spring green salad with apple & fennel

(a cleansing conversation between body, mind & spirit)

Karen Messer

When I practise listening with gratitude to the dialogue between food and my body, mind and spirit, I find that nourishment arises both from what food I prepare and how I eat it.

This Spring Greens Salad with Apple & Fennel is a good recipe with which to practise listening to the body-mind-spirit dialogue — and the “discussion” that takes place between the body and food during digestion. The bitter flavour of the greens signals that it is time for a cleanse, something our bodies often need with the return of the sun in spring. The sour notes from the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar stimulate digestion, and the sweetness of the apple and fennel, along with the vibrancy of the fresh herbs, balances the flavours and helps to satisfy the palate. In addition to the tastes, the light textures of this salad convey an overall sense of renewal.

Eating fresh foods that give the body vitality and the mind clarity communicates a reverence for nourishment and health. To acknowledge the needs of the planet and the human connection to the environment, I recommend choosing
ingredients that are, as much as possible, seasonal, organic and grown locally. In northern temperate climates, apples that have been stored through the winter are one of the only locally grown fresh fruits available in early spring. Leafy greens become abundant in mild weather and they support the body’s inclination toward cleansing, as do most of the ingredients in this salad.

Take a few moments before you eat this salad to focus and relax. Consciously appreciate the beauty of the food and notice the conversation between your mind and body when you choose to eat foods that support your health.

spring greens salad with apple & fennel

serves 2–4

preparation time: 15–20 minutes

salad ingredients

4 cups mixed baby spring greens, or arugula,
spinach or dandelion

1 medium head fennel, stalks cut off and bulb thinly sliced

1 apple (preferably with red skin), thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley,
plus extra reserved for garnish

1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint, or more to taste

¼ cup dried cranberries

4 whole or halved radicchio leaves

dressing ingredients

1 apple, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. lemon juice

¼ cup orange juice

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp. salt, or to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the salad, except the radicchio, and toss gently.
  3. Pour on the dressing to taste, and toss again.
  4. Place the radicchio leaves on plates (leaves can be left whole, in a cup shape, or halved and fanned out beneath the salad). Arrange the salad on top of the radicchio.
  5. Drizzle extra dressing on the plate and sprinkle extra cilantro around the salad.

Jill Boadway is a professional chef and cooking instructor who specializes in health-conscious vegan cuisine influenced by Ayurvedic and yogic diets. Jill is currently one of the chefs at radha yoga & eatery in Vancouver and is co-writing a cookbook with holistic nutritionist Meghan Hanrahan, to be published by timeless books in spring 2009.

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