Written by Sylvia Geiger MS, RD, CD, Price Chopper Community Nutritionist
When it’s too hot to cook—it’s time to get out of the kitchen! Hot summer days have me pouring through recipe ideas that minimize my kitchen time. Salads are a refreshing and usually low calorie way to put a marvelous meal on the table without slaving over a hot stove.
Salads are also a fantastic way to eat more vegetables and follow the new MyPlate recommendation of filling half your plate with fruits & vegetables. They are perfect make-it-ahead meals that you can just pull out of the fridge when hunger strikes. I like to keep some made-up salads front and center in my fridge in anticipation of the daily refrain “Mom- what’s there to eat?” Just fold them into a wrap or pita with a slice of tomato and —Voila! It’s meal or hearty snack.
Here are some delicious easy salads to have on hand.
7 Reasons to Eat More Salads
- Most salads include plenty of lettuce, spinach or kale. Aside from being low calorie, these greens have many nutrients. Did you know that 2 cups of raw spinach leaves has almost 100% of your need for vitamin A? Or that Kale is chocked full of both vitamins A & K?
- Salads are easy and convenient- if you are crunched for time, try the pre-washed & pre-cut veggie bags found in the produce aisle.
- Adding fruits—what ever is in season—makes a salad more kid friendly.
- All fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals that have known health benefits, so enjoy your favorite and try some new ones. For example…
- Lycopene, found in carrots, tomatoes, and watermelon may help protect skin from UV radiation damage.
- New research shows that Sulforaphane, a component of broccoli, cauliflower and kale helps prevent cancer because it selectively targets & kills cancer cells.
- Potassium, found in potatoes (both white & sweet), tomatoes and beans is important in healthy blood pressure.
For more ideas on ways to include more veggies, fruits and salads go to http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/
Recipe Ideas using this week’s sale items
All main ingredients are on sale