I don't get home until 7:30 on Wednesday nights. That means I need a supper that can be table ready in a flash. Sometimes it's a slow cooker meal. Other times it just means leftovers. But last night it was salad. I turned a simple side salad recipe into a main dish salad and added a toasted slice of the artisan bread to the meal. Yum!
A salad was also a healthy choice. Several times this week on assorted news outlets, I saw reports about a new study on the ten foods that significantly affect your heart health—6 foods to include, 4 foods to avoid.
This was reported, on our local news and again on morning national news:
Just 10 foods —eating too much of them or too little — account for nearly half of all heart disease deaths in the U.S., researchers reported Tuesday.For the most part, we already know these are choices we should make, but the new study added weight to the importance of those choices. In your diet, include more (1) fruits, (2) vegetables, (3) tree nuts, (4) healthy oils, (5) omega-3 rich seafood and (6) whole grains. Avoid (1) salt, (2) sugar-sweetened beverages, (3) processed meats and (4) red meat.
If people ate less salt and meat and ate more nuts, fruits and vegetables, they could greatly lower their own risk of heart disease, the researchers at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy found.
Hello...we are beef cattle producers here. Let me say that the television report did say that red meat was at the bottom of the harmful list. The least harmful of the "harmful" foods. Red meat does make some good nutritional contributions to our diets. And we know that research also shows some benefits from eating lean red meat.. So we will still include beef in our meals—but in smaller portions and certainly not every day.
If nothing else, this list of 10 foods is a reminder that what we eat affects our health. Some illnesses and health problems are simply beyond our control, but why not choose good foods if they might help us live healthier lives?
You see much of what I cook here at the farm. Our food choices could be worse, but there is certainly room for improvement in the "healthy" department. Last night, a big portion of dark leafy greens—one of the best vegetable choices—was on the menu. I loved this easy recipe.
To turn this salad into a dinner salad, I added feta cheese and sliced roasted chicken on top. The flavor combination was a winner. (A dinner winner. Ha! Sometimes I amuse myself.)
I mixed the dressing ahead of time. I had put two chicken breasts in the oven in the afternoon (sprinkle with rotisserie seasoning-bake at 350 for 1 hour, uncovered) and refrigerated it until dinner time. If you work all day, cook the chicken the night before. Or, use a rotisserie chicken from the store.
APPLE KALE SALAD
4 to 6 cups chopped kale, or assorted salad greens
1 large apple, diced (I used a Honey Crisp)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons honey
Put greens and diced apple in a large bowl. In a small bowl (I love to use a custard cup for this) mix the dressing ingredients until blended. Drizzle over the kale and apples. Toss to coat.
This made two large dinner salads. It would serve 4-6 as a side salad.
I will admit that when I see a salad recipe call for kale, I usually choose this baby blend that is more tender and is milder. If you are new to kale, this is a good place to start.