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.
Published on June 23, 2011