THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty FoodsAlso visit our main website, TheNibble.com.
We’re halfway through January. How’s the New Year’s resolution to “eat healthier” working for you?
We’re here to help with another way to make easy, healthy recipes for dinner. This tip turns plain grilled, poached or roasted proteins into glamour dishes. (See Part 1 and Part 2.)
The photo shows pan-sauteed catfish, but you can use this concept for any fish or seafood, meat, chicken or other protein. The key is to select interesting greens for your salad topper, and to be sure everything is small or delicate—a light layer instead of an avalanche.
Eschew the standard iceberg or romaine lettuces in favor of a mixture of one or two of these: baby arugula, baby spinach, mâche (lambs’ lettuce), fennel, mesclun, mizuna, sprouts or watercress.
Garnish your protein with your salad. Photo
courtesy Whole Foods Market. Get the recipe.
Add color. This can be as simple as the tomato and parsley salad shown in the photo; but you’ll find a wealth of options as you peruse the produce aisle. Carrot curls (we like a thick curl going down the length of the carrot), cherry or grape tomatoes (whole or halved, or diced standard-size tomatoes in season), sliced sundried tomatoes, enoki mushrooms and diced red or yellow bell peppers are basic, but give you plenty of opportunity to select two different combinations every day.
Look for specialty items in season. If you see something interesting, grab it: It may not be there next week. Fiddlehead ferns, for example, have a season that lasts only two weeks (from April in the South to July in the North).
Don’t forget fresh herbs. Americans add too much salt and sugar to recipes because we don’t take the time to buy and savor the fabulous flavors of fresh herbs. That’s why French and Italian cooking is so spectacular. Go for basics like basil, cilantro, dill and parsley. Use them up by adding them to everything you make (including eggs and sandwiches).
Like onions? We love ‘em. Add some thinly-sliced onions or green onions to your salad topper.
Dress the salad in a healthy olive oil vinaigrette or a lime vinaigrette (one of our favorites), substituting fresh lime juice for the vinegar. Grapefruit juice and lemon juice work as well. You can combine different juices and even add a splash of orange juice.
Bon appétit et salud!
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