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A saladicious start to the new year

January 1, 2014
By Katie Koerner , Marshall Independent

Start the new year right by eating fruit and vegetables in delicious salads. With a variety of salad greens and fruit and vegetables, there are endless combinations, and each salad can offer different flavors and nutrients. Fruit and vegetables add vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber which support good health.

Make any meal "saladicious" by creating a salad with flavorful and nutritious mix-ins. Start with salad greens, add fruit and vegetables, drizzle lightly with dressing, add a lean protein and top it off to create a unique meal.

Salad greens - The darker and greener, the more nutritious. Darker salad greens are higher in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, calcium and manganese, which help support eye health, healthy bones and the immune system. Choosing darker salad greens is an easy way to create a more nutritious salad that also offers more flavor.

Dietitian tip: Since darker greens have a stronger flavor, try mixing romaine with darker greens to lessen the flavor intensity while still boosting the nutrition content of the salad.

Kale is one of the most nutritious greens and the start to a saladicious salad. Kale has curly leaves and can be purchased as a bunch; it is now available in bagged salads so there is no added preparation. If purchasing a bunch, rip the leaves from the stalk and wash under cold water. The stalk can be discarded and the leaves torn into bite-sized pieces.

Try massaged kale: In large serving bowl, add one bunch of kale (washed, removed from stalks and torn into bite-sized pieces), the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a small pinch of salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften, wilt and turn bright green, about one to two minutes.

Fruit or vegetables - Add fruit and vegetables for color, texture and extra nutrients.

Dressing - A light drizzle or side of dressing will add just the right amount of flavor. For portion control, measure the salad dressing or dip the fork into the dressing, then pick up the salad. In addition to adding flavor, salad dressing can increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.

Protein - Feel fuller longer by adding a lean protein.

Top it off - Add a fun ingredient to finish the saladicious meal.

Whether staying in or on-the-go, a saladicious meal is pleasing, easy to prepare and a good way to eat fruit and vegetables!

Saladicious examples:

Salad green

Fruit or vegetables



Top if off!


Bell pepper strips

Plain Greek yogurt

Seasoned ground meat

Black beans


Mandarin oranges

Sesame vinaigrette

Canned salmon

Lo mein noodles


Pear slices

Olive oil and red wine vinegar

Crumbled blue cheese

Pecans and pomegranate arils


Grape tomatoes


Grilled chicken breast

Parmesan cheese

Red leaf lettuce

Strawberry slices

Balsamic vinaigrette

Grilled chicken breast

Crumbled feta cheese

Green leaf lettuce

Marinated mushrooms




Butter lettuce

Shredded carrots


Sliced hard-boiled egg

Whole wheat croutons

Massaged Kale Salad

Serves 6 (about 2 cups each).

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.

All you need

2 bunches kale

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 minced anchovy fillet or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

All you do

1. Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl.

2. Add Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, anchovy (if using), pepper and salt. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the flavoring. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look a little darker and somewhat shiny.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning with more Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and/or pepper, if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: 185 calories, 15g fat, 3g saturated fat, 6mg cholesterol, 321mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 5g protein.

Daily values: 234% vitamin A, 159% vitamin C, 18% calcium.

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

This information is not intended as medical advice. For individual medical advice, please contact a health care provider.

Katie Koerner is a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee Food Store in Marshall.



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