Top Shelf: So Fran macrobiotic salad

Oct 19, 2018 by Timothy MacDonald

Top Shelf: by Chef Tim MacDonald

“Tell him to study macrobiotic,” shouted the boss down the line to the captain while giving food preferences.

On hearing the instructions, I immediately had a vision of what was coming, a vision of an early James Bond movie fat farm with green power shakes, classic English sports car(s), and the ubiquitous secret suitcase hiding treats from Harrods in the master’s because, let’s face it, health food is boring.

To my horror, research showed going macro meant, for me, going “places unknown.” So, using a previous assignment with an Indian vegetarian family, I combined all elements and created what was to become the ‘So F0ran’ macro salad that the crew was forced to eat every second day in some shape or form.

There are many variations using power grains – quinoa, barley, wheatberry, etc. – but the theme remains the same: Health food can be tasty.

The secret? Indian masalas.

Indian masala


Roasted vegetables sprinkled with biryani masala (sweet potato, parsnip, eggplant, celeriac, turnip, carrot, peppers, artichoke, beans, cabbage, etc.)      

Cooked power grains (red quinoa, wheatberry, barley)

Anna’s Birdseed mix (sunflower, chia, pumpkin, sesame, goji berry)

Pulses (canned chickpeas, red kidney beans, lentils)

Salad (chopped raw spinach, kale and rocket)


There are no exact quantities other than to say mix all ingredients together until you have what you are happy with. The preference is to have a vegetable-dominant salad.

What’s more important is to season with lemon, olive oil, salt and biryani masala until you cross the border of “veggie food is boring.”

Tim MacDonald ( has more than 20 years experience as a chef. He was named Concours de Chefs winner for Yachts over 160 feet at the 2011 Antigua Charter Yacht Show. His recipes are designed for the owner and guests. Comments are welcome below.