Before I dive into the delicious recipe for Vegetarian Mexican Salad, I’d like to share a bit of background on the creator. Think vegetarians are wan and sickly? It’s a trite cliché – the health food touter who looks, well – unhealthy. Meet a smart, vivacious woman who shatters that stereotype. Nancy Addison, a nutrition expert, counselor and author who just might convince you to give a vegetarian lifestyle a try – if not in total, in part. With bright eyes, a slim figure and an obvious abundance of energy, the mother of a 31-year-old is her own best advertisement for the lifestyle she champions.
She is the first to recommend you consult with a doctor to ensure you will be getting adequate nutrients in any diet you undertake. “What’s right for me might not be right for someone else. Everyone should find what makes them feel best”, she notes. She became a vegetarian due to her own health concerns. An overdose of penicillin as a child left her anemic, something she struggled with for years. After college and marriage, two pregnancies in quick succession led to extreme weight gain, then diabetes. At the same time, an awareness of abusive farming practices and ecological concerns began to trouble her. Her father’s cancer diagnosis was the tipping point which led to researching nutrition. It turns out the seemingly wholesome diet she had been eating her whole life was not healthy at all. After much research, she made a commitment to a plant-based lifestyle for herself and her children. Fast forward three decades. Addison has pursued studies and certifications through Columbia University, The Institute of Integrative Medicine, Cornell University, the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in New York City and the American Sports and Fitness Association. She’s the picture of health and has authored several healthy diet-related books.
Books by Nancy Addison:
- How to Be a Healthy Vegetarian, Second Edition
- Diabetes and Your Diet (which is Gluten Free, Vegan, Raw)
- Raising Healthy Children; Health and Nutrition Information, Recipes, and Resources (which is not all-vegetarian)
The inspiration for her first came about when her kids began college and she realized many of their friends had adopted vegetarianism, but not in a good way. “They were eating vegetarian, true, but it was junk food,” she notes. Her response to the need she saw for better information was How to Be a Healthy Vegetarian which includes nutritional advice, recipes and a resource list of products, books and websites, published in 2012 and now in its second printing. More books followed specific to healthy diets for children, diabetes patients, diets for seniors and for weight-loss, a website, private nutritional counseling, and more.
She practices the lifestyle she preaches. A vegetarian for more than 30 years now, her pantry and refrigerator are filled with whole grains and seeds, nut oils, and fresh produce, much of which comes from a backyard organic garden. She uses natural, nontoxic cleaning supplies, soaps and cosmetics. Her books include not just explanatory information gleaned from her studies, but recipes she developed in gigs as a personal chef to nutrition-conscious celebrities.
Nancy Addison shares a recipe for a surprisingly easy vegetarian Mexican salad, a fantastic choice for lunch or light supper and about as guilt-free as it gets:
Vegetarian Mexican Salad Recipe
This vegetarian Mexican salad is high in protein, has great flavor, and can be a complete meal. It is both vegan and gluten-free.
The recipe serves two.
2 cups cooked black beans, preferably sprouted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped cucumber
2 cups baby kale leaves
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Unrefined sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Lemon slice for garnish
1. Warm the black beans.
2. Combine olive oil, cucumber, kale, avocado, garlic, and cilantro. Stir well.
3. Place the salad on a plate or in a bowl and place the black beans on top.
4. Season with unrefined salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place lemon slice for garnish.
The recipe for Mexican Salad comes from page 305 of “How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian,” by Nancy Addison.