The best ingredients lead to the simplest, tastiest meals. Day by day, it's easier to answer the "what's for dinner" question with real food as close to its natural state as possible.
This spring salad, for example, relies on ultra-fresh salad mix, sweet carrots, and pungent green onions all grown locally by Kelly Morrison of Color Fields Farm in Hillsborough, NC. (She grows amazing flowers for weddings, events, and daily delights too.) Because she rinses everything three times, I can get by with a single rinse at home. This fresh spring salad is healthy, with lots of vitamins and minerals but only 19 calories. It's wildly affordable too, at just $1.43 per serving using top-quality, local, and organic ingredients.
Active time: 5 minutes. Total time: 5 minutes. Serves 2.
2 cups salad mix (mesclun)
1 medium carrot
1 green onion
dressing of your choice (optional)
- Rinse all the vegetables and spin or pat dry. Rinse again if you see grit in the bottom of your rinse tub. If needed, chop salad mix into bite-sized pieces with your sharpest knife. Grate carrot and cut spring onion into rings, leaving the long tips whole for visual interest.
- To serve, layer salad mix, grated carrots, and green onion on plates or in bowls. Taste as is. You may find the grated carrot serves as a dressing on its own. If not, drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Want something fancier? Try Strawberry Vinaigrette, the lemon dressing from my French Green Lentil Salad, or the Sorghum-Mustard Dressing in my book Fifty Weeks of Green.
- Carrots are sweeter straight from the garden or farm. They also taste sweeter after you grate them. Learn how to choose the best carrots for your purpose.
- Tender salad leaves should stay cool, uncut, and undressed until just before serving. If you want to prepare the salad the night before to pack in a lunch, send any dressing separately.
- All three of these vegetables are easy to grow at home, even in containers.
Nutrition for one serving (without dressing)
Note: the nutrition will vary based on the varieties of greens used in the salad mix.
Protein 1 grams (2% daily value), total fat: trace (0%), cholesterol 0 grams, total carbohydrates 4 grams (1%), dietary fiber 1 grams (6%)
Calcium 52 mg (5%), iron 1 mg (6%), potassium 266 (8%), zinc trace (2%), Vitamin C 14 mg (24%), Vitamin A 9607 IU (192%), Vitamin B6 0.1 mg (4%), Thiamin B1 trace (3%), Riboflavin B2 0.1 (4%), Folacin 37 mcg (9%)