Salads

SALADS

Change your food, change your life.

Yes, it may be as simple as that. We all know that many of us are prediabetic because of our food choices.

Together, let’s share recipes that are common and healthy. Let’s learn from each other—life is much easier that way, don’t you think?

Note: Before making any changes to your diet, talk with your healthcare provider and a nutritionist/dietitian to discover what will work for you.

T = tablespoon

t = teaspoon

EVOO = extra virgin olive oil

c = cup

Nutty Cheesy Green Salad

4 servings

20 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients (put each in its own bowl/dish and allow people to add what they like to their individual salads)

1 large head of lettuce (anything but iceberg, which is low in nutritional value) torn into small pieces

1 c toasted walnuts/pecans/almonds/hazelnuts, your choice, whole or chopped, again your choice

1 to 2 t nut oil or grapeseed oil or other oil that does not have a strong flavor for toasting the nuts

1 large apple, sliced into thin sticks

1 peach, or part of a melon, diced (something flavorful)

1 bunch green onions, diced

1 red onion, diced

Soft goat cheese, flavoring of your choice, cut or torn into walnut-sized bits

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F, put nuts on heavy baking sheet with sides (so nuts don’t roll off), put a little oil on the nuts, only enough to kiss them with oil, and roast for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly and roast for about 3 more minutes. Color should be a little darker than when you started, and there should be a nutty aroma. Keep going at 3 minute intervals if necessary, but no longer than 15 minutes total. Burned nuts are bitter.

Put each ingredient in its own bowl, and allow dinner companions to choose what they like for their salads. Encourage them to try a bit of everything! If you don’t want to mess with multiple bowls, dump everything into one bowl to serve.

Easy vinaigrette salad dressing ingredients:

½ c EVOO

¼ c fresh lemon juice

Zest from 1 lemon

1 t Dijon mustard

1 t minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Put all salad dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk, or in a jar with a lid and shake.

Add a protein like pork, chicken, or fish, and it’s a meal.

Tuna Salad

4 servings

20 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

1 head of lettuce or pile of greens, or combination (skip iceberg lettuce), torn into bite-sized bits

3 cans tuna in water (get the good stuff), drained and split up with a fork

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 2 lemons

½ to 1 c almonds, slivered, chopped, or whole

½ c white, red, or green onion, finely diced

1 stalk celery, diced

¼ c craisins

Enough mayonnaise or EVOO to bind the ingredients to your taste. Some people like loads of mayo, some prefer a scant amount, and some don’t like mayo and prefer olive oil.

Prepared mustard, to your taste (optional)

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Directions

Stir everything together in a bowl, except the lettuce. Taste the tuna mix and add more of whatever it needs to suit your taste.

Put a small pile of lettuce and greens on individual plates, top with a scoop of tuna mix and enjoy.

This makes a nice lunch. If you want a bit more of something, a bowl of berries and melon works great.

Peach Salad

4 servings

10 to 15 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

4-6 ripe but still somewhat firm fresh peaches, pitted and sliced into wedges

EVOO

8 cups greens, such as endives, parsley, butter lettuce, whatever suits your preference

6-8 crisp bacon strips, chopped (use ready-cooked, or cook your own), or 12 slices prosciutto (not chopped), or 10 thin slices of ham, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Fruity store-bought vinaigrette dressing, your choice

Directions

Drizzle the peach wedges with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Grill the peaches briefly to get grill marks, or broil them in the oven if you don’t have a grill. Whether you grill or broil, it will only take a few minutes. Too much time on the heat will turn the peaches to mush.

Once the peaches are cool, place them on a platter or in a bowl with the other ingredients mixed in, and add a light coating of your dressing.

Salsa

The term ‘salsa’ indicates a sauce or dish used in Mexican cooking that is spicy and made of tomatoes, onions, peppers and a few herbs. It’s also come to more broadly mean a lively little side salad or condiment for fish, meat, or poultry.

In that spirit, here are a few salsas you can put together to top a chicken breast or a nice piece of fish.

A note on salsa: Each variation is to your taste. If you prefer more of one ingredient and less of another, adapt the recipe. It’s easy! Oh, and for you cilantro haters, substitute parsley for the fresh green.

The prep and serve time does not include refrigeration time. It can be in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or for days, if properly covered.

Mango Salsa

3 cups

15 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

3 ripe mangoes or previously frozen, diced

½ to 1 c red onion, diced

1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped (use as much or as little as you like)

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or a sprinkle of red chili flakes for a bit of heat

1 or 2 limes, juiced

Salt to taste

Directions

Combine the mango, onion, cilantro, and pepper in a bowl. Pour half of the lime juice on top and give it a stir. Taste and add more lime juice if needed and stir again. Sprinkle on a pinch of salt, stir and taste. Add more salt if needed, or cover it and pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before eating.

Pico de Gallo

4 cups

15 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

1 c onion, white, red, or yellow, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or red chili flakes to taste

1 lime, juiced

Salt to taste

8 to 12 small tomatoes, chopped

2 c cilantro, chopped

Directions

Combine the onion, pepper, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl, stir and let sit a few minutes. Add in tomatoes and cilantro and stir. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Corn Salsa

4 cups

20 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

3 c corn kernels off the cob or previously frozen (if thawed, make sure it’s no longer wet)

1 c red onion, diced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or red chili flakes to taste

1 to 2 limes, juiced

Salt to taste

Directions

Toss everything except half of the lime juice in a bowl, and stir. Taste and add more lime juice or salt, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Pineapple Salsa

5 cups

20 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

3 c pineapple (fresh), diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 c tomato, chopped

½ c red onion, diced

½ c cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or red chili flakes to taste

2 limes, juiced

Salt to taste

Directions

Plop everything except half of the lime juice in a bowl, and stir. Taste and adjust level of salt or lime juice or heat. Once it’s as you like, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Strawberry Salsa

4 cups

20 minutes prep and serve

Ingredients

3 c strawberries, chopped

1 c blueberries

½ c red onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or red chili flakes to taste

¼ c basil, chopped

½ c cilantro, chopped

2 limes, zested and juiced

Honey to taste

Salt to taste

Directions

In a bowl, whisk the lime juice, zest, honey, and salt. Add all of the other ingredients and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Avocado Salsa

7 cups

20 minutes prep to serve

Ingredients

3 large avocados chopped

3 c tomatoes, chopped

1 c red onion chopped

½ to 1 c cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, or red chili flakes to taste

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 garlic clove, minced

Olive oil to taste

Salt to taste

Directions

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Avocado turns brown easily. It’s best to prepare and serve this immediately, but you can try covering it in the refrigerator for a day or so.

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