Just because fresh, summer vegetable season is drawing to a close does not mean you have to stop eating them! Vegetables of all shapes, sizes and colors provide an abundance of nutrition, are naturally low-calorie, loaded with antioxidants for fighting disease and inflammation, and fill a hungry tummy for an extended period of time (thank you, fiber!). Whether you are watching your waistline, trying to prevent cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, or managing inflammatory autoimmune conditions, such as scleroderma, lupus and multiple sclerosis, this salad is a healthy addition to your eating plan. It is compatible with vegan and gluten-free lifestyles as well. Some of the ingredients are available fresh all year round whereas others will be found in your grocer’s freezer during the off season (which are equally nutritious and healthful). This tasty and refreshing salad makes an excellent pack-n-go lunch choice or a light meal to share among friends. The recipe as outlined below makes three generous servings containing 260 calories, 20 grams of carb, 16 grams fat (only 2 grams saturated…nice!), 8 grams fiber and 8 grams of protein. Enjoy!
1 cup of peeled fresh or frozen edamame (green soybeans); steam frozen in microwave 4-5 minutes
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, steamed in microwave 3-5 minutes (cut fresh off cob)
2 cups fresh or frozen thin green beans, washed and cut into pieces (blanch fresh beans in boiling water for 90 seconds; steam frozen beans in microwave 3-4 minutes)
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 orange and 1 yellow bell pepper sliced into 1-inch pieces (organic is best)
10-15 large fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons (this will serve as primary leafy green)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1. Prep edamame, corn and green beans as described above.
2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine sliced peppers and tomatoes in small amount of olive oil and spread in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil coated with cooking spray. Roast for 15 minutes (until blistered), remove vegetables from oven and roasting pan, and place on new foil for 10 minutes to cool.
3. Combine all cooled vegetables into large mixing bowl: corn, edamame, green beans, roasted peppers, tomatoes and basil ribbons.
4. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl and toss with vegetables.
5. Chill at least 2 hours before serving to allow for flavor enhancement.
6. Serve with warm bread, as desired.
Would you like more healthy recipe suggestions? Interested in learning realistic strategies for creating a balanced lifestyle to meet your individual health needs? Consider ordering the second edition of my book, “You Gotta Eat!” at www.thenuttynutritionist.com. Eat well! Feel well!