If you’ve followed this blog for a while or have read any recipes for beautiful skin and hair series, then you already know I’m really into cooking for beauty. Don’t get me wrong. I’m into external beauty products too. I desperately love cosmetics, makeup, hair products and beauty treatments of all kinds. My bathroom is literally overflowing with lotions and potions of all shapes, sizes and price points! But as the saying goes, beauty begins on the inside. And no amount of making up can disguise unhealthy insides. That’s especially true as we age. And I’ve found that after pregnancy, my body is far more likely to display outwardly any signs of dis-ease I may be experiencing inwardly. And since our baby girl has recently become independently mobile (translation lots more work for Mommy and Daddy to keep up with her), it’s definitely in my best interest to eat as healthfully as possible. So, I’ve been writing a series of recipes based on HealthGrove’s recent study identifying the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair (If you’ve missed any of the previous recipes from the series, do not despair. I’ve listed each of them below).

Fortunately for folks like me, the Internet offers tons of (mostly consistent) advice for those of us seeking the best foods to eat for health and beauty (including of course that recent HealthGrove study). Today’s recipe includes a veritable stockpile of beautifying ingredients including most notably #5 of HealthGrove’s list – PAPAYA.

Papaya - beautifying papaya!

Papaya – beautifying papaya!

When I discovered this article by the lovely Joy Bauer outlining the most important nutrients for anti-aging, I was inspired to begin using those nutrients in more recipes as well. However, because everyone in our household is sensitive gluten and dairy, I’ll obviously have to take a pass on the recipe she included in the article (no offense, Joy). So I decided to create my own recipe based around papaya and incorporating the other nutrients Ms. Bauer identifies as key for consumption. So here’s a rundown of nutrients this recipe offers:

Vitamin C – provided by the papaya, tomato and broccoli slaw. For more on the beautifying antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C, check out this article and recipe for #whole30 compliant #paleo and #vegan (and super-yummy) Strawberry Vinaigrette.
Vitamin E – in the extra virgin olive, coconut and avocado oils as well as in the walnuts
Beta-carotene (Vitamin A) – from the carrots and the broccoli slaw (as seen on the package)

Broccoli slaw is not only an antioxidant fest. It's also quick and ready in an instant!

Broccoli slaw is not only an antioxidant fest. It’s also quick and ready in an instant!

Selenium – provided by the Brazil nuts in the dressing. Did you know that Brazil nuts are in fact the #1 food source of selenium?
Omega3 fatty acids – from the walnuts and/or salmon if you choose
Lycopene (bonus nutrient) – lycopene has been shown in recent studies to protect skin against sun-related aging and sun damage. This recipe provides lycopene from 2 sources – EVOO and fresh tomato. Plus, this recipe is easily adjusted to suit vegans, vegetarians, paleo-types and folks actively doing #whole30. It’s quick and easy to prepare and (perhaps) most importantly, it tastes really good. Whoop! Whoop!

For the Salad –
• 1 whole papaya
• 1-12 oz. bag broccoli or cabbage slaw
• 1 bunch fresh cilantro
• 1 whole tomato
• 2 carrots
• 1 medium jalapeno or Serrano chili pepper
• ½ cup chopped raw cashews or walnuts (I used cashews)

Protein Options –
• About 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (bones, skin and excess fat removed)
• 1 large (14.5 oz.) can wild Alaskan pink salmon, drained
• 8 hardboiled eggs, diced
• 8 eggs, scrambled and chilled
• 2 cups cooked then chilled garbonzo beans (if using canned, drain and rinse very well)
• 2 cups cooked then chilled lentils

For the Dressing –

• 4 dates, soaked at least 4 hours (see comment below)+++
• 2 garlic cloves
• 6 whole Brazil nuts
• 1 tsp. iodized sea salt
• 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional but recommended for best flavor. I like )
• 1 tsp. spicy mustard (NOT Dijon if doing #WHOLE30, see comment below)+++
• ½ tsp. minced lemongrass or 1” knob peeled fresh ginger root, diced
• ¼ cup lime juice
• ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice (I used OJ)
• 4 Tbsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Sauce, divided
• ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or extra virgin avocado oil
• 2 Tbsp. dark (toasted) sesame oil

+++When doing #WHOLE30, it’s very important you get into the habit of checking the ingredient lists of any foods you plan to eat or use when cooking. Many dried fruits (including certain brands of dates) are processed with sulfites which are also not permitted for consumption during #WHOLE30, so be sure to check the dates before you purchase/use them. Also, most Dijon mustards contain white wine which is also not approved for consumption during WHOLE30, which is why you’ll want to use spicy mustard instead. For a complete list of #WHOLE30 program do’s and don’ts as well as answers to just about any #WHOLE30 questions you may have, I highly recommend you check out the program rules here and other resources available at WHOLE30’s website to educate yourself prior to beginning your own #WHOLE30 journey or whenever you have questions or need some support.

• One or two cutting boards
• A sharp chef’s knife
• A pair of disposable gloves
• A sharp vegetable peeler
• A large mixing bowl
• Powerful blender (I used the Nutribullet Pro 900)
• Salad spinner (optional)
• A large spoon or spoonula

1. Prepare dressing as follows: Drain dates and discard soaking liquid. Place dates, 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos (reserving 2 Tbsp. for later use) and all other dressing ingredients into canister of blender. Place lid on blender and process on HIGH until dressing is very smooth and no visible chunks or pieces of ingredients are visible. Remove lid and test for seasonings. Adjust to taste. (I found that dressing was appropriately seasoned without adjustments but add salt or additional spices to your preferences.) Then pour dressing into a jar or bottle. Cover with lid and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Note, this recipe makes about 2 cups (scant) of dressing and may be made up to 3 days in advance. It will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
2. Wash and dry all vegetables, including cilantro. If you have a salad spinner, place washed cilantro in spinner and spin until dry. If you don’t have (or don’t wanna use) a salad spinner, simply placed washed cilantro on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry.
3. Using vegetable peeler, peel carrots and papaya.
N.B. Trust me on this one! I tried cutting half the papaya without peeling it first (I figured I’d cut it like an avocado, scoring it and removing the peel afterwards). No dice! It was a disaster trying to get the peel off, and I nearly removed my fingertips along with the peel! With the 2nd half I got smart and peeled it first. What a difference. I finished chopping it in half the time and with no near-death experiences.
4. Finely chop the washed and dried cilantro. Then transfer it to mixing bowl. Next chop the papaya and all the vegetables (except pepper) into roughly equal bite-sized chunks and place into mixing bowl.
5. Put on gloves. Cut pepper in half and remove all seeds, stem and membranes. IMG_3447
Then chop pepper into very small pieces. Place in mixing bowl with other ingredients. Carefully remove gloves and immediately wash your hands. Try not to touch your face or anyone else before taking off, disposing of gloves and washing your hands. Also I used a separate cutting board just for the pepper and washed the cutting board and knife before removing the gloves.
6. Open bag of broccoli slaw and dump into mixing bowl along with other ingredients excepts nuts, dressing and remaining 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos. Then add dressing and stir well to combine. If everyone in your household wants the same protein option, then feel free to stir it in at this point. Otherwise, wait and serve several protein options along side Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
7. Just before serving, stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos and nuts.
8. Serve with multiple protein options (unless you already stirred proteins into salad). Example in our house both my mother and my Hubs selected shredded leftover rotisserie chicken. But I selected salmon as my protein of choice for some extra Omega-3 fatty acids. Additional garnishes include chopped avocado or Wholly Guacamole, bean sprouts and sunflower sprouts. Enjoy!



Wisdom for the Day:
Today I read the following quote:
“Biblical orthodoxy (hypocritical religiosity) without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” ~Francis Schaeffer And I was struck by the brilliance and simplicity of that statement. Surely a compassionate heart is an essential component of beauty. What if we made the choice to put on love and compassion the same way we put on makeup? The Bible says that we can in this passage from ~Colossians 3:12-13 (ESV)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Read more here. I encourage you to spend a few moments each morning imagining yourself putting on love and compassion, like you’re applying makeup or sunscreen. Surely we need to apply God’s love and compassion daily as the most important and effective beauty treatment!

Beauty Resources for the Day:
Want more info on what to eat for anti-aging benefits? Check out this slideshow from the folks at Total Beauty (Hint: if you consume this dressing on a regular you can cross slide #7 off your to-eat list).

Check Out These Great Recipes from the (HealthGrove) Top 30 Foods for Beauty Series:
Presto Peachy Lime Vinaigrette #WHOLE30-compliant #Vegan #Paleo #Raw
Split Second Strawberry Vinaigrette #WHOLE30 Compliant (#raw, #paleo & #vegan)
Fix-It-And-Forget-It: Simply Beautiful Southern Greens Crockpot #WHOLE30 Compliant
Quick & Easy Paleo Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing #WHOLE30 Compliant
Chicken Tri-Almandine Casserole
WHOLE30 Stuffed Zucchini 2 Ways
Easy Cheezy Chicken & Broccoli Soup with Crispy Potato Croutons