Recipe for Recovery: Try a Light and Nutritious Salad
To establish healthy eating habits, consider experimenting with light but nutrient-substantial salads.
Eating them gives the body necessary vitamins, protein and minerals without causing an uncomfortable full or "stuffed" feeling. It is also easy to make enough salad for more than one meal – a convenient plus.
Here is a recipe you can tailor to your own cooking style. If you prefer spending as little time as possible in the kitchen, you can purchase a vinaigrette dressing to use. If you enjoy a bit of cooking, have fun making this tasty vinaigrette.
Chicken and White Bean Salad
This light, fresh salad will provide you with protein, calcium, B vitamins, a big boost of vitamins C, A, folate, and plenty of potassium.
Makes four 2-cup servings.
- 1 can (15 oz) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
- 2 small zucchini or summer squash, diced
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1/4 finely diced ricotta salata, halloumi, or feta cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained (optional)
- 1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups escarole or romaine lettuce, torn
- 2 cups radicchio leaves, torn
- 1 bottle vinaigrette dressing, or make your own (see below)
- salt and pepper (optional)
- In a large bowl combine the beans, chicken, zucchini or squash, celery, cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until all is combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, or not.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the salad greens with enough vinaigrette to coat them.
- Serve the chicken and bean salad on the greens and garnish with fresh basil leaves if you wish.
- 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the garlic with the salt, forming a coarse paste.
- Whisk in the oil.
- Add the juice, vinegar, and mustard, whisking until blended.
- You can add up to 4 more tablespoons of orange juice to soften the flavor, if desired.
- Add more salt to taste, or not.
We have said how necessary it is that in the making of a salad, every plant should come in to bear its part, without being overpower’d by an herb of a stronger taste, so as to endanger the native flavor of the rest; but fall into their places, like the notes in music, in which there should be nothing harsh or grating.
~ John Evelyn, 1699
Photo by John Nyboer