I decided to give the ole sweet tooth a break today ~ I think I might have single-handedly induced a few dozen sugar induced comas in cyberworld…
I love salad… I know I’ve posted about simple salads before ~ spinach, red onion, a drizzle of olive oil and a bright spritz of lemon, topped off with some toasted pine nuts, hmmmm… one of my favorites. Or there’s rucola, bresaola & grana ~ simply place the peppery green goodness that is known here in the USA, as arugula, in a shallow platter; fold thinly sliced bresaola, place lovingly in little nests of arugula; season with salt & pepper, shave some Grana Padano cheese over top and drizzle the whole thing with a little olive oil, and you have one of Italy’s famed salads (great note: turn this into one of the Italy’s best pizza offerings! Bake your dough with a little olive oil, when it comes out of the pizza oven, top with rucola, bresaola, shavings of Grana, lemon, olive oil & salt!)
Lately, I have taken to eating super foods ~ kale, broccoli, chard, spinach, napa or savoy cabbage. I get one of my big bowls out of the cupboard, do a quick, fine chop on all of it, then drizzle with my downfall: Kay’s Sweet Poppyseed Dressing! Don’t worry, I’ll supply the recipe later. I top this big crunch fest with some toasted almonds & pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and dried cranberries. For some creaminess, add chopped avocado tossed with lime; for more crunch (?!?) add jicama. YUM!
Come on, folks! We’ve heard it all our lives (if we were lucky): EAT YOUR GREENS!!! Go ahead ~ eat ’em! Your heart, liver & blood supply will thank you! Remember, the darker the green, the better the clean! (yes, that one is mine!)
- Kale: A nutrition powerhouse! It’s an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K, has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium. Kale’s ruffle-edged leaves may range in color from cream to purple to black depending on the variety.
- Collards: collard greens are similar in nutrition to kale. But they have a heartier and chewier texture and a stronger cabbage-like taste. A half cup has 25 calories.
- Turnip greens: Turnip leaves are another Southern favorite traditionally made with pork. More tender than other greens and needing less cooking, this sharp-flavored leaf is low in calories yet loaded with vitamins A,C, and K as well as calcium.
- Swiss chard: With red stems, stalks, and veins on its leaves, Swiss chard has a beet-like taste and soft texture that’s perfect for sauteeing. Both Swiss chard and spinach contain oxalates, which are slightly reduced by cooking and can bind to calcium, a concern for people prone to kidney stones. Chard contains 15 calories in one-half cup and is a good source of vitamins A and C.
- Spinach: Popeye’s favorite vegetable has 20 calories per serving, plus it’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. And heat reduces the green’s oxalate content, freeing up its dietary calcium. Spinach leaves can be cooked quickly in the water that remains on them after rinsing, or they can be eaten raw in salads. Bags of frozen chopped spinach are more convenient to use than block kinds, and this mild-flavored vegetable can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.
- Mustard greens: Another Southern green with a similar nutrition profile to turnip leaves and collards, mustard greens have scalloped edges and come in red and green varieties. They have a peppery taste and give off a mustardy smell during cooking. Their spiciness can be toned down by adding an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, toward the end of cooking, suggests Nussinow. Cooked mustard greens have 10 calories in one-half cup.
- Broccoli: With 25 calories a serving, broccoli is rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Americans eat about 6 pounds of it a year. Its stalks and florets add both crunch and color to stir-fries.
- Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: these lettuces are high in vitamin A and offer some folate. Leaf lettuces have a softer texture than romaine, a crunchy variety used in Caesar salads. Fans of Iceberg lettuce may go for romaine, a crispy green that’s better for you. One cup contains 10 calories.
- Cabbage: Although paler in color than other leafy greens, this cruciferous vegetable is a great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries, shredded into a slaw, or made into sauerkraut. One-half cup cooked has 15 calories.
Kay’s Sweet Poppyseed Dressing
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 sugar
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp. ground or finely minced onion
Mix all ingredients well. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Let the dressing come to room temperature before doing the drizzle. Enjoy ~ Val
note ~ the recipe for the salad dressing comes from a dear friend Heidi Gryzen ~ thanks Heidi!