William Dickey / Styling Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling Angela Sellers
Editor's Pick: Spinach-Grape Chopped Salad
Salads make a nutritious meal. Or do they? We all know that eating colorful veggies and greens is a delicious way to pack in powerful antioxidants, but some toppings and dressings can add up to a lot of wasted calories and fat if you don’t watch out. Your choices in lettuce and other greens can also affect the good-for-you factor. Choose your ingredients wisely, and include lots of color.
The Darker, The Better
Lettuce and greens vary in levels of nutrients. Though paler lettuces, such as iceberg, have some nutritional value and are typically less expensive, it’s best to choose the deeper, brighter ones―that’s where you’ll find more of the cancer-fighting antioxidants. Avoid dark spots, wilted leaves, and yellowing. Mix and match a variety of colors and textures, such as crunchy romaine tossed with soft, nutrient-rich spinach leaves or peppery arugula with frilly red leaf lettuce.
Very Clean Veggies
Thoroughly wash all greens and vegetables, even prepackaged fresh produce. While rinsing under running water offers some protection against unsafe bacteria, we recommend these alternatives.
- Prepackaged greens: Make a solution of 11/3 cups 3% hydrogen peroxide (it’s perfectly safe and has no aftertaste) and 22/3 cups distilled water; keep it in a spray bottle. Spritz the greens with the solution, rinse with distilled water, and then spin or pat them dry. Replace the solution once a week.
- Fresh greens: Soak and rinse several times with distilled water to remove dirt and grit. Make a double batch of peroxide mixture, and soak the greens in it. Rinse and pat dry.
- Fresh vegetables: Purchase a vegetable brush (used only for cleaning produce). Gently scrub the veggies with the peroxide solution, and rinse.