Friday, May 15, 2015

“Mixed Greens & Mango Salad” & “Kale and Lemon Salad” For "National Salad Month"

As you participate in activities outside, with the warm weather, you will want to prepare quick and nutritious meal for your family. Well not to worry, because May is “National Salad Month.” Who knew that a whole month was allocated to celebrate the “salad?” What can be more simple and easy ,so you are not stuck in the kitchen cooking all day by a stove or oven? So, let’s make a tasty salad!

Salads can be served as an appetizer to stimulate your appetite, a side dish that will accompany your main course, or for your Entrée which would include your protein. (beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs) Desserts can also be called salads if you add gelatin and whipped cream for a delicious sweet treat or fruits for an Ambrosia salad. The salad can be made from many different ingredients, not just lettuce such as, vegetables, legumes, eggs, cheese, and pasta. They may be served either cold or hot, often raw vegetables are added and many sweet fruits. 

The word “salad” comes from the French “salade” which has the same meaning. The first appearance of the word “salad” was in the 14th century. Salt is also associated with salad because the vegetables were seasoned with a brine or a type of vinegar dressing. The “Salad Bar” term first appeared in American English in 1976. Many food historians say that the Romans ate mixed greens and dressing over two thousand years ago. In the United States the “salad” became very popular in the late 19th century. Throughout the second half of the 20th century salads have been sold in supermarkets, at restaurants, (salad bars) and even fast food chains that appeal to the health conscious customer.

A simple “green salad” or “garden salad” is the most common to be consumed. It is composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, and arugula cut into bite sized pieces. Due to their low caloric intake, salads are a common diet food.  Other vegetables can be added to your “tossed salad” which includes; cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots, nuts, and so many others too numerous to mention. That is what is so wonderful about a salad; you can make it your own by adding whatever you would like to your salad. There is no right or wrong, no special recipe, and you can use what is in season.

Sauces for salads are often called “dressings.” In our Western culture, there are three basic types of salad dressing; the first is called the Vinaigrette, which is an emulsion of salad oil mixed with vinegar, spices and herbs, plus salt and pepper. The second one is Creamy Dressings; usually a mayonnaise based, but may contain yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk. The last is the Cooked Dressings, which resemble creamy, but are usually thickened by adding egg yolks with a gentle heating. In North America, mayonnaise based Ranch dressing is most popular, with vinaigrette's and Caesar-style follows close behind. Some other popular dressings are Italian, Blue Cheese, Russian, French, and Honey Dijon Mustard.

In my Italian family, there was never a dinner without a huge bowl of salad. My family would always say, that there was, “always room for salad.” Served along side our entrée or at the end of our meal, was mostly a green tossed salad with all the trimmings. An Italian vinaigrette dressing which consisted of the finest olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and spices which were drizzled on top of the salad. It was so tangy and sweet at the same time. Preparing any kind of salad is easy especially now you can purchase pre-washed salad greens at the supermarket or by supporting your local farmer’s market. So, no matter what type of salad you make for lunch, brunch or dinner, remember enjoy, and make family memories together. 

The Fennel Bulb
 My recipe this week is two salads that my friend Dani created and is sharing them with us. With the ingredients and the dressings these salads are definably flavorful and so refreshing. The first one is called, “Mixed Greens & Mango Salad.” They look so colorful that I had to try it. The fennel bulb provides a lovely and slightly licorice crunch, the avocado gives it a smooth texture, plus the mango provides the necessary sweetness. The second one is called, “Kale and Lemon Salad.” This was one of the yummier ones and lemony too! Thank you Dani, just Delizioso! So enjoy your salad and be creative with your ingredients. Let your imagination soar!

                                          “Mixed Greens & Mango Salad

3 cups hearts of romaine
2 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup slivered fennel bulb
1/2 cup slivered purple cabbage
1/2 avocado
mango chunks (I used frozen as that is what I had on hand)
handful sunflower seeds

1/2 cup mango
Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 medium shallot
1/4 Cup sunflower seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and cut all ingredients. Then arrange in a bowl with the avocado and mango chunks on top. Blend all the dressing ingredients together in blender or (a Vita Mix) and pour on top of salad. Enjoy!


                                                 “Kale and Lemon Salad”

3 cups Hearts of Romaine
2 cups mixed baby greens
2 cups Kale (I chop mine well)
1 package of Grape Tomatoes
2 cups Red Cabbage
1/2 of a ripe avocado

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (ground alone in the blender)
One peeled lemon (seeds out)
1/4 cup water (add more to loosen things up) Small handful fresh parsley (pulse on low a few times to shred the parsley)

Wash and cut all ingredients. Then arrange in a bowl. Blend all the dressing ingredients together in blender or (a Vita Mix) and pour on top of salad or put in a bowl and add the dressing a little at a time. Enjoy!

Till Next Time……

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  1. Interesting history of "the salad." My favorite salads are Greek and Caesar. I'm also fond of pasta and potato salads, but that's not quite the same, is it. ;-)

    1. Hi Audra,
      Sorry I have not gotten back to you busy. Thanks for you visiting and your comment. Yes, so much info on the salad, you wouldn't think...But I love Caesar salad too. Yes, you are right, then there are the other salads potato, pasta, egg, and tuna salad. They are really good also, on the side of a green salad. We always ate a green salad at dinner when I was young. Thanks again...Have a wonderful weekend...
      Dottie :)

  2. Good evening dear Dottie ,
    Love the history , knew some , but it's always interesting to learn more .
    You are so right , salads are healthy for you , I have a salad with each dinner , it helps with the digestion system also .
    I will add your salads to my list .
    The post was great as always . Thanks for sharing my friend and have a great wonderful weekend . Nee :)

    1. Dear Nee,
      Yes, I know there is a lot to learn about the "salad." We always had a green salad at night with out dinner when I was young, and I still do to this day. So many variations to making a salad and like you said it is good for your digestion as well. .Thank you for your comment and your visit...Have a great weekend dear friend...
      Dottie :)

  3. Dear Dottie, I love a salad. I try to make one each night. My mother always made a salad every night. She really loved salad. We never used the bottle dressings either. I suppose that is why I simply cannot bring myself to use them either.
    It really is a healthy routine to eat a good salad.
    I hope you are enjoying the sunshine today. Blessings dear. Catherine xoxo

    1. Dear Catherine,
      Thanks for your comment...I think a salad is such a great way to enjoy these delicious greens and veggies. Never a day went by that we didn't have a huge bowl of salad with our meal. There is something about it, refreshing and so tasty. My mom always did Balsamic Vinegar and Oil or she made her own with spices. Once in a while did we use bottle dressing. *later in life)Our upbringing were very similar in so many ways. Yes, it was a warm sunny day...Hope that you got out from the kitchen as well...Have a great new week ahead..Blessings to you and your family..
      Dottie x :).

  4. Dear Dottie,
    I know where you are coming from when you say that there was always room for salad on your family table. All Italian families have salad or some sort of vegetables with their meals and it is so healthy. I feel dry and kind of "incomplete" if I don't have vegetables at every meal.
    I hope you are well my friend have a good week! xxx

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thanks for your visit and for your lovely comment. I have never met an Italian family that doesn't eat salad with there meal. It seems to cleanse the pallette and as you said it is so healthy. I know what you mean about being incomplete. I am doing well thank you and hope that you and your family are well too! Enjoy your day dear friend and your new week ahead.
      Hugs xx Dottie :)