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Winter Salads to Brighten the Day

February 20, 2008

Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will, sooner or later, have to find time for illness…” Edward Stanley

“Fast food.”

The images that are provoked with these two words are dripping with grease and filled with calories. There is, however, a wonderful fast food that is good for you and that is salads. I know, blah blah blah salads. But seriously salads can ignite your taste buds, add longevity to your life, boost your mood and they are fast to make! How perfect is that? A recent study showed that Americans are getting worse at eating the recommended daily consumption of veggies, even if you count French fries. With all the urging of doctors and the revamped food pyramid our country is still eating primary fats, carbs and proteins. By choosing to eat just 5 salads a week, a person could avoid being lumped into the lumpy category of not eating enough vegetables. (2 ½ cups of vegetables is the recommended daily amount.) Now there is a trick to making your dreams come true with salads, and that is to go outside your box and experiment with some great recipes.

Most people tend to get stuck in the idea that salad is rabbit food that consists of green leafy stuff and other tasteless veggies that are only palatable with oodles of ranch dressing on top. Once you get the kitchen chemistry going with other ideas and recipes, you’ll be amazed at how much salads start to enter into your everyday cooking because they are really, really great tasting! Remember that even though salads are a fantastic addition to our diets they can deliver as much fat and calories as fast foods. An important tip to keeping the over all calories down in a salad is lower fat dressings and portion control on the higher fat items. Here are some wonderful winter salads that are an explosion of flavors and goodness. Bear in mind that on all these salad recipes it is give or take on the amounts recommended. I never follow these exactly! If you can not find dried cherries substitute dried cranberries instead on this first salad.

Rosy Winter Salad with Maple Dressing
The Salad
6 -10 cups of mixed salad greens
1 – 2 apples chopped, Braeburn or Fuji are good
½ cup purple onion chopped
½ cup of dried cherries
¼ cup of toasted hazelnuts
¼ cup feta cheese, preferably reduced fat

For salad, merrily toss the first 3 ingredients into a lovely salad bowl. Then artfully sprinkle the cheese, cherries and nuts on top. Serve with the dressing on the side so everyone can choose how much they like.

Maple Dressing
¼ cup of low-fat mayo
¼ cup of maple syrup
½ cup white wine vinegar
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 head of shallots chopped roughly
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme

Place all ingredients in the blender and let her rip! Serve on the side of the salad.

Winter Sunshine Salad
The Salad
6-10 cups of chopped romaine
¼ cup thinly sliced basil
½ cup sliced purple onion
1 cup of canned kidney beans, rinsed
½ English cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 juicy oranges, cut into segments
¼ cup of toasted pine nuts

Add all of the ingredients, except the pine nuts, to your favorite salad bowl and toss till you are satisfied. Then sprinkle the pine nuts over the top of the salad and serve with Garlic Vinaigrette.

Garlic Vinaigrette
3-4 tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of honey
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon of salt and fresh cracked pepper

Put all the ingredients in a small jar and shake-a shake-a till well blended. Serve with the salad for a happy mouth and body.

(serving size 1 ½ cups with 2 tablespoons of dressing, Calories – 95 – Fat 5 g)

I have started to post calories and fat grams when ever possible. These are not perfect but close approximations. I would also welcome any healthy, wonderful recipes that you would like to share with me. Thanks for reading!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2008 5:42 pm

    Dana,

    I needed some inspiration and this did it. They make my mouth water just reading the recipes. Nice job! I’m off to try the first one!

    Dau

  2. March 15, 2008 6:32 am

    This salad is so colorful and beautiful!! I also looooove chai and absolutely appreciate your chai tea recipes! I wrote a whole post dedicated to masala!

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