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!
This bean salad is perfect for any celebration, but it bursts of flavor make it ideal for Cinco de Mayo. Aside from classic Mexican ingredients, this bean salad takes a twist using white beans instead of black, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and almonds instead of pepitas. This salad can be served as a light, vegetarian main meal or as a side dish for lunch and it’s perfect for the warm weather that’s headed our way!
Work Your Way Up
Start from the bottom and work your way up to the dressing. First course of action: Select your greens. Good choices include romaine, spinach, or a combo of field greens. Keep in mind that iceberg lettuce contains fewer nutrients than darker greens, and build your salad on a plate or in a bowl — stay away from the calorie-laden crunchy taco shell.
Choose several colorful veggies to top your salad like tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers and bell peppers. More colors mean a wider variety of nutrients. This is a great opportunity to use leftover veggies that are lingering in the fridge—and a perfect way to minimize food waste.
Why are scientists calling quinoa a super grain? Because its a whole grain with a low glycemic index, healthy fats (Omega-3’s and Omega-9’s), and a host of phytonutrients, including flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. It happens to be gluten free, so even those with gluten sensitivities can enjoy it. Quinoa is also a complete protein, and most grains aren’t because they lack one or more of the 9 essential amino acids necessary to make a complete protein. Pretty super, don’t ya think?
Quinoa is the seed of the chenopodium plant and is related to Swiss chard, spinach and beets. Although there are over 120 species, only three main quinoa varieties are cultivated – gold, red and black. Gold is the most common and boasts a firm texture and subtle, nutty flavor. It’s also easy to prepare (ready in just 15 minutes, like rice). Red is slightly bitter and crunchier than gold and black is sweeter and crunchier than red. Quinoa is incredibly versatile, whether you serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it can easily become a staple in your home.