Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Salady Salad

So today was a salad day. Mostly because I realized I have a lot of vegetables in my fridge that I haven't been eating yet. And because I really need to use up the salad dressing that's been in the soda can holder in the door. So, I decided to use all the vegetables I have (which isn't very many, sadly, as my mushrooms and green beans are off to a better place...aka the trash).
Salad making is pretty easy, so I really wonder why I don't do it more often. Anyway, this is my salad:
First, I created a bed of 50% mixed Spring Greens and 50% Spinach. This just happened to be what I had in my fridge, but it actually works really well for a salad like this.
Next, I rinsed some of my broccoli. This time, I think I used a full serving of broccoli. I then toor the ends off in punches and scattered them amungst my bed of greens.
Then, I rinsed my baby corn. Apparently you can get it fresh, which is healthier for you, but I have never heard of fresh baby corn (I just amused it grew from the ground into a can). However, canned baby corn tends to have lots of added sodium. And with all the yogurt covered pretzels I've been having lately, I don't really need more sodium. The can I got contained over 10% of my daily sodium intake, in just one serving of baby corn. After rinsing the baby corn quite a bit, I added it to my salad.
Then, I added a few Caesar Parmesan croutons. Not too many since the point of the salad is vegetables, not starch, and baby corn was already an added starch. Plus, I'm not terribly fond of the croutons I bought.
Next, I added just a bit of Caesar salad dressing. I have yogurt based dressing because a) it's half the fat and calories of normal Caesar salad dressing, and b) it's new, so it was on sale when I went to the store. Cheaper = better. However, since the yogurt makes the taste a bit sharp, it's actually kind of important to use less of it. Otherwise you won't be able to taste the rest of the salad.
Finally, toss it up. Eat, enjoy, and clean up the mess. All of the veggies and the dressing need to go into the fridge (even the baby corn). If your baby corn is in canned form, cover it with a bag and put it in the fridge. If you don't have sandwich baggies, it's totally fine, I don't either. I just use whatever plastic bag I can find (an old fruit and veggie bag from the store or a plastic grocery bag will work fine...I used an old Fuego bag, which worked great. The important part is just keeping air out).
Your final product might look like this:

I really liked this salad. I think my favorite part was the baby corn, followed closely by the broccoli and spinach. My least favorite part was the croutons. What's wrong with this picture? I kind of wish I had black olives for this salad though. This is two recipes in a row where I wish I had black olives...perhaps I need to invest in a can or two...
If you need further reasons to eat this salad, besides the fact that it is DELICIOUS, here are some health benefits of each ingredient. Spinach contains vitamin K, folate, iron, and beta carotene (spinach is one of the best sources for beta carotene, which converts Vitamin A in the intestines and liver). The mixed spring greens include quite a bit of antioxidants, as well as even more folate. The broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A. Baby corn, which is not actually a vegetable, contains about 30% of your RDA of folate, close to 20% of your vitamin C, 15% of Vitamin B6, 10% RDA of riboflavin, and 10% RDA of fiber. The yogurt-based dressing contains a little less than 5% RDA of calcium and about 2 g of protein...which isn't bad for such a small amount. And a serving of Caesar parmesan croutons contains 1 g of protein and carbohydrates. Pretty good for something that actually tastes good, huh?

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