Delicious Asparagus Salad
- Friday, 23 July 2010
Many people think eating a salad of any sort should automatically score them big points in the healthy eating department. Unfortunately, salads aren’t always healthy. Pile on the wrong sort of toppings (think globs of cheese, heavy cream-based dressings, processed meats, bacon bits, croutons made with refined flour and empty-calorie vegetable oils, etc.) and a salad can quickly turn into a total nutritional nightmare. On the other hand, some salads are so “light” you may as well be munching on air. What good is eating a salad for lunch if 20 minutes later you start craving pizza, burgers and fries? ?
Salads Don’t Always Need to Have Lettuce
One of the keys to healthy whole foods eating is to fill up on nutrient-dense foods that supply lots of nutrition, lots of fiber and lots of bang for every bite. Many people consider salad to be a staple in their diet. A salad can absolutely be super filling and nutritious (slimming too!) if it is made with the right ingredients. In fact, a salad doesn’t even need to have lettuce to be a “salad.” There are many recipes available for lettuce-free salads that use one or two raw or lightly cooked vegetables (such as the recipe below) and taste great. When making salad, think outside of the salad bowl. Try adding fruits (both fresh and dry) and fresh herbs to my salad. The key is to get creative!!
Choosing The Right Oils
Another huge factor in determining if a salad is healthy or not is the oil used in the dressing or vinaigrette. When buying bottled dressings (as most people do), you can be almost certain you’ll be eating empty-calorie, highly refined, pro-inflammatory vegetable oil (such as “pure” vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, etc) that not only tastes terrible but also won’t do a thing for promoting good health (or slimming your waistline). Using a high quality oil (such as unrefined extra virgin olive oil or hempseed oil) can substantially boost the health and taste of salad. Make sure to choose a dark bottle and store in a cool dry place.
Using healthy oil as a base for your dressing or vinaigrette means it isn’t necessary to pour an excessive amount of it on your salad. Mixing fresh herbs, garlic and something acidic (such as vinegar or lemon juice) with your oil produces big, bold flavors so use the dressing sparingly. Try adding some finely chopped raw nuts to your salad for another unique taste. In a matter of minutes you can prepare a super healthy whole foods meal that will fill you up…not out!
Health Boosting Ingredients
Asparagus makes for a great high fiber snack and is rich in potassium and vitamin K. It is also a good source of vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as folate (folic acid).
Oranges are incredibly high in vitamin C which will help to support your immune system.
The recipe for my Asparagus Orange Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette is adapted from my Whole Foods Diet Cookbook. - see how easy it is to do. Enjoy!