Okay. I know that National Salad Month is not as big of a holiday as, say, Thanksgiving. But it’s a holiday that nutritionists like me get really excited about. Why? Because it’s a great time show people easy & tasty ways to eat more vegetables every day. This month, we’re going to celebrate salads in all of their different & delicious forms. But first, let’s check in:
Checking In: How did you do with Learning Portion Sizes?
Last week we looked at what portion sizes are for different food groups (check it out here if you missed it). I believe that the biggest challenge people face when trying to manage their weight is eating the right amount of food – we tend to overeat a lot. Learning what a portion is and sticking to it practically guarantees eating healthier.
This Month’s Change
Celebrating the Salad
“Eat your vegetables!” We all grew up hearing our parents tell us to eat our vegetables. I find that salads are the easiest and most fun way to do that. Since May is National Salad Month, let’s look at some creative ways to Celebrate the Salad (with thanks to eHow.com):
- Invite your friends to a build-your-own-salad event
- You supply the basic chopped greens and ask your friends to bring their favorite additions (plus recipes if appropriate).
- Hold a contest for the tastiest salad dressing, most exotic add-in, healthiest salad created at the party, etc.
- Swap salads with a friend or coworker
- If you make a great tossed green salad and a neighbor makes a terrific chopped vegetable salad, plan a lunchtime swap.
- Make a double-batch of your favorite to enjoy with a friend one day, and ask her to do the same for another day.
- Bonus: enjoy the time saved on the day you’re treated!
- Dine out on the salad menu
- Skip the regular entrees and flip your restaurant menu to the salads.
- Start your meal with a small salad or go straight to the main salads.
- It’s an easy way to try something new.
Spotlight Recipe of the Month
When I want a special healthy recipe, I turn to Canyon Ranch cookbooks. They always make me feel nourished and pampered, just like a stay at the Ranch. Try this selection from Jeanne Jones’ Canyon Ranch Cooking and see if you feel the same way.
[download the printable PDF]
Positive Power Salad
Serves 8 (have a party!)
If you’re preparing this ahead of time, don’t add the almonds, dressing or sunflower seeds until just before serving.
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped and toasted
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 1/2 cups diced jicama
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 red delicious apples, unpeeled and diced
1/2 cup raisins
4 ounces (about 1 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian Jet Fuel dressing (see recipe below)
1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
Combine all the ingredients, except sunflower seeds, in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of toasted sunflower seeds over the top of each serving.
Italian Jet Fuel Dressing
Makes 2 cups
The flavor is better if you can make this the day before you plan to use it.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon each fresh oregano, basil and tarragon, finely chopped
1 cup water
Combine the salt and vinegar; stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (except water) and mix well.
Add water and mix well. Keep refrigerated in a tightly covered container.
Make Your Salad Dressing as Healthy as Your Salad
Checking in: How did you do with Celebrating the Salad?
In-Season Offerings: Great Cookbooks
The Weeks Ahead
Salad Ideas That Kids Love
How to Eat 9 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables Daily – Really!
Beyond Iceberg: Choosing the Healthiest Greens
Main Dish Salads
Keep The Celebration Going: More Salad Tips