For me salads are a relatively quick and easy go-to dish. While I am at school and fortunate to have a salad bar with plenty of options, my bowl doesn’t always match up to Flatbread’s organic salad, or York 54’s baby kale and beets salad. So this past Saturday I picked up a few ingredients to create my own plate, full of some necessary nutrients and the added deliciousness I believe every salad needs.
To start out I added a bag of mixed greens with a head of kale. The nutritional benefits of adding just one cup of kale is worth it if you’re looking to incorporate more vitamin A, omega fatty acids, or amino acids into your meals. With many advantages, vitamin A supports your immune system, while vitamin C helps repair any cuts or broken bones. Both omega-6 and omega-3 acids are “essential” fats which our bodies can’t produce, so we must get them through food. They play an important role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Lastly, amino acids are the building blocks for protein, which are important for many bodily functions, such as giving our cells their structure. Each nutrient has multiple purposes, if you’re interested in learning more I’ve attached a few links at the bottom of this post!
The other ingredients in my salad were less dominating on the plate, but I believe they complimented each other well. The beets I bought from the market added an earthiness, as well as a good amount of folate, which is an essential vitamin especially important for women while they are pregnant in order to prevent neural tube defects. I roasted the beets at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes wrapped in foil, and then peeled and sliced them. Next I chopped up a macintosh apple which added a pleasant crispiness as well as a healthy amount of dietary fiber. For the top I searched my cabinets and found some cashews to incorporate for crunch and protein, and dried apricots for a sweet texture. To finish I whisked up a dressing made out of balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, and maple syrup. If you are looking for a yummy salad to make this fall I definitely suggest picking up some local ingredients at the next market– you won’t be disappointed!
Maple balsamic dressing
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vingar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup