By Rose Kaplan, "virtual intern:" It’s November. There’s a cool, crisp feel to the air, and the sound of crunching leaves underfoot., It means that Thanksgiving is right around the...
First of all, what is your name? I know that you use a few aliases. Why?
My present name is Susan McShane. I have always gone by ‘Sue’ since I was little. The last name of Hollandsworth was my maiden name, which is the name I use for Super Salads And More. When I first started my blog and FB fan page I was very unfamiliar with administrating a fan page. I wanted to use a separate name as administrator, so that all my professional contacts, family, and friends would not necessarily be put thru my new experiences on Facebook. Later, after I felt competent with what I was doing, I invited everyone from my other personal Facebook account, Sue McShane.
What got you started in writing a blog and writing a Facebook page?
I had retired from teaching elementary aged children with special needs. I wanted a new challenge that I could do from home that didn’t require me to invest any money, but that would be exciting and allow me to share my natural gifts with people. A family member works in the computer software field as a designer and helped me get started writing simple HTML code and using a blog page. I loved it! I soon decided I could circulate my healthy food ideas to an even wider community through a Facebook fan page. So exciting!
Have you always been a salad lover?
I have not always been a salad lover. When I was a little girl, my Mom who was an amazing person, cook, artist, and friend, made a fresh salad every single night. She loved salads. I still have the worn red CorningWare bowl that she served the salad in nightly. I did not really like salads then, but she always included a beautiful variety of veggies and sometimes fruits. When I was a little girl, her rule was I had to eat 3 bites of the serving she put on my plate. I complied and picked out the pieces I liked best. As I grew older I was asked to eat more bites and before you know it, by the time I was a teenager, I was eating one or two whole helpings and asking to help make the salad. Such a smart Mom I had!
What are your three absolute favorite salads?
My three absolute favorites are the Pomegranate Kale Salad, Zucchini Carrot Salad with Miso dressing, and the Harvest Pumpkin Salad, all on my blog under Super Salads. I also love a fresh strawberry kale and spinach salad, and many, many others. Currently, I’ve been eating lots of wild fermented sauerkraut on my salads and experimenting with new combos that include fermented vegetables. I find eating wild fermented foods gives me even more energy and boosts my immune system.
How do you figure out what to put in a salad? Do you use a formula, or do you see what you are growing?
Definitely no formula used by this salad creator. I use what is fresh at the farmers market, what is in season, and what I am growing in my garden. Last year I had a bounty of kale and several lettuces, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and beets. I live on the coast and get frequent foggy weather, so the hot-climate veggies have to be purchased.
I figure out what to put in a salad by what I remember was yummy previously and what I think might taste good together, what veggies offer various vitamins and minerals, what I have on hand, and what looks beautiful together. When a salad is beautiful, others are more apt to enjoy the taste, as they also enjoy the attractive presentation of the food.
What has been one of your most requested or loved recipes?
The most popular salad ever on my blog and Facebook page was the Strawberry Kale Salad which is my profile picture on Facebook. It is also on the blog page, It is really quite wonderful! If you like kale and strawberries, give it a try. If you prefer spinach instead of kale, this is a good substitute for nutrition and consistency.
My blog and Facebook page also feature several other healthy food categories; Smoothies, Dehydrated Treats, Vegetable/Fruits Juicing Recipes, and some special dessert recipes are included. I think some of my smoothie recipes have received more notoriety on Facebook. All my blueberry smoothies get many ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on Facebook. One of the most popular smoothie recipes has: blueberries, zucchini, raspberries, coconut juice, and cashews. It is a creamy, berry delight!
Is there anything you wouldn’t put in a salad and why?
I’m not really a fan of highly spicy foods, and do not enjoy radishes or hot peppers. I never put those in, but they sure can add some zest for those who do love a little more spicy bite. I also rarely put starchy carbohydrates in my salads. Pasta, rice, or croutons just seem to detract from the fresh taste of an organic salad. One exception is quinoa. I do love quinoa and have enjoyed some great salads with this protein packed grain included.
What about organic? Do you have a preference?
I am a very big ‘Organic’ fan. I try to eat all organic whenever possible. It is a bit more expensive, but I feel that I and my family are worth it. Doctor’s bills are expensive too. I try to eat to keep my body as healthy as I can.
What do you say to people who say that it takes too much time or money to make a salad?
I sometimes make enough salad for 2-3 nights, if I know I will be completely busy with other tasks a few evenings. Or you can make a basic mix of lettuces and greens, keep them in a crisper, ready to add a few quick ingredients at the last minute. I also have a couple of homemade dressings made up in jars in the refrigerator sometimes. This cuts your prep time down tremendously.
Is Organic too much money? Again, my answer is “you and your family are worth it”. Cut back in some other area in your life.
Good recipe for July? (Although knowing Sue, this changes frequently.)
This Strawberry Kale Salad is perfect for mid-summer and so, so beautiful!