Harvest Arugula Salad

by Celestia

Toss this season’s bounty in a bowl with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a smidge of honey, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal!

Hungry and pressed for time? Lucky for us, many cooler weather crops taste fabulous together. When in a pinch for a quick meal, I just chop up whatever we have in the larder and end up with a very tasty and filling salad. Don’t be afraid of the fat in this salad. It’s all the “good” kind, so as long as you’re getting a little bit of movement into your day, it shouldn’t add any girth to your midsection. And research shows that fat-soluble vitamins (such as beta carotene, vitamin D, and vitamin E, among others) require small amounts of healthy fat to optimally absorb into the body. So eat up and enjoy!

What’s your favorite autumnal harvest salad combo?

Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh arugula (can sub spinach or greens if you’d rather have a less spicy salad), lightly chopped

1/2-1 small honeycrisp apple (no really, finding a local honeycrisp is worth it), chopped

1 small handful raw, sprouted, and/or toasted pecans, chopped

1/2-1 small avocado, diced

1-2 Tbs. olive oil

Juice of half a lemon or 1 Tsp. apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

a teeny squirt of honey

*Optional: A little crumble of local goat cheese goes a long way!

Method:

Whisk together dressing ingredients (oil, juice or vinegar, salt, pepper, honey) in the bottom of your large salad bowl.

Place the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and toss well. (*Note: For optional goat cheese, crumble over the top before serving)

Serve and enjoy! Serves 1-2

Health Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Arugula: Arugula is a rich source of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and B-complexes (such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, which are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions). This is a low-cal lettuce leaf that packs a nutritional wallop, so don’t be afraid to ask for a second helping! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or “good” fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

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