Salads Take Center Stage
The reason I remember the first time I was served a main-course salad, easily 15 years ago, is that it was such a revelation.
It was served to a group of us, six or more, in a large shallow wooden bowl and it was full of all kinds of good things; greens, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, sliced chicken breast and a dressing fragrant with fresh tarragon and basil. I remember my hostess saying how uncomplicated a meal it was to prepare, serve and clean up after.
Main-course salads are a terrific opportunity to combine a variety of ingredients creatively and colorfully. The late, celebrated U.S. cookbook author, James Beard said meat salads originated in North America as a way to use leftovers; maybe he was right.
Certainly, it's a chance to be imaginative in the kitchen. When it comes to main-course salads, there is no wrong way. Add grains if you like, or stick to vegetables and meat. Or don't use meat. Or don't use vegetables. One of the best things about main-course salads is how few rules there are, although one is that you really should make your own vinaigrette.
I once put my imagination together and marinated and grilled chicken breasts on a grill pan, but you could barbecue them instead -- and how they can be paired either with buckwheat noodles or with crunchy coleslaw. The chicken can easily be replaced with salmon or tofu.
In Heartsmart Cooking for Family and Friends, Bonnie Stern does a take on a classic nicoise - made with roasted salmon and grilled vegetables, and served with wheat berries. Or rice. Or barley. It's served on one large platter or in individual portions.
In "A Good Day for Salad", there's a recipe for a main-course salad made with strips of cooked lamb, white beans, arugula and a dressing flavored with cherry tomatoes, garlic and fresh rosemary. There's another for amango-mint chicken salad featuring boned, skinned chicken breast, sugar snap peas, arugula, bean sprouts, mangos and mint sprigs for garnish. The dressing includes fresh lime and lemon juice, honey, mint leaves, soyand grated fresh ginger.
In her cookbook "Nigella Bites", Nigella Lawson includes a ginger-hot duck salad. A duck breast is grilled and then carved on the diagonal into thin slices, tossed with a couple of tablespoons fish sauce, the juice of half a lime and half an orange; a finely chopped hot pepper; some grated fresh ginger and a few drops of sesame oil, and turned out onto serving plate covered with baby spinach or watercress. Or both.
I've made all these salads -- and then some. I've taken recipes and changed them, played with them, added to them and subtracted from them. I've made main-course salads for myself and made them for a crowd. And I'm far from an expert cook. If I can do it, so can you.
We have a wonderful salad that makes a meal by itself called "Japanese Cabbage Salad" (Serves 8).
Japanese Cabbage Salad
Makes a full meal when served with any Asian-style chicken, fish or tofu.
2 cups shredded red cabbage
Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. Spread sesame seeds on a baking tray and place in a 350F (180C) oven for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully -- they burn quickly. Toast almonds separately, at the same temperature but for a bit longer. Place all salad ingredients together in a bowl. Toss with dressing right before serving, so as not to lose the crunch. Makes 8 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 190, Protein 3g, Fat 16g, Carbohydrates 12g, Fiber 3g, Sodium 195mg (less if salt is omitted from recipe).
Author: Susan Rutter -- Publisher, Nutritionist, and Instructor who assists patients and the public make healthy choices and changes in their lives. Web Site: Healthy YOUbbieshttp://www.geocities.com/healthyoubbies/
Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From?
Have you ever thought about where your drinking water comes from? Most of us never give this question a thought. Yet, the sources of our water tell us a lot about its quality.
Soytastic - The Health Benefits of Soy
It is often taken as a given fact that soy is beneficial to our health, and that it is certainly a healthier alternative to dairy products and meat. However, it is rare that anyone actually either asks or informs us of what soy is or why we should consume it.
Green Tea and Cholesterol Facts
A green and lush oasis in the middle of a scorching dessert. A cool breeze on a hot summer night.
Cherries - The Next Wonder Fruit
Cherries?A Supercharged FruitThe little red fruit that has been enjoyed by countless millions offer more than great taste. Are cherries truly fruit for a healthy you? Recent studies have revealed that cherries offer an assortment of health benefits including the natural ability to offer relief from joint inflammation.
An Open Letter to Mankind
In the last twenty years, a huge and growing body of research has been carried out into the role of the sugars that are an essential part of glycoproteins. These sugar-protein complexes are the building blocks of our immune system, and are the method by which cells "talk" to each other.
What on Earth is an Enzyme?
Enzymes are the workers in our body that make everything function, by enabling chemical reactions. All living cells contain enzymes.
Cherries - A Natural Joint Pain Killer
Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules are a nutritious, all-natural alternative for the more than 70 million people in the U.S.
Brain Foods Make You Think Differently for Back-to-school
Students might start thinking a little differently, once they learn about brain foods, and how they can help their concentration and make their school work easier.The most important meal of the day is breakfast.
An Apple a Day, Does Keep the Doctor Away
Increasing the fiber in your diet has been shown to: reduce your cholesterol, reduce your hunger, lower your fat absorption, reduce surges in insulin levels, help with weight loss, lower the risk of colon cancer, and lower your risk of heart disease. WOW! Sounds like a miracle cure - where can I get this stuff? The answer: At your grocery store.
Nutrition and Exercise Tips to Walk Away From Death
Recently yet another super-heavyweight Iron Immortal died from a heart attack at age forty-five or thereabouts. Typically, when I read of these tragedies I search my memory banks and then write some sort of tribute.
What is the Cause?
The question most people think they need an answer to is what is the cause of their this or that? Many people pay it lip service, but what is cause really? Going with the bucket analogy, what is the cause of one of the symptoms or diseases not being covered by water, or being expressed? Could it be that water is leaking out of the bucket through the holes? Which hole is the "cause" of the symptoms or disease being expressed? That is kind of a trick question.It is not just one hole that causes a symptom or disease to be expressed.
The 7 Best & The 7 Worst Food For A Long Life
The above foods contain high antioxidant capacity. These foods were chosen because of discovery of the most powerful phytochemicals and anthocyanins, which illustrate strong inhibition of chemocarcinogens.
Combat High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol with Soybeans
You may have heard of the "Portfolio Diet" wherein it has been clinically accepted that increasing the intake of soy based foods can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol as much as some statin drugs.Well, now it seems that soybeans have another health-giving quality: they also reduce blood pressure.
MSG: If Its Safe, Why Do They Disguise It On Labels?
Monosodium glutamate, commonly known as MSG, was thought of as a "miracle food enhancer" when it was first introduced to the public over five decades ago.More than just a seasoning like salt and pepper, MSG could actually enhance the flavors of foods, making processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and smell better, salad dressings more tasty, and canned foods less tinny.
Eating Healthy in a Time-Starved World
Americans are literally running out of time. Achieving a work-life balance, which is still a luxury for tens of millions of working parents, has been overtaken by an even greater demand: a work-life-nutrition balance.
Magnesium Deficiency Causes Personality Change and WLS Patients are at Risk
Have you ever felt like you were completely losing your mind? Like the world was swallowing you up and little things were out of your control and unmanageable? Like you were confused, tired, out of sorts and simply wanted to collapse? Has everyday noise become intolerably loud in your head?That's how I was feeling a few months ago. I was confident I'd lost my mind and suffered a serious change of personality (for the worse, I may add).
LIFESTYLE WELLNESS = An Adventure of Health + Vitality!Not a strong wind, nor a surge of pressure, nor a fit of passion, nor anything, can throw you off when your body, mind and spirit are in perfect balance. -Unknown'WELLNESS'.
Clues for Fibromyalgia Relief
Fibromyalgia is a chronic and potentially life-altering disorder with symptoms such as extreme muscle pain, extraordinary fatigue and multiple tender and painful points. Fibromyalgia itself tends to be similar in many aspects to rheumatic diseases although it differs from arthritis in that there is no known inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles or tissues.
Help Your Heart Grow
I turned into my parents' driveway in Maryland and parked the car. Before I could even step out and close the door, Mom flew out of the backyard, gesturing frantically.
Six Ways Soy Benefits Your Health
Soy, and most soy-based products, are nutritional powerhouses. Soybeans are the only plant food that has all of the essential amino acids our body requires, making it a complete protein.