“Seasonal ingredients are bursting from the vines, and that means your options are virtually endless,” says Jeanne Kelley, a Los Angeles-based chef and author. For Kelley, a trip to bountiful is as close as her backyard. Between her garden, chicken coop and beehives, she picks, snips and collects fresh veggies, herbs, eggs and honey to create nature’s best recipes, including the signature salads she shares here.
“Salads are hearty enough for dinner, and they’re perfect healthy lunches, especially for people who need a well-balanced meal mid-workday to help them maintain their stamina,” she says. “And contrary to popular belief, salads are easy to fix ahead of time and pack up beautifully so you can take them to work.”
The Name Game
Arugula: Rocket, roquette, rucola
Butterhead: Butter lettuce, Boston, bibb, limestone
Chard: Swiss chard
Cress: Watercress, upland cress, curly cress, and land cress.
Endive: Belgian endive, French endive, witloof, witloof chicory, Belgium chicory
Escarole: Batavian endive, scarole, broad-leaved endive
Frisée: Curly endive, curly chicory
Mâche: Field salad, lamb’s lettuce, corn salad, field lettuce
Mesclun: Spring salad, field greens, spring mix
Mizuna: Japanese greens, spider mustard, potherb mustard, California peppergrass
Oakleaf: Red oak leaf, green oak leaf
Radicchio: Chioggia, red chicory, red Italian
Romaine: Cos lettuce
Tatsoi: Spoon cabbage, rosette, bok choy
Kale: This hearty green may have gained popularity in pressed juice drinks, but kale salads? “You bet,” says cookbook author Jeanne Kelley. “I toss kale with dressing on a Sunday, and eat it all week long.” While she admits it’s an acquired taste, Kelley contends, “Once you start eating kale, you feel so good afterwards your body actually craves it.” And if you never acquire a taste for kale, well, there are plenty more greens to choose from.
Eat Your Vitamins
To ensure you’re getting your daily value (DV) of vitamins and minerals, vary the color and types of veggies you choose. Greens are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. As a rule, dark green leaves have more vitamins than light colored varieties, and loose-leaf lettuce packs a more powerful nutritional punch than head lettuce.
We’ve done the math:
2 cups of raw green leaf lettuce =
> 100% of the DV for Vitamin A,
> 150% of the DV for Vitamin K
> 20% of the DV of Vitamin C
2 cups of raw spinach = 4 X DV of Vitamin K
>100% DV for Vitamin A
>25% DV of manganese, Vitamin C and folate
+ iron, magnesium and potassium
Almost anything goes when it comes to creating a salad. You can add ingredients from every food group, mixing and matching for color and crunch and a zesty interplay of flavors. You’re limited only your imagination (…or maybe what’s leftover in your fridge or your wallet).
Start with whatever’s in season and locally sourced. Whether you shop at a farmers market or a supermarket chain, you’re likely to find a wide array of greens to choose among. Experiment! Try something new each time you toss. One caveat: When piling on ingredients, calories can add up–be aware, and practice portion control.
A lineup of the usual suspects:
Vary Your Veggies
In the raw, roasted or grilled
Sweet or Tart
Fruit adds flavor, texture and color
Make it a meal
Fill up with Fiber
Beans and legumes add protein, too
Not Too Cheesy
Grated, shaved, crumbled or cubed, a little goes a long way
The Good Fats
Add nuts and seeds to satisfy your hunger
Go with the Grain
Whole grain, that is
Spice It Up
Add herbs and seasonings
A Growing Trend in Health Care: On-site Farmers Markets
For some nurses, shopping for locally-grown, in-season fruits and vegetables is as convenient as going to work. In the past dozen or so years, hospital-sponsored farmers markets have been cropping up from coast to coast.
Among health care companies, Kaiser Permanente is at the forefront of the home-grown movement, hosting more than 50 farmers markets or stands at its hospitals and facilities across the country. By making locally-sourced produce readily available, the organization scores a health trifecta—with ecological, fiscal and public health benefits for the community it serves. “We recognize that locally grown food from family farms is less taxing on the environment and ultimately healthier for those who grow and eat the food,” says Jan Villarante, Kaiser Permanente’s director of national nutrition.
If you’d like your workplace to join the 100 plus health-care facilities with on-site farmers markets, plant the seed with management.