A Fresh Spin on Salads

“Seasonal ingredients are bursting from the vines, and that means your options are virtually endless,” says Jeanne Kelley, a Los Angeles-based chef and author. For Kelley, a trip to bountiful is as close as her backyard. Between her garden, chicken coop and beehives, she picks, snips and collects fresh veggies, herbs, eggs and honey to create nature’s best recipes, including the signature salads she shares here.

“Salads are hearty enough for dinner, and they’re perfect healthy lunches, especially for people who need a well-balanced meal mid-workday to help them maintain their stamina,” she says. “And contrary to popular belief, salads are easy to fix ahead of time and pack up beautifully so you can take them to work.”

Going Green

The Name Game

Arugula: Rocket, roquette, rucola
Butterhead: Butter lettuce, Boston, bibb, limestone
Chard: Swiss chard
Cress: Watercress, upland cress, curly cress, and land cress.
Crisphead: Iceberg
Endive: Belgian endive, French endive, witloof, witloof chicory, Belgium chicory
Escarole: Batavian endive, scarole, broad-leaved endive
Frisée: Curly endive, curly chicory
Mâche: Field salad, lamb’s lettuce, corn salad, field lettuce
Mesclun: Spring salad, field greens, spring mix
Mizuna: Japanese greens, spider mustard, potherb mustard, California peppergrass
Oakleaf: Red oak leaf, green oak leaf
Radicchio: Chioggia, red chicory, red Italian
Romaine: Cos lettuce
Tatsoi: Spoon cabbage, rosette, bok choy
Kale: This hearty green may have gained popularity in pressed juice drinks, but kale salads? “You bet,” says cookbook author Jeanne Kelley. “I toss kale with dressing on a Sunday, and eat it all week long.” While she admits it’s an acquired taste, Kelley contends, “Once you start eating kale, you feel so good afterwards your body actually craves it.” And if you never acquire a taste for kale, well, there are plenty more greens to choose from.

Eat Your Vitamins

To ensure you’re getting your daily value (DV) of vitamins and minerals, vary the color and types of veggies you choose. Greens are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. As a rule, dark green leaves have more vitamins than light colored varieties, and loose-leaf lettuce packs a more powerful nutritional punch than head lettuce.

We’ve done the math:

2 cups of raw green leaf lettuce =
> 100% of the DV for Vitamin A,
> 150% of the DV for Vitamin K
> 20% of the DV of Vitamin C

2 cups of raw spinach = 4 X DV of Vitamin K
>100% DV for Vitamin A
>25% DV of manganese, Vitamin C and folate
+ iron, magnesium and potassium

Anatomy of a Salad

Almost anything goes when it comes to creating a salad. You can add ingredients from every food group, mixing and matching for color and crunch and a zesty interplay of flavors. You’re limited only your imagination (…or maybe what’s leftover in your fridge or your wallet).

Start with whatever’s in season and locally sourced. Whether you shop at a farmers market or a supermarket chain, you’re likely to find a wide array of greens to choose among. Experiment! Try something new each time you toss. One caveat: When piling on ingredients, calories can add up–be aware, and practice portion control.

Salad Standbys
A lineup of the usual suspects:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Croutons
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Vary Your Veggies
In the raw, roasted or grilled

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Hearts of palm
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • New potatoes
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Squash
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Sweet or Tart
Fruit adds flavor, texture and color

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Make it a meal

  • Add a Portion of Protein
    • Anchovy
    • Bacon
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Crabmeat
    • Eggs
    • Lamb
    • Prosciutto
    • Salmon
    • Sardines
    • Shrimp
    • Steak
    • Tofu
    • Tuna
    • Turkey

    Fill up with Fiber
    Beans and legumes add protein, too

    • Black beans
    • Garbanzo beans
    • Kidney beans
    • Lentils
    • White beans

    Not Too Cheesy
    Grated, shaved, crumbled or cubed, a little goes a long way

    • Bleu cheese
    • Feta
    • Goat
    • Gorgonzola
    • Gouda
    • Manchego
    • Mozzarella
    • Parmesan
    • Pecorino
    • Queso fresco
    • Ricotta
    • Romano

    The Good Fats
    Add nuts and seeds to satisfy your hunger

    • Almonds
    • Flaxseed
    • Hazelnuts
    • Peanuts
    • Pinenuts
    • Pistachios
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Walnuts

    Go with the Grain
    Whole grain, that is

    • Couscous
    • Quinoa
    • Wheatberry

    Spice It Up
    Add herbs and seasonings

    • Basil
    • Capers
    • Chives
    • Cilantro
    • Dill
    • Ginger
    • Marjoram
    • Mint
    • Olives
    • Oregano
    • Parsley
    • Rosemary
    • Thyme

    A Growing Trend in Health Care: On-site Farmers Markets

    For some nurses, shopping for locally-grown, in-season fruits and vegetables is as convenient as going to work. In the past dozen or so years, hospital-sponsored farmers markets have been cropping up from coast to coast.

    Among health care companies, Kaiser Permanente is at the forefront of the home-grown movement, hosting more than 50 farmers markets or stands at its hospitals and facilities across the country. By making locally-sourced produce readily available, the organization scores a health trifecta—with ecological, fiscal and public health benefits for the community it serves. “We recognize that locally grown food from family farms is less taxing on the environment and ultimately healthier for those who grow and eat the food,” says Jan Villarante, Kaiser Permanente’s director of national nutrition.

    If you’d like your workplace to join the 100 plus health-care facilities with on-site farmers markets, plant the seed with management.

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