Living in Northern California is an incredible blessing. We are located in a world center of organic farming. While much of what is grown organic certified in California is shipped to the rest of the United States, much of it stays here!
My favorite place to buy organic produce, as you probably know, is the Berkeley Bowl. However, when I am in Santa Rosa at the office, I can also buy my organic produce at Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Community Market. All of these locations also have a nice selection of organic veggies.
Traveling in Latin America I am often limited to conventional produce, and eating foods that are heavy in starch, like beans, rice and plantains.
Thus, the first thing I do when I make it back to Northern California is load up on organic veggies and start making salads.
Our office in Santa Rosa has an amazing kitchen, and almost everyday I am in the office I make a salad for our team. I am by no means a master salad maker, but I have learned some tricks from some great chefs and have done a lot of experimentation.
I like to include 10+ ingredients, make my own salad dressings with an olive oil and citrus juice base, and chop the salad so that each bite has an explosion of diverse flavors. I always go vegan with my salads, and at most will only use about one or two cooked elements.
Sometimes I will include organic berries, organic apple, organic pear, or organic persimmon in the salad to add a sweet component.
My feeling is that the organic salads help to provide me the extra physical and brain power I need to keep my energy level high to achieve our goals.
Here is a list of some of my favorite salad ingredients, always organic: Pepper (red, green), Kale (Red Russian, Curly, Dyno), Lettuce (Boston, Gem), Carrot (Multi colored if possible, Purple Cabbage) Baby greens (kale, chard, mizuna, arugula, spinach), Onion (green, red, yellow), Roasted Sweet potato (orange, purple), Roasted Squash (delicada, acorn, butternut), Herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, basil), Quinoa (red), French Lentils, Olives (black, pitted), Beets (orange, red, always grated), Cucumber (Armenian), Tomato (grape, heirloom).