It has been awhile since I have posted. I have pretty much been on vacation for the past two weeks. Try not to be jealous. That includes a lot of road trip time with a toddler and an infant, if that makes you feel any better about it! For part of my “things-to-do bag” as we called them in road trips of youth, I picked up a book at the library, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
This was a terrible and fabulous decision at the same time. On the one hand, it made me very conscious of what I was eating in a time when I had to eat out a lot more than usual. On the other hand, it made me very conscious of what I was eating. It is hard to eat healthy while on vacation!!!! Do you have any tricks for doing so?
It did give me a good idea though to highlight the foods in the book in the recipes that I choose to share so that we can talk about what the foods we eat are doing for us instead of just the number nutritional value. Though I am still in vacation, I thought I’d share something I made just before I left that features three foods from the book that are all “superstars”, which means they are the best of the best.
I am sure we have all heard spinach is good for us, but why? The calcium content in spinach and the other dark leafy greens strengthens bones. The flavonoids in spinach help protect against age related memory loss.
The A and C vitamins in spinach plus the fiber, folic acid, magnesium and other nutrients help control cancer, especially colon, lung and breast cancers. Folate also lowers the blood levels of something called homocysteine, a protein that damages arteries. So spinach also helps protect against heart disease.
The lutein in spinach makes it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly. Foods rich in lutein are also thought to help prevent cancer.
Strawberries contain a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are believed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red. Free radicals are elements that can damage cells, and they are thought to contribute to the formation of many kinds of cancer.
In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
More on those to come! I feel like you may be falling asleep at your computer reading all this info so far! Let’s just get on to the yummy salad recipe. I only put half the dressing on to lower the calories and fat even more. If you are feeling hungry, you can easily make this into a meal salad by adding some smoked salmon and avocado…two more of the star performers in the book!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 TBSP Poppy seeds
1/2 C sugar substitute
1/4 C Olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tsp Worcesestershire Sauce
1 TBSP minced onion
10 oz fresh spinach
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1/4 C almonds blanched and slivered
in a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds.
pour dressing over salad and toss
refigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving