Guest Author - Christina T. Schlachter, PhD
Here are two of my favorite Spring Time salads.
Green Bean and Spinach Salad
Green beans & spinach are two of those power foods. Vitamin A, C, iron, and calcium (spinach) are wrapped up in those little green guys. Alone, they are wonderful sources of vitamins and nutrients and together, well, they are unbeatable. Try this wonderfully green recipe and the luck of the Irish will be in a healthy body! Do you best to get fresh green beans; they are so much tastier than canned or frozen ones.
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1 lb. fresh baby spinach
1 pear, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. reduced fat Feta Cheese
1/8 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp. orange-zest
1 Tbsp. infused olive oil
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1. In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
2. Using a steamer, cook the beans until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. While steaming the beans, toast the almonds in a nonstick saute pan over medium-low heat. Stir the almonds frequently until golden brown (approximately 4 minutes).
3. In a serving bowl, toss all the reminding ingredients. Plate the salad and sprinkle almonds on top. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
Spring Time Spinach, Pear, and Chicken Salad.
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup (45g) red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp (25g) almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp (25g) honey or agave nectar
8 cups (455g) baby spinach
2 pears, chopped (any sweet variety)
6 ounces (170g) grilled chicken breast, cut into 1-inch (3cm) pieces
1/4 cup (60mL) fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp (30mL) virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp (2g) sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare dressing: In a jar or small bowl, mix together lemon juice, oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper.
Prepare caramelized almonds: Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes, until slightly soft but not over done. Remove onion. Combine honey and almonds in skillet. Cook slowly over medium-low heat, stirring often, until all the sugar has melted onto the almonds and they are brown. Remove from hot pan and cool. If prepared ahead, store in an air-tight container.
Assemble salad: Combine spinach, pear, and chicken breast. Toss gently with dressing. Portion salad onto plates and sprinkle with caramelized almonds and onions. Makes 4 servings.