Category: Salads

Lamb and Pomegranate Salad

If you haven’t eaten lamb in a while, here are a few good reasons to head to the butcher shop: lamb is a complete protein, it’s high in iron, and a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Another reason not to forget about lamb is that a recipe like this one – Lamb and Pomegranate Salad – just isn’t the same with beef, pork or chicken.

Lamb shoulder is marinated in garlic, ginger and a hint of cinnamon then slow-cooked until tender. Instead of salad dressing, the greens are tossed with the warm jus left in the roasting pan, topped with slices of succulent lamb and garnished with sweet-tart pomegranate seeds and fresh basil. The pomegranate and basil add bursts of flavor and color to the rich meat.

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Raspberry Butter Sauce with Crispy Salmon and Salad Greens

Admittedly, Raspberry Butter Sauce walks a fine line between a sauce and a salad dressing. Drizzled over crispy, pan-seared salmon on a bed of greens, it is both of these things at once. The flavor is fruity and slightly sweet, balanced by a tangy zip of acidity from red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Add a few fresh raspberries to the salad and you have a perfect summer meal.

Compared with other types of fruit, raspberries are lower in sugar and they’re also loaded with fiber, vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. Raspberries add a burst of sweet acidity to salads and are especially good with salmon and pork. In fact, this salad topped with Raspberry Butter Sauce would be equally delicious with slices of crispy grilled pork.

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Roasted Cactus Salad with Shrimp

Familiar to some, exotic to others, cactus paddles (or nopales) have a mild but tart flavor and are surprisingly easy to cook. If you’ve been deterred from eating cactus because of the rumor that it has a slimy texture you should know that this rumor’s only half true. When cut into, raw cactus paddles do ooze a clear, tasteless and odorless gel that has a sticky, slimy texture (similar to aloe vera gel). When cooked, however, the gel disappears and the cactus paddles are crisp but tender.

Recipes often suggest boiling the slime away, but skipping this step and throwing the paddles directly onto a hot grill or pan works just as well. The direct heat evaporates the gel pretty quickly. While nopales that haven’t been boiled are a little bit chewier, they have a fresh, vibrant flavor. This flavor, which tastes a little bit like a green bean or tart green pepper, is great when tossed in with other ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers and radishes.

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Banh Mi Salad

Banh Mi is an increasingly popular Vietnamese sandwich with a sweet, savory, tangy and sometimes spicy blend of meat, raw vegetables and herbs. Freed from the confines of a baguette, the bold flavors and contrasting textures of Banh Mi also make an incredible salad. In this simple Primal version, peppery seared pork is tossed with a crunchy cabbage and carrot slaw and topped with cilantro, mint and a tangy mayonnaise dressing.

Pork is the type of meat that most typically fills Banh Mi sandwiches. This Primal version eliminates the sugar often used to sweeten the pork and instead coats the meat in a pepper-garlic marinade. Although the colorful veggies stuffed into Banh Mi sandwiches are usually pickled in sugary brine, it’s not necessary for this salad. Just throw the raw cabbage, carrots and cucumber into a bowl (plus radish and sliced jalapeno, if you’re inclined) and top with a tangy dressing. The refreshing blend of flavors in this salad taste especially good when the weather is warm; in the summer, consider grilling the meat instead of pan-frying.

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Brightly Colored Vegetable Salad with Chermoula Dressing

Although a knobby old root vegetable has it charms, the eye-catching hues of brightly colored veggies are much harder to resist. Luckily, when it comes to the gorgeous red, yellow, purple, orange and green hues of brightly-colored vegetables, their beauty isn’t only skin deep.

As discussed earlier in the week, brightly colored vegetables are valuable for their potentially health-promoting plant pigments. The strategy for adding these pigments into your diet is simple: eat a wide variety of brightly colored vegetables. You can stir fry them, sauté them, lightly steam the veggies or, easiest of all, eat them raw. To make a plate of raw veggies more interesting, a bold dressing is in order and chermoula is just the thing.

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Shawarma Salad

If only all fast food was as delicious as shawarma, a Middle Eastern sandwich eaten on the go that’s made from slow-roasted meat and fresh vegetables wrapped in pita bread. This traditional street food tastes a million times better than any Big Mac ever could, but the best part about shawarma is that you can ditch the pita bread and turn the sandwich into a salad that’s just as satisfying.

Yes, a salad is harder to eat on the go, but this shawarma salad is so good you’re going to want to sit down and savor it anyway. The main ingredient is meat and you can pick from chicken, beef, lamb, or if you’re feeling adventurous, even goat. A blend of highly flavorful (but not in a spicy way) spices are what make the meat in this salad stand out. No two shawarma stands use exactly the same blend of seasonings in their marinade, but a combination of allspice, cumin, paprika, black pepper and coriander will get you pretty close to meat that tastes like a the real thing. What’s harder to replicate is the juicy, fatty, slightly crispy texture of shawarma meat, but grilling does a fine job in a pinch.

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