Eat Out Eat Well recipe - End of summer salads
Released: Tuesday, 04 September 2018
September is still a good time to eat salads as the weather continues on the warm side and before autumn sets in. Salads are great nutritionally because they go such a long way towards meeting your five-a-day target.
This month's healthy recipe (see below) has been chosen by Claudia Carr, manager at Cafe Artisan in Tarmount Lane, Shoreham-by-Sea.
The cafe has a gold Eat Out Eat Well award, and a food hygiene rating of 5. The cafe's team is extremely passionate about eating food that is good for you and are always coming up with new recipes and ideas for the cafe. Delicious salads are always on their menu and this month's recipe from Claudia's is feta and broad bean salad.
“I chose this recipe because it's delicious and nutritious. It's also very simple to make, using easily obtainable fresh ingredients,” said Claudia.
So what are the multiple health benefits of salads in general? Green leaves such as lettuce, watercress and rocket are rich in vitamins, minerals and other compounds that can help to lower blood pressure and improve resilience to stress.
Meanwhile, eating different coloured fruit and veg not only increases the range of nutrients on your plate, but is also one of the best ways to support the good bacteria in your gut, and good gut health is linked with good mental health.
Claudia's recipe has green, red, black and pink foods so it looks amazing and, believe it or not, when we see something that looks good, digestive juices and saliva are already starting to be produced and this is where digestion begins.
What you put on your salad can also make a big difference. Smothering your lunch salad in mayonnaise or salad cream isn't ideal for your health because they are high in added sugars, sweeteners or refined oils.
A lot of chefs simply recommend a blend of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper shaken up in a bottle. Lemon juice is great for bringing out the flavours in food and the vitamin C helps you to absorb the iron from the vegetables. The black pepper also helps the absorption of nutrients as it warms up the digestive system.
To add a satisfying crunch to your salad, sprinkle it with nuts or seeds. Try beautiful green pumpkin seeds which are rich in zinc, golden linseeds, chia seeds, a great source of folic acid or black sesame seeds. Pine nuts, a good source of vitamin E, also work well.
Photo: Cafe Artisan in Tarmount Lane, Shoreham-by-Sea
Cafe Artisan's recipe - Feta & Broad Bean Salad
- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 5-10 minutes
- Vegetarian and Gluten free
If you fancy going animal free, try making the salad with marinated tofu (lots to choose from in most supermarkets), or another vegan protein. Or use a couple of different types of beans or pulses. Some steamed and shelled edamame (soya beans) would be great as they are similar in colour and texture to broad beans.
- Cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Cucumber, chopped
- Broad beans, shelled
- Black olives
- Herbs, chopped fresh mint/parsley
- Olive oil
- Pomegranate seeds
There are no precise proportions here so fill up your plate with as much of each ingredient as you like, but do go easy on the feta. Feta has a strong flavour so you only need a small amount. As a cheese, it also contains saturated fats and salt.
Try and let the beans of your choice be the main protein source.
- Mix together the tomatoes, cucumber, broad beans, olives and herbs
- Pile onto a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil
- Crumble over the feta, and scatter over the pomegranate seeds
Broad beans (also known a fava beans) - These pale green beans are a good source of protein. They contain the B vitamins Thiamine (B1) and B6, both are needed for releasing energy from food. B6 is very important for hormone balance. Fava beans also contain minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper which all help to support our immune system. All beans contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which helps to reduce cholesterol, eliminate toxins and makes a meal more satisfying.
Black olives - These little beauties contain Vitamin E, omega 9 fatty acids and are a source of iron. Vitamin E is seriously good for our skin and hair health and also very important for heart health. Omega 9 fatty acids help with heart health also and assist with blood sugar balance and immune system function.
Cucumber - cooling, sweet and light. Good if you suffer from hot flushes. Cucumbers are a good source of vitamin C and the skin is rich in fibre and a mineral called silica, which helps keep bones, skin, hair and nails strong. They are also around 80% water, so helpful for hydration levels. For a cooling quenching drink, whizz up one cucumber with 1 litre of water in a blender or food processor and keep in the fridge, drink on the day of making. Peel off the skin first if it gives you indigestion.
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