The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Savory Summer Salads

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Savory Summer Salads

The best thing about summer (besides the sun!) is the overabundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around every corner and in backyard gardens.  When you make a salad for your family, include ingredients that make a complete meal.  Try combining fruits with vegetables for a unique blend.  For maximum nutrition, choose something from each of these categories:

  • Antioxidant-rich foods: Blueberries, cranberries, artichoke hearts, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pecans
  • Low-fat protein foods: Kidney beans, low fat cheese, pinto beans, turkey, chicken
  • Vitamin A foods: Carrots, squash, broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, collards, cantaloupe
  • Vitamin C foods: Green peppers, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, black currants, cabbage, tomatoes
  • Vitamin E foods: Wheat germ, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, kiwifruit
Let's put that all together into a salad:  Start with a base of dark green leafy vegetables, add artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumbers (they don't add much nutrition, but they create a nice texture), and green peppers.  Toss with a low fat dressing, garnish with black olives, and add whole grain bread for a complete meal on a hot summer day.  Remember to give your new concoction a fun name so your family can request it again.  I call this Italian Delight because I use low fat tomato basil dressing.

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