“The Healthy Gourmet”

April 15, 2010

Turning Over a New Leaf with Salads

Now that things outdoors are starting to green up, it’s the perfect time to freshen up use of greens in our diet.  With this fabulous warm weather offering us the prospect of picnics and eating outdoors on our porches and decks, combining in-season fruits, vegetables and herbs in salads is a healthy way to kick off Spring.

Over the past weeks we have talked about healthy fats and oils as well as how to dress your salads to maximize tasty and healthy eating.  Now I’d like to apply the healthy parts of fats and salads with some great recipes.  These salads offer proteins, good fats, colorful fruits and veggies for eye and nutritional appeal, and they are just plain fabulous to eat!!!  I hope you enjoy these recipes as they are some favorites of mine.  Please note that the Garden Pea, Mint, Radish, and Arugula Salad recipe appeared in the Atlanta Journal Food Section on 4/9/10, and since it combines all the things we have gone over recently – good fats, fresh herbs, eating seasonal foods – it just seemed too good to not share.  I have not made that recipe yet but it sure sounds wonderful.

Garden Pea, Mint, Radish and Arugula Salad
Serves 4  (from the Atlanta Journal, 4/9/10)

1 c garden peas (or baby frozen peas)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 T olive or canola oil

¼ t salt

1/8 t pepper

4 radishes, thinly sliced

¼ c fresh mint, chopped

4 c arugula leaves, washed and dried

1 ounce shaved pecorino Romano or crumbled feta cheese


  1. Place a bowl of ice water near the stove.  Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil; add the peas.  Cook 1 minute (or according to package directions if using frozen) then drain and plunge into the ice water bath.  Drain the peas
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.  Toss with the peas, radishes and mint.   Place the arugula leaves in a serving bowl, top with the pea mixture, and garnish with the cheese,


Calories                                 191

Saturated Fat                     2 g

Sodium                                 232mg




Thai Beef Salad
Serves 4

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 c cilantro leaves, divided, washed, and dried very well

½ t black pepper

3 tablespoons canola or olive oil

13 ounce rump or sirloin steak

1 head Boston (bibb or butterhead) lettuce, leaves separated, washed and patted dry

6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

1 seedless cucumber, peeled and thickly sliced

4 green onions, chopped on the diagonal



2 T fish sauce

2 T fresh lime juice

1 T reduced sodium soy sauce

2 t chopped fresh red chilies

2 t soft brown sugar


  1. Finely grind the chopped garlic, ½ c cilantro leaves, black pepper and 2 T oil in a mortar and pestle or food processor/blender.   Spread evenly over the steak.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy frying pan or a wok over high heat.  Add the steak and cook about 4 minutes on each side, turning only once.  Do not overcook – meat should be pink.
  3. Combine the lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and green onions on a serving plate or large shallow bowl.
  4. To make the dressing, stir together dressing ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Cut the steak into thin strips.  Arrange over the salad and toss together very gently.  Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the remaining ½ c cilantro over the top.  Serve immediately.


Calories                                                 280

Saturated Fat                                       8g

Protein                                                 25 g

I hope you enjoy these wonderful salads, and remember to try turning over a new leaf when it comes to salads!