Bowls/ Recipes

The Raw Salad Fitness Plate

The Swiss are famous for piling on the food, whether it’s an outsize serving of fondue (approximately 1 pound of cheese per person), or the outright terrifying Bernertafel, or “Bern plate,” a manhole-sized platter heaped with sausages with a little potato and pickle on the side “for digestion.”

Fortunately, they’ve devised a remedy for those of us who aren’t packing in the calories at lunch in preparation for a day of scrambling up mountaintops with goats. They call it the Fitnesstafel, or “Fitness Plate,” and we found it on various menus as we traipsed from Bern to Vaud to Basel a few months ago. I snapped a picture of one that Steve ordered, and here it is:

bern-fitness-tafel

It’s basically a bunch of shredded veggies and some salad, lightly dressed, surrounding some type of protein. What better way to consume a ton of raw veggies? So I went to work developing this version. And since the key to the original inspiration is its simplicity, I assembled just a few workhorse seasonings that basically take care of everything. The lucky winners are: brown sugar, celery seed, salt, and cider vinegar, with some shallots lending support.

fitness-seasonings

Now you chop, grate, and/or, in my case, play with a new toy. I had bought two crappy spiralizers because they were cheap. How could I lose?? D’oh. Fortunately, the sum total I paid for my two dumb spiralizers was still less then I would have spent in the first place. Lo and behold, my sister Becky said, “I have a spiralizer, do you want it?” So now I got the real deal, baby.

fitness-beets

As you can see, it makes awesome psychedelic work of beet. I still haven’t gotten the knack of it with a carrot; this particular version likes a big round thing like a beet, not a skinny long round thing like a carrot. But seriously, this is fun, and I’ll try it more. That said, grating is also dandy.

For your cup o’ herbs, choose what you have on hand, or what sounds good, or both. I have learned from Yotam Ottolenghi (you can see his book Plenty, a personal favorite, in the background of the seasonings picture, along with books from my hero Bert Greene) that you really can mix fresh herbs with a fair amount of impunity. Dill seems particularly Swiss to me. The overall mix above—dill, parsley, mint, and chives—transported me to a Swiss meadow, which I hope everyone can experience at least once because Switzerland is awesome.

fitness-herbs

And then there’s cabbage. Wherever I am fortunate enough to travel, I can always count on cabbage. The stuff grows absolutely everywhere, no matter if you’re in the tropics or the Alps, and it’s always crisp. I get very Zen when I cut it, which I recommend, because it just takes a while to plow through.

fitness-cabbage

Now, you have all these fabulous little raw salads.

fitness-components

I sort of picked and chose my herbs to keep each component somewhat distinctive, which you’ll see outlined below  fitness-cabbage2But if you want to just mix everything together in one carnival of flavor and color, feel free.

Protein is the key in the Fitness Plate, and it’s important to me to be able to offer a vegan version, so I relied on the awesome Seeds of Change rice/quinoa mix combined with chickpeas and some pine nuts. Using a little yogurt, either dairy or plant-based, gives you a little additional hit and just the right amount of creaminess to complement the crunch.

fitness-plate4

Steve could use a protein hit, and we had some leftover grilled chicken; you can see his salad in the background of the picture at the top of this post. Do what sounds good, but I can promise you that the vegan version will keep you full all day long as it sparkles up your tastebuds.

fitness-plate1

Print Recipe
The Raw Salad Fitness Plate
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
hungry people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
hungry people
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Prepare vegetables: Peel and finely chop shallots. Peel cucumber (if non-organic); if organic, peel in vertical strips so that cucumber is striped, then scoop out seeds, slice, and sprinkle cucumber with salt (1/2 teaspoon or to taste) and let drain in a colander as you prepare everything else. Peel, grate or spiralize the carrot and beet, keeping them separate. Shred cabbage and place in bowl, mixing. Chop the herbs, keeping them separate if desired.
  2. Place yogurt in a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth or coffee filter. Let stand as you prepare other ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle grated carrot with some of the brown sugar, and celery seeds. Sprinkle beet with small amount of salt, some brown sugar, and celery seeds; mix with chives, or pinch of all mixed herbs, and about a tablespoon of shallots.
  4. Sprinkle seasoned beet with 2 teaspoons cider vinegar and toss. Add mustard, and mix. Add chopped mint and dill, or pinch of all mixed herbs, and about a tablespoon of shallots.
  5. Place cucumber in bowl. Toss with brown sugar, celery seeds, and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar. Add chopped dill, or pinch of all mixed herbs, and about a tablespoon of shallots.
  6. Sprinkle shredded cabbage with brown sugar, celery seed, salt to taste, and toss. Sprinkle one tablespoon of cider vinegar on top, and toss. Add chopped chives and parsley, or pinch of all mixed herbs, and about a tablespoon of shallots.
  7. Heat Seeds of Change rice/quinoa mix in skillet over medium heat. Stir in chickpeas that have some water clinging to them. Add an additional tablespoon of water to mixture if needed.
  8. Mix yogurt with horseradish cream and all remaining herbs.
  9. Toast pine nuts over medium heat until golden.
  10. To assemble, place some of the bean/rice-quinoa mixture in the center of the plate. Surround with salads in the proportions you like. If desired, add additional protein of your choice, such as grilled chicken. Sprinkle pine nuts over everything. Serve horseradish yogurt on side. Enjoy.
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