Thursday, January 26, 2012

RECIPE: Classic Romaine Salad

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Sometimes simpler is better.

Take classic cars, for example.  Why do cars from the past two decades last such a short time when cars from the 1950s can last so long when maintained properly?

Food is often the same way.  Too many ingredients (especially when they are heavily processed) can ruin the taste of things we eat. 

This salad isn't made of anything particularly special: romaine lettuce, olives, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, croutons, and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan.  Surprisingly, the result is dramatic.  The crunchy romaine and croutons combined with the smooth olives and juicy tomatoes, tossed with Parmesan and vinaigrette make a salad perfect for anytime.

Romaine lettuce is high in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate.  It also has fiber which may help you feel fuller.  Adding tomatoes gives you even more vitamin C plus lycopene, an antioxidant which helps prevent types of cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol.  If you choose to use balsamic vinaigrette, you may aid your weight loss efforts and help with your digestion.  The olives give you heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
MUFAs may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. MUFAs may also help normalize blood clotting. And some research shows that MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.  (Mayo Clinic)



*Chopped leafy romaine lettuce
*1 pkg. grape tomatoes
*1 can medium olives
*1 pkg. shredded Parmesan cheese
*1 pkg. croutons
*balsamic vinaigrette


1.  Add desired amounts of leafy romaine, tomatoes, and olives to large bowl.  Add desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette.  Toss lightly.  Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and croutons.

What is your favorite simple meal?

This week, I will share with you six satisfying salads that can be eaten as a meal or to accompany a main course.
  • Sunday: I shared my favorite salad, Spinach with Chickpeas and Mushrooms.
  • Monday: See how I made an Asian Salad with Napa cabbage, Mandarin oranges, and cashews.
  • Tuesday: I made Southwest Salad using romaine lettuce, spicy ranch, shredded cheese, and salsa.
  • What Matthew Ate Wednesday: See what my four year-old son ate! I also will share Mixed Berry Salad with feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette.
  • Friday: I will show you Haystacks, the only salad my four year-old eats. We make it with corn chips, chili beans, and guacamole.

Next week, I will bring you healthy snacks for your Super Bowl party!

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