Salads

 

 

Fennel and Arugula Salad with Oranges and Olives 

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Description:
Arugula, also known as salad or garden rocket, is a nutritious leafy green vegetable of Mediterranean origin. It belongs to the brassicaceae family like mustard greens, cauliflower, kale…etc and has scientific name Eruca sativa.

Arugula is a quick growing, cool season crop. It prefers well-drained, fertile soil and full sun to flourish. In general, arugula grows to about 2-3 feet in height with creamy white color edible flowers. Its leaves are ready to harvest within 40 days of sowing the seed.

As in other greens, arugula is one of very low calorie vegetable. 100 g of fresh leaves provides just 25 calories. Nonetheless, it has many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can immensely benefit health.

This vegetable also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.
Arugula is good in minerals especially copper and iron. In addition, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.








Ingredients:
2 navel oranges
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped pitted green olives
1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
4 cups (1 L) arugula or baby spinach

Sherry Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind
1 tsp (5 mL) liquid honey
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper



Directions:
Sherry Vinaigrette: In bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, orange rind, honey, salt and pepper; set aside. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.)

Cut off rind and outer membrane of oranges. Working over bowl, cut between membrane and pulp to release segments into bowl, reserving juice for another use. Add olives and fennel. Pour in vinaigrette; toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Add arugula; toss to coat.



Servings: 4


Special Diet: Vegetarian


Category: Salads


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Wellness Tip
Greens
Have you heard of arugula? It is a green, leafy vegetable that contains about 20 times more beta-carotene and vitamin C, and 8 times more calcium than iceberg lettuce. When making green salads at home, consider opting for dark green leaves, such as arugula, romaine, chicory and thinly sliced kale. Substituting these greens in salads and on sandwiches creates a more nutrient dense meal.


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Recipe
Tuscan Leek & Bean Soup
Category: Soup
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.
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