It’s the dead of winter in most of the country, and a salad of sweet, juicy oranges is like sitting in the warmth of the summer sun. Gerard Craft, the five-time James Beard-nominated Best Chef: Midwest, is serving a beautiful Orange Salad tossed with picholine olives, tarragon leaves, red onion and extra virgin olive oil at Pastaria, one of his four St. Louis restaurants (others are Niche, Brasserie by Niche and Taste by Niche).
Cooking a large pot of chickpeas (or other beans) at the beginning of the week is a great way to ensure you have a healthy protein on hand that can become the basis of quick weeknight meals. I often give this advice to friends and clients when they want to eat more homemade meals but have time restrictions. Not only is it convenient and cost-effective, but home-cooked beans also taste much better than anything you’ll find in a can. High in protein, chickpeas also contain more iron and vitamin C than any other legume. Their creamy texture and pleasing mild flavor make them the perfect pantry staple.
If your New Year’s resolutions have anything to do with eating better, you may want to start by loading your shopping cart with avocados. These super fruits are not only delicious, but they are also packed with nutritional and health benefits — to your heart, eyes and much more — that may surprise you.
If there were ever a time to add fruit to your green salad, the fall season would be it. The unbeatable juicy, crisp texture and tart-sweet flavor of freshly picked apples is the perfect contrast to robust fall greens and shaved fennel. Adding thyme, honey and toasted almonds gives an ambrosial element to the salad, setting it well apart from your average green salad. This is the kind of salad that encourages you to celebrate the colder whether and makes you forget about the summery salads you may be missing. Read more
Would the French approve of some of these lighter twists on their greatest culinary hits? Would Julia Child? Maybe not. But in honor of Bastille Day, let’s just say, vive la différence — and la deliciousness.
Light Nicoise Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Chock-full of olives, bell peppers, plump cherry tomatoes and chunks of tuna fish, this Riviera staple hints that the French have known a little something about healthy eating all along.
These seasonal beauties want you to know there’s more to them than total deliciousness.
In addition to offering their trademark crunch and peppery snap, radishes list potassium, calcium, folate and fiber on their resumes.
With her out-of-the-box approach to salads and sandwiches, all of which put seasonal vegetables to delicious use, Caroline Fidanza has earned a cult following among the food world’s cognoscenti in New York City, where she is based. At Saltie, her Brooklyn sandwich shop, wholesome creations like the Clean Slate, a sandwich where hummus, bulgur, pickled vegetables and yogurt get held between Indian naan bread, are as tempting as the sinful sandwiches, like the Balmy, which pairs chicken liver pâté with sliced ham and mayo.
“Mainly, I think about what I want to eat,” she says of her culinary process. “Sometimes that falls within the healthy category, sometimes not so much. Over the past five years, though, I’ve definitely thought more about vegetables. As I’ve moved along as a chef,” Fidanza says, “I have thought more about healthy foods.”
Grilling for Fourth of July? Add grilled romaine to your BBQ menu; it’s a quick and easy recipe that takes only a few minutes to prepare and can be jazzed up with a variety of flavors. I added garlic powder and balsamic vinegar to this recipe but you can also add fresh lemon juice and chili powder for a bit of extra flavor. Kids and adults love to enjoy this recipe because it’s fun to eat and doesn’t look like your ordinary soggy green salad. It’s a winner for a weeknight family side dish or your annual Fourth of July cookout, so toss a few heads of fresh romaine onto your grill and get your party started!
This is a go-to recipe in my house as it pleases the masses. I serve it cold in the winter and cool in the spring and summer. Swapping ingredients for the greens or herbs makes it perfect for any season. I like getting creative when I make pesto to add flavor and save money. Baby arugula is in season right now; it adds a bold peppery flavor to a pesto. It also cuts cost until basil is really in season. I like the texture of chopped lacinato kale with the farro but any spring green would be great. Grape tomatoes are a great way to enjoy the flavor of a tomato year round. As tomatoes become more seasonal you can opt for a diced tomato straight from your garden instead.
Mmm springtime! Forget a basic garden salad, this salad is filled to the brim with flavorful strawberries and a touch of sweet balsamic vinegar and lime juice. You can make this salad to accompany lunch or dinner; I’m planning to serve it to my mother for Mother’s Day brunch on our back deck alongside roasted vegetables. This salad is packed with nutrients — everything from fresh basil to crunchy almonds that will leave you (and Mom) smiling!