Shannon Dougherty creates flavorful food and presents it in a tasteful way. A personal stylist by trade, Dougherty wants her food to look and taste as good as it is to eat.
A 2012 college graduate with an education degree, Dougherty believes her approach to food is rather elementary. “It really is true — you are what you eat,” she says. “When you eat meals that start with beautiful fruits and vegetables, you can’t help but feel good.”
Residence: Prairie Village
Occupation: Personal stylist and event planner.
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Special cooking interest: Pretty, delicious dishes.
Have you always been this wholesome when it comes to the foods you eat? It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I really started to pay attention to the food/body connection. I’ve never had an issue with weight, but I used to get sick often and since I’ve changed my diet, it’s helped me stay healthy.
Bagels and bread used to be favorite foods, but once I gave up gluten, I realized how much better I felt without it. That has been the best thing I’ve been able to do for myself and now I have more energy and just feel better. I still have a sweet tooth and ice cream remains my weakness. I find that now, when I do have a sweet treat, I really savor it and am satisfied with a couple bites.
Do you believe in the adage that you eat with your eyes first? Food must absolutely appeal visually to you first. A great compliment is when people look at something before they’ve even tasted it and say, “Oooo, that looks good.” I love putting pretty elements together to bring something wonderful to the table. That includes the food and the way it looks on the plate, and how all the plates look on the table. To eat and to eat well should be a thing of beauty.
What do you say to people when they don’t think they have enough time to cook using unprocessed ingredients? People need to eat what works for them. This is what works for me. You don’t have to do all or nothing — you can start small. When you’re sauteing vegetables, use olive oil instead of butter. Instead of eating candy, have a delicious Honeycrisp apple instead.
After I graduated college, my mother, Donna, gave me the book “Garden Spells” by Sarah Addison Allen and that planted the seed in me that food can also be medicinal. I love cooking with herbs and edible flowers, because they are so beautiful and flavorful. Recently, a friend and I made Lavender Honey Ice Cream, which combined my two weaknesses: ice cream and edible flowers. It was pretty delicious, literally.
Why did you choose this salad recipe to share? Whenever I eat this salad, I feel great! It’s almost rejuvenating. With all of the nutrients and antioxidants in this salad, I feel good about what I’m eating. Each ingredient contains something beneficial to your health, which includes vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, fiber, protein, antioxidants and more.
I love ginger and lemon, so I will sometimes add a little bit more for the dressing. I have difficulty exactly measuring each ingredient, but cooking should be fun and to your taste. This salad will keep for five days in the refrigerator, so I can make a big salad at the beginning of the week and dish out a container to bring to work for lunch.
Use a bagged cruciferous blend of cut-up kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage as a shortcut. Once you have all the ingredients, this salad comes together quickly and easily, and has all the elements that make for a great dish: crunchy; sweet; tart and satisfying.
Mary G. Pepitone is a freelance writer who lives in Leawood. She also writes a nationally syndicated home column. Email her at email@example.com to nominate a cook.
Antioxidant Detox Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 cup kale, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup shaved raw Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
3 tablespoons shelled, roasted and unsalted pistachios
2 tablespoons shelled, roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted
3 tablespoons dried tart cherries
1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups shredded carrots
2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, optional
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 teaspoon orange-flower honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Into a large salad bowl, gently toss kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, pistachios, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cherries, apricots, carrots, apples, radishes, celery and optional pomegranate seeds together. Set aside.
Make the dressing by whisking ginger root, honey, lemon juice and olive oil together in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle over salad in large bowl and toss gently to coat.
Serve immediately or transfer to a bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place in refrigerator, where it can be stored for up to five days.
Per serving, based on 4: 217 calories (41 percent from fat), 11 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 30 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams dietary fiber.