The almonds are soaked in water!

    Maria

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  24. Your salad looks awesome Maria, can't wait to make it!

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  25. I had run out of avocado, so I used leftover roast pumpkin instead. yum, yum, yum!

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  26. Looks like a bowl of yummy and healthy salad. Bon apetit.

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  27. We love this healthy salad that is good for you inside out!

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  28. Thank you for this recipe! I am going to try it tonight!
    Lena.

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