by Edith Cody-Rice

Salad LoveThis book is a godsend to salad lovers and commuters, and even to those who say they don’t like salad but do like food. Author David Bez firmly  states that this is not a cookbook, and he is not a chef. He is a designer living in London England and a food lover who was raised in Milan. He set himself a challenge to create a healthy energizing meal at work each lunchtime and turned to salads in order to increase his intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. In order to eat healthily, he always brings his lunch to work.

His concoctions were beautiful, with minimal preparation, sometimes only a cutting board and a knife, and his colleagues began to gather round to see what he was eating. This book is the result of a years’ worth of lunch salads. Mr. Bez made his salad, photographed it and then ate it. Ingredients were brought from home, including leftovers from dinners, and sometimes obtained in the local supermarket near his work. None required visits to special shops.

The author pairs vibrant photographs with recipes beneath them that give ingredients and a recipe for just enough dressing for one serving. Each salad contains a base (variously greens or a grain), vegetable and/or fruit, a protein, toppings, fresh herbs and a dressing and/or spices. He even sets out in visual form how to assemble a salad and all the tools needed for this venture, which he keeps in his desk drawer. At noon, his desk turns into a miniature counter top as he creates his lunch.

The salads are grouped into summer, fall, winter and spring salads with a colour coded page edging for easy reference and each recipe contains alternatives for proteins from vegan to raw to fish. His ingredients range from celery, radish, beet and raw horseradish cream to quinoa, smoked trout, artichokes, avocado, plums, brown rice, spelt, potatoes, roasted eggplant and far beyond.

This is a great tool for commuters who want a healthy lunch and others too. I make these salads at home. They also save the approximately $10 per day that many spend on a store bought lunch – that is $50 per week for a 5 day week or $2500 for a 50 week year ( presuming at least two weeks holiday). The book is even a handy size to fit into a large purse or briefcase.

One caveat – the author said that his salad fixings take up a whole shelf in the workplace fridge. You might want to bring a cold storage bag to stave off resentment from fellow workers – unless you want to share, of course.

Mill Street Books will have several copies of Salad Love in April at 20% off.