I love a good salad. A big leafy green one is good, but I really love a salad made with interesting ingredients that keeps me wanting more with each bite. I visited Columbus, Ohio this past week and had what was possibly the best salad I have ever eaten at a restaurant called Third & Hollywood. The menu just said it was a green bean salad and if you are like me that doesn’t sound too terribly exciting. Well…was I in for a surprise.
This wasn’t just your average green bean salad. Close your eyes and imagine perfectly cooked green beans, avocado, black olives, deliciously ripe in-season tomatoes, a few fingerling potatoes, a just-right boiled egg cut in quarters, a little red onion, and then lightly dressed with a Dijon vinaigrette. Now, that’s the way I like to eat my veggies. It was served along with perfectly seasoned seared tuna. Makes my stomach grumble just thinking about it. I wish I had the recipe to share, but no such luck. You could get creative and try to recreate it in your own kitchen or if you are ever in Columbus definitely find your way to this deliciousness on a plate.
I am always working with clients to get them to increase their intake of vegetables and salads are a perfect way to do that. Make those super healthy greens more diverse and healthy and avoid boredom by adding a variety of interesting ingredients. You might try beans of any variety – black, garbanzo, or soy – nuts, seeds, and different fruits like apple, pineapple, mango, or any kind of berry. Healthy does not mean no flavor. Break out of the box and imagine the possibilities!
Need a little help? Here are a couple of recipes to try this week. They would make great main dish salads and are so easy you will be able to throw them together in no time.
Simple Salmon Pasta Salad
2 cups whole wheat bow tie or rotini pasta cooked al dente
1 cup wild salmon, or about 4-6 oz. (freshly cooked or grilled salmon fillets broken into flakes with a fork)
1 cup crisp-tender asparagus pieces, grilled or steamed
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. canola mayo or light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. light sour cream
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dill weed
Black pepper to taste
1. Place pasta, salmon, asparagus, and green onions in serving bowl.
2. Blend dressing ingredients until smooth. Add to pasta salad ingredients and stir to mix. Serve alone or over a pile of your favorite leafy greens.
Calories: 339 Protein: 18 g Carbohydrates: 45 g Fat: 9.5 g Sat fat: 1.5 g Cholesterol: 29 mg Dietary Fiber: 7 g Sodium: 122 mg
Recipe from Today’s Dietitian Magazine courtesy of Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Easy Orzo Salad with Cilantro Lime Pesto
2 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo
1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ears grilled corn, removed from ear (or 1 can (8 oz.) corn, rinsed and drained)
2 bell peppers (red and orange), halved, seeds removed, grilled, and chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Cilantro Lime Pesto
3 cups cilantro leaves
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. Cook orzo according to instructions.
2. In food processor, purée pesto ingredients.
3. Toss pesto with cooked orzo and remaining ingredients. Serve over a bed of leafy greens.
Calories: 310 Fat: 10 g Carbohydrates: 51 g Protein: 11 g Dietary Fiber: 8 g
Recipe from Today’s Dietitian Magazine courtesy of Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD
Stay tuned next week for some easy salad dressing recipes. Looking for more recipes to try? Check out my recipes section for some of my favorite super tasty and healthy creations.