Salads: Turn Over a New Leaf
Every salad you eat is an open invitation to try new vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
Replace nutrient-poor iceberg lettuce with greens that pack a more healthful punch. Mix and match greens to include:
- Oak leaf lettuce
- Red chard
- Green and red leaf lettuce
Combine your usual salad favorites with something you haven’t tried before, include:
- Jicama: This crunchy Mexican vegetable has cream colored flesh and tastes like a sweet water chestnut. Peel and cut the flesh into sticks, half moons or shred it into your salad. It is high in vitamin C.
- Jerusalem artichoke: Looking like a cross between a very lumpy potato and a piece of ginger, the Jerusalem artichoke has a similar texture to the jicama, but is not as sweet. Peel and cut into julienne strips or shred into salad.
- Chayote: Also called Mexican zucchini, chayote resembles a green-fleshed pear with a crunchy texture and slightly sweet taste. Peel the thin skin and cut into chunks or sticks, or shred it over salad.
- Daikon radish: Looking like a long white carrot, daikon is the Japanese radish. It has a sharp peppery taste and crunchy texture. Shred it over salads.
- Fennel: Slice the bulbous bottom of this vegetable, which has a mild flavor similar to celery, and toss into salads alongside some orange slices.
Adding fruit provides a surprising, sweet contrast with vegetables and greens. Don’t be afraid to try familiar favorites or exotic new fruits – just make sure to add them at the very last minute. Some fruits that pair particularly well with salads include:
- Berries of all kinds
Nuts and Seeds
A sprinkling of toasted walnuts or almonds are great standbys. You might want to try less familiar options like shelled pistachios, unsalted soy nuts or chopped hazelnuts in small amounts.