When you have a chronic illness, and live with daily pain, you learn pretty quickly that plans often need last minute adjusting to accommodate your ever fluctuating energy levels and abilities.
Short on time? Just here for a delicious recipe?
That’s great! I am super happy that you’re here! If you would like to skip my ramble and get to the details of the salad go ahead and scroll down a bit. You’ll find the recipe and some tips there. For the rest of you who are are willing to indulge me as I use my quota of words for the day, thank you! (my husband jokes with me all. the. time. to just “get to the point”).
Get comfy and settle into your favorite chair as I share my story with you :)
Last night my husband hosted his monthly guys group at our home. While he was concerned for me and sweetly encouraged me not to over-do it, I wanted the house to be tidy, and a good selection of munchies to be available, for his guests.
I may have pushed passed my body’s limit just a bit with the extra cleaning, and standing far too long in the kitchen. But, what really pushed me over the brink was sampling some of the appetisers I had prepared for the evening. I think it was the chicken artichoke flatbread that was the main culprit… delicious, but filled with ingredients that I know do not sit well with me and my illness. Oh my, it was sooo good though!
As the day came to a close my system made it quite clear that it was not happy. I was having a difficult time standing straight, my hips were on fire, my hands ached, and my head pounded. All symptoms of over-doing it, but ones that I have come to expect at the end of most day. It was my stomach twisted into knots, and my belly distended and painfully swollen, that had me crawling into bed hoping for sleep to dull the discomfort.
Morning arrived and I felt no better.
After an attempt to eat a light breakfast highlighted my inability to keep food down I decided that joining my husband at lunch today was probably not a good idea. And admitting this was a little crushing to my spirit.
I had been looking forward to joining Mike for a meal of Creamed Lettuce over Mashed Potatoes at the home of a family that I’ve grown to love. My first experience with creamed lettuce was about 4 years ago and it remains one of my favorites. Unfortunately the cream sauce requires more sugar than my inflamed joints can tolerate, and the mashed potatoes that swim in that tangy sweet sauce are something that I need to limit my enjoyment of.
You can read more about that experience HERE in the article I
wrote for the Badger Common'Tater.
I also share the recipe with you there if you're interested in making up a batch of Creamed Lettuce!
Before I inadvertently hurt any of my incredible farmer friends with that statement, or confuse the readers that know me as the “potato recipe lady”, let me clarify…
We LOVE potatoes.
We grow potatoes. Potatoes are our primary livelihood. They are a fabulous, low calorie, nutrient dense, versatile food.
Sadly though, they also have an unpleasant impact on my body when I am not very careful about the amount I consume.
Potatoes are a starch; filled with carbohydrates that the body breaks down into glucose (sugar) and then uses as fuel. Most people run very efficiently on glucose as their main energy source, and potatoes are an easy to digest option that is tolerated well by those who tend to have a tough time digesting other carbs. Yay, potatoes!
While there’s a bunch of science I could share, and interesting details I’d like to break down for you, the basics here is that our bodies treat starches just as they do sugar, and sugar spikes my inflammation levels.
I’m fighting a long battle with systemic inflammation and autoimmune disease so a spike in an already highly inflamed body will leave me feeling utterly yucky and struggling to function.
Exactly the situation I find myself in today... and the reason I faced the dilemma of whether to go to lunch and enjoy the food and the visit, or stay home nursing an already upset tummy and avoid adding any further fuel to the painful fire in my body.
I sadly chose to stay home. But, I had promised to make a salad for the gathering and was determined to at least follow through on that.
Thank goodness for helpful children!
My sweet daughter worked with me on this salad and handled all of the pieces too difficult, or dangerous, for me to do (ever attempt to chop veggies when your fingers are numb and your hands hurt too badly to hold the knife steady? Be sure to have bandages on hand!).
With her help, and the ease of a food processor and a canning jar, we had this salad marinating in the fridge and ready for my husband to transport it to lunch in less than 15 minutes!
Broccoli Carrot Salad
with Dijon Lime Vinaigrette
A couple tips…
pre-peeled and washed store bought carrots will work just fine in this salad but will give it a crunchier texture. Carrots fresh from the garden (or your favorite farmers market) offer a slightly softer salad (and, yes, I think that this is a good thing).
use a high quality, good tasting, extra virgin olive oil for your vinaigrette. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Tweak the amount of salt and pepper to fit your tastes. I prefer a bit more pepper on mine.
I reserve a few spears of broccoli and chop them with a knife rather than grate the entire broccoli. I like the way this looks when the salad is served and enjoy the different texture it offers.
This salad can be served immediately but tastes best when it’s had an hour or two in the fridge to allow all of the flavors to mingle.
Servings: 4 to 6
Total Time: 15 Minutes
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 head of broccoli
- 2 green onions (finely sliced)
- 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Wash and peel the carrots. Rinse the broccoli and remove any leaves and portions of the stem that are too tough to eat. Roughly cut the carrots and the broccoli into pieces that will fit into your food processor. Grate the broccoli and the carrots using the food processor.
Place the shredded veggies into the mixing bowl, along with the sliced green onions, and set aside.
To create the vinaigrette; squeeze the juice of the lime into a canning jar, add the mustard, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place the lid tightly onto the jar. Shake the sealed jar to combine all of the ingredients.
Pour the vinaigrette over the veggies and mix well.
And now it’s your turn …. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Ever have to cancel plans because your body didn’t want to cooperate?
Have you found that the way you eat affects the way you feel?
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