GF Recipes, Healthy Living, Raw Foods

Green Ribbon Salad With a Side of Honesty

13 Comments 17 September 2012

Green Ribbon Salad With a Side of Honesty

I haven’t been feeling very creative in the kitchen, and it’s been bothering me.  It’s taken me a while to figure out why, but I think I’ve finally arrived at an answer. It’s three fold.

First of all, every ounce of creativity I have right now is being poured into my Kindergarten classroom.  I have 21 energetic, imaginative 5 year olds who consume all of my waking thoughts. Even in the “off” hours, while driving, eating, cooking, sleeping, I’m thinking of questions like these.  How can I increase their phonemic awareness? What games can we play that will reinforce sight words and make them giggle at the same time?  How many different ways can I stand on my head to keep their attention longer than 2 minutes?  Are my centers aligned with Common Core Standards?

When I get home, the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen for longer than it takes to fill the Vitamix with smoothie ingredients.

Second, losing Marcy 8 weeks ago has really taken it’s toll.  Sitting and petting Brother Max just seems more important than thinking of yet another way to make another naturally gluten-free meal.

Watching him stalk birdies

or that pesky squirrel is more entertaining.

While my heart still hurts, I’m more focused on the blessings of Now.

And third, I am no longer a vegetarian. What?  Did I just lose you as a reader? I really hope not.  I started this blog as a “curious girl in the gluten-free world”; an expert in nothing, but a learner and an experimenter in all things gluten free.  Throughout my gluten-free journey, I’ve tried eating vegetarian, vegan, raw, and even had a spell as a gluten-free junkfooditarian.  And while I’ve learned a lot from all of it, I’ve decided that my body just needs more protein.  Animal protein.

Have you read Eat Right 4 Your Type?  I read it eons ago, but since going vegetarian I’ve had this nagging feeling that as a Type O, Hunter-Gatherer, I was not getting all of the nutrients that my body needed.  I’m not a fan of diets or of rigid rules that tell me what I can and can’t eat.  Not eating gluten is rigid enough for me.  But lately, I’ve been eating based on my blood type, and my energy level is soaring.

  • High enough to teach Kindergarten every day.
  • High enough to teach 4-6 fitness classes each week.
  • High enough to bike 70 miles this weekend.

This is working for me.  So why haven’t I felt creative in the kitchen?  I’m not used to cooking meat!  Right now I’m finding lots of paleo recipes from the experts that I’m thoroughly enjoying.  Reviews will be coming soon!

But what about my love for raw foods? It’s just as strong as ever. Does it sound weird to have a meatball and a raw kale salad for lunch?  What about a shredded chicken sandwich on raw apple bread?  Raw salads still make me gaga.

Again, right now it’s working.  I think it’s all a part of my journey.

I’m excited to share that I actually spent some time in the kitchen this week.  I have some raw recipes that will be accompanying several meat dishes this week.  This is one of them:

Green Ribbon Salad
by Heather


  • 4 c. kale, torn from the stem
  • 4 c. spinach leaves
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt


1.  Roll kale and spinach leaves together, burrito style, and cut in narrow ribbons. Place in a large bowl.

2.  Core the apple, slice, and dice.  Then add to the large bowl.

3.  Using a spiralizer, cut 2 zucchini with the flat blade, creating ribbons.  Add zucchini ribbons to the large bowl.

4.  Mix white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, grade B maple syrup, and sea salt in a small bowl.

5.  Poor the balsamic vinegar mixture over the green ribbon salad and mix well.

Serves 6-8

Meat recipes to come!

Readers, dish!

  • How do you define yourself as an eater?
  • How important is it to you that you DO define yourself as an eater?
  • Have you read Eat Right 4 Your Type?
This recipe was shared with:

Your Comments

13 Comments so far

  1. I totally get where you’re coming from, Heather. I eat the same way: lots of raw veggies and fruits with some animal protein. I can go a day or two without it, no problem. But any longer than that and my energy quickly takes a nose dive. Good for you for listening to your body and finding what’s right for YOU. :)

  2. Oh, Heather, no apologies needed, my friend … for anything! We all have to do what is right for us. I just did the metabolic test based on Linda’s recent post and proved to myself (again) that I am a protein gal. And non-meat sources of protein I really don’t do well with. Many thanks to you for pouring out that energy to those sweet kids who will inherit our country one day! Keep taking care of yourself, too. Share what works with us … in whatever gluten-free category. Don’t make it too hard on yourself either. I think we all tend to delay posting until we have a killer post, but in reality, we don’t need to. We just need to check in and share killer posts from time to time. 😉 So glad to hear your energy is soaring with more meat protein in your diet! Oh, and that salad is beautiful. :-)


  3. Linda says:

    Heather, that is all totally understandable! When I was teaching school, I was not creative in the kitchen or anywhere other than the classroom. And you know I totally understand about grieving over Marcy. Please don’t feel bad (I don’t think you do) about spending time with Max. You both need it. As Shirley mentioned, I’ve been reading about metabolic typing and increasing my protein while decreasing carbs. Like you, I need animal protein and really notice a difference in my energy. We look forward to what you do share with us when you are able. I’ll definitely look forward to some meat recipes in the future when you get comfortable with cooking it.

  4. Lynne L says:

    I totally agree with all the posts. Do what you need to do to stay healthy & energized. No apologies necessary! We all appreciate you just being.
    For myself, I need the animal protein for energy, carbs to keep my blood sugar on an even keel and veggies (preferably salads) with at least 2 meals a day. If I go more than 2 days without any of them, my body goes weird (well, weirder).
    Stay well, stay healthy, stay balanced.

  5. Heather,
    I’m glad you’ve decided to reflect your actual eating habits on your blog. We’ll have to have lunch again at a nice meaty restaurant. :)

    I had done the metabolic test Linda mentioned before but couldn’t remember my results. I’m a mixed type which totally fits how I like to eat – meat and veggies.

  6. Samantha says:

    Beautiful blog and beautiful salad! After many years of illenss and self-experimentation, I tend to find myself in the paleo camp – lots of veggies, a little less fruit, a good amount of the right fats and meat. I’m type O also, and found that animal protein is a must for me.

  7. I’ve always wanted to read that book, but I’ll need to know my blood type. I do think with food, we need to remember moderation. You crave raw salads because they’re DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY. But I’m a meat eater and I have followed you through your raw stuff, your vegetarian stuff and I incorporate your lovely recipes in our life. Meat is just another component of that. It will just take some time to figure it out, just like it did with all the other stuff.

  8. Ricki says:

    Heather, if there’s one thing I’ve learned the past few years, it’s that each person is individual and no one thing works for everyone. Your health is so paramount, and you never need to apologize for pursuing it. I do hope you are feeling better and that the sting of losing Marcy is lessening, too. And I still will enjoy all your raw and vegan creations! :) xo

  9. Debi says:

    I think there are times where the world around us consume us more than the need to be in the kitchen to create and put out on the web. Life is hard right now and I’m right there with you. There are other things keeping my attention and energy from being in the kitchen working on the list of ideas I have. *hugs to you* And just so you know, I see nothing wrong with meatballs with a side of raw veg for lunch. Sounds like a perfect lunch to me! 😀


  1. Keep It Real Thursday - Real Food I Want To Eat! | - 27. Sep, 2012

    […] Gluten-Free Cat […]

  2. A Recipe Round-Up Featuring Spiralized Noodles | In Johnna's Kitchen - 03. Jun, 2013

    […] The Noodler comes with three blades.  The one I see used least often is the flat blade, which makes lovely ribbons.  Heather from Gluten-Free Cat makes this beautiful Green Ribbon Salad. […]

  3. Keep It Real Thursday - Real Food I Want To Eat! - The Restless Palate - 27. Oct, 2014

    […] Gluten-Free Cat […]

  4. Green Ribbon Salad with a Side of Honesty - - 26. May, 2015

    […] The credit for this Green Ribbon Salad with a Side of Honesty recipe goes to You can get the full version of their recipe here. […]

Share your view

Post a comment

A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Connect with Me

Grab a Button!

© 2018 Gluten-Free Cat. Powered by Wordpress.