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The Liver is our largest internal organ. It performs an incredible array of health-promoting tasks, including processing everything we put into the body. Caring for the Liver is an important year round responsibility, but according to traditional Chinese Medicine springtime is when it is most crucial, as this is when the Liver is most active.

 

Integral to sustaining life, the Liver supports the digestive system, controls blood sugar and regulates fat storage. When the Liver is not functioning properly, it can become overwhelmed with toxins and begin to deteriorate.  This often results in health conditions ranging from hormonal imbalances to chronic lethargy.  We must do everything we can to care for this remarkable organ that cares so much for us.

 

Dandelion greens (Dent-de-Lion: literally “lions tooth” in French) are one of the most powerful liver detoxifiers found in nature. They stimulate the digestive system and isolate toxins in the body summarily flushing them from our systems. You can think of this dandelion salad as strong medicine, but don’t worry; it tastes so good if I hadn’t told you you’d have never known.

dandelion salad collage

I was able to harvest my greens from my front yard, but I wouldn’t recommend this if you are: uncomfortable identifying plants, have dogs, use pesticides, or are close to a road or some other high-traffic area.  If the above applies, never fear, fresh dandelion greens can be had for reasonable prices at most farmers markets this time of year.

 

Creamy avocado, and  sweet citrus are a perfect contrast to the bitterness of the greens and the roasted garlic vinaigrette provides a rich sweetness.  I chose to add a bit of crumbled goat cheese to mine after plating, for a little extra protein.  Cheers to you and your happy, healthy spring liver!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of fresh dandelion greens, washed, dried and torn into small pieces 
  • 2 oranges (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 avocado (cut into cubes)
  • sprouts and goji berries to garnish

Arrange greens on a plate and toss with dressing. Add avocado and orange and garnish with freshly ground pepper, goat cheese sprouts, and whatever else you choose to use. Enjoy!

 

For the dressing:

  • 4 cloves of roasted garlic (brush white outer layer from garlic, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wrap in      tin foil. Bake on 400 for  forty-five minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 a Meyer lemon
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Smash your garlic using a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon. Whisk all ingredients together until the dressing is smooth and creamy.