Wednesday Wisdom: Learning to Love Salads (Part 2 – Veggie Basics)

Last time, we covered the basics about greens and even a simple dressing recipe.  Now we are ready for step 2: adding up to 7 basic veggies to your salad.  We’re going to jazz things up a little with our most basic toppings that give you a flavor and nutrient boost but don’t take more than a few quick seconds of prep time.

Wash and Go – No Slicing or Peeling Required
Prep time: <10 seconds to rinse and pat dry

1. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

  • Reasons to love them: sweet, always available at Houston grocery stores, vitamin C
  • Bonus points: try a pack with a variety of colors for extra flavor and nutrients


2. Sprouts

  • Reasons to love them: high in protein and fiber, typically high in trace minerals and enzymes
  • Bonus points: try radish or mustard sprouts for extra zing. A wide variety of sprouts can usually be found at the farmer’s market.


Slice of Life – No Peeling Required
Prep time: <1 minute per vegetable to rinse, pat dry, and slice

1. Cucumbers

  • Reasons to love them: vitamin K, extra hydration thanks to high water content
  • Bonus points: save a few slices to add to a glass of water or iced tea for a treat, or keep a few slices in the freezer to soothe tired eyes


2. Radishes

  • Reasons to love them: vitamin C, anthocyanins (we’ll talk about those in the future), spicy zing
  • Bonus points: try radish slices on their own with a sprinkle pf salt, chopped fresh herbs, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil – a healthy alternative to chips or crackers

3. Asparagus

  • Reasons to love it: vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and magnesium
  • Bonus points: use a vegetable peeler to shave asparagus into thin slices and toss with salad greens or even pasta
  • Don’t forget to: cut off the tough ends



Worth the Effort – Slicing and Peeling/Seeding Required
Prep time: >2 minutes per vegetable to rinse, pat dry, and slice/seed/peel

1. Bell Peppers

  • Reasons to love them: vitamin C, folate, Vitamin K
  • Bonus points: mix up your colors for a healthy boost!
  • Don’t forget to: take out the white inner ribs – they can taste pretty bitter


2. Carrots

  • Reasons to love them: vitamin A…did you ever see a rabbit wearing glasses?
  • Bonus points: while you’re preparing your carrots for your salad, slice up some carrot sticks to have ready for snacktime
  • Don’t forget to: scrub your carrots well if you aren’t peeling them, and save the leafy tops for your next soup (yes, really!)



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