Is eating healthier your new years resolution? Detoxing after the holidays? I’m not sure anyone actually does this but if fitness club attendance is any indication, it would seem so. I always plan on eating healthier but never actually do it. Food is just too much fun. This Arugula, Pear, and Prosciutto Flatbread with Meyer Lemon Dressing is my version of eating healthy. It’s light, simple, and of course, tasty.
This roasted squash salad with brown butter apple cider dressing may sound fancy but it’s not. Even though the piles of winter squash at the fall farmers markets look beautiful and fun, squash can be a little boring in both preparation and taste. This dish changes that. It combines fancy sounding flavors with various winter squash to make a salad that’s not only pretty, but tasty too. Classic roasted squash simply includes butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper. It is then baked and maybe topped with a maple syrup. Not bad. But not great. Add pears, pecans, raisins, sage, and little brown butter, and roasted squash becomes an amazing salad or show stopping side dish.
I haven’t posted in a while and I should confess that this post was really meant to go up over a month ago when strawberries were still in their prime. You may be wondering how this recipe is now relevant. The beauty of a simple salad such as this is that the fruit can easily be substituted for a seasonal selection such as peaches or plums. Balsamic vinegar reductions or glazes work well with many seasonal stone fruits as well as figs and strawberries, of course. The richness of the vinegar reduction or glaze pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the fruit while giving it just a touch of acidity. When mixed with creamy goat cheese, spinach, and walnuts, you have yourself a simple tasty summer salad.
Have you met my trendy friend Kale yet? This popular leafy vegetable continues to be a health craze. I am admittedly late to the party: this was my first kale salad (gasp). I’ve always been apprehensive about using this high fiber vegetable, rich in vitamins and minerals. Its rough texture seems almost too healthy to hold it’s own as the main leafy part of a salad. Lets face it – no one wants to feel like they’re eating cardboard, right? But the idea of a Greek kale salad seemed much more enticing. I love Greek salad and it just so happened that a friend of mine was serving what she referred to as Greek kale salad at get together. It was brilliant. Classic chunky Greek salad vegetables and feta combined with leafy kale and a lemony vinaigrette. It was the perfect kale salad for those of us that are scared of kale salads.
With the holidays behind us, we feel guilty about our episodes of gluttony. Though it may not last more than a week or two, we make New Years resolutions to exercise more and eat better. The gyms are packed and there’s that buzz about kale, quinoa, chia, and other healthy super foods. Since grapefruit is said to have properties that help reduce belly fat and we have all heard about the health benefits of avocado, I present you with this light Grapefruit, Avocado, and Fennel salad. A salad reminiscent of summer yet perfect for your post-holiday health kick, no matter how short it is.
You may be thinking that this healthy salad seems too modern to have any connection to my grandmother and the early American foodies. However, I actually found this recipe, in it’s most basic form (no fennel), in “The James Beard Cookbook,” by James Beard. I’m not sure of its history before his cookbook but to me, this qualifies grapefruit and avocado salad as a classic.