Spruce Up Your Salad

Yes, I know it’s October, and everyone is thinking about comfort food. Warm, satisfying foods like chili, soups and stews, and hearty casseroles come to mind, but don’t give up on salad just because the leaves are changing.

Adding vegetables to your diet is the single best thing you can do for your body! People rarely get enough fruits and veggies in their diets, and a fun and interesting way to add them in is by incorporating them into salads. Let’s face it, few people really want to munch on a carrot, but add some carrots to a salad and that seems a lot more palatable.

So, add a few salads to your menu this fall. Your body will thank you for it!

And remember…veg in, don’t veg out!

Raspberry and Feta Salad with Couscous

12 oz of couscous

2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

12 oz of fresh raspberries

Small bunch of fresh basil

8 oz of feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

2 zucchini, thinly sliced

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced

1/3 cup of pine nuts

1 lemon rind, grated

For the dressing

1 TBSP of white wine vinegar

1 TBSP of balsamic vinegar

4 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and pour over the stock. Stir well, then cover and let soak until all of the stock has been absorbed.

Pick over the raspberries, discarding any that are overripe. Shred the basil leaves.

Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir well to break up any lumps. Add the cheese, zucchini, scallions, raspberries and pine nuts. Stir in the basil and lemon rind and gently toss all ingredients together.

Put all the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar, with salt and pepper to taste, then screw on the lid and shake until well-blended. Pour over the salad and enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing

10 oz of baby spinach leaves

4 scallions, chopped

3 oranges, segmented

2 oz of sunflower seeds

For the Dressing

4 oz of bleu cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled

7 oz of plain Greek yogurt

1 TBSP of white wine vinegar

1/2 onion, grated

1/2 small bunch of fresh chives, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

To make the dressing, put the bleu cheese, yogurt, vinegar, and onion in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chives and give another quick blitz. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until needed.

When you are ready to assemble the salad, place the spinach leaves and scallions in a salad bowl and toss with half the dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the orange segments and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

Spoon remaining dressing over salad, if desired. Enjoy!

Warm Pasta Salad

8 oz of farfalle or other pasta

6 pieces of sun-dried tomato in oil, drained and chopped

4 scallions, chopped

1 1/4 cups of arugula

1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing

4 TBSP of olive oil

1 TBSP of white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp of superfine sugar

1 tsp of Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

4 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded

To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and mustard together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the basil.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss well.

Add the tomatoes, scallions, arugula, and cucumber, season to taste with salt and pepper and toss. Equally good served warm and cold. Enjoy!


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