Go Red – Go Green! Heart-Healthy Salads

ON THE MENU

Winter Kale Salad with Citrus-Marinated Beets
& Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini

Salad of Crisp Chicory,
Blood Orange, & Page Tangerines

Wild Salad with Preserved Lemon,
Shaved Fennel, & Sliced Apple

On Friday, February 3, 2012,
I’ll be wearing red & eating green.
I invite & encourage you to join me!

The American Heart Association celebrates National Wear Red Day at a Community Event to be held at Macy’s in downtown Portland.  This free event aims to raise awareness of the importance of heart-health through fun & informative activities and resources.

The Farmer’s Feast brings a bit of the Farmers’ Market to Macy’s Home Department (5th floor), where you’ll find Chef Kathryn dishing out palate-delighting winter salads at the Legacy Health table.

Because, what could be a better winter repast, after all those stick-to-your-rib dinners, than crunchy, leafy greens?

Is is mere coincidence that salad greens & chicories emerge, crisp & inviting, in the dead of winter?  Or is there method to Mother Nature’s madness?  Emerging before the vernal equinox, wild greens have long been used as a late winter or early spring “tonic”, both medicinally & culinarily.  These harbingers of milder days tend to supply rich amounts of iron, minerals, and nutrients to diets of waning winter storage vegetables (though here in the Pacific Northwest, local freshness abounds year-round).  Chicories & kales seem to appreciate the bitter cold, which softens their sharp tendencies and enhances their complex flavor scheme.

The heart-health benefits of chicory are numerous.  The website Livestrong.com offers this interesting information:
“According to website Drugs.com, chicory extract may be helpful in the treatment  of arrhythmias, fibrillation and tachycardia, a condition in which the heart  beat too fast. It also may be highly effective in treating thrombosis, which is  the formation of a clot in a blood vessel.  In a study published in the March  2011 issue of “Phytotherapy Research,” clinicians found that chicory, which is  rich in plant phenolics, has anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties  that act as a protective agent against cardiovascular diseases and conditions.  In the study, 27 healthy participants were given 300 mL of chicory coffee every  day for 1 week. At the end of this period, the participants’ whole blood and  plasma viscosities significantly decreased and their red blood cell  deformability significantly improved, demonstrating that chicory has some  ability to protect the cardiovascular system.”

Chicory offers digestive health benefits as well, aiding in ailments such as acid reflux.  Chicory contains inulin, which is useful in managing blood sugar levels.  It is naturally detoxifying and contains lactucoprin & lactucin, which have a mild sedative effect, helping to calm the nerves.  Read more about chicory & health here.

Miner’s lettuce has high concentrations of vitamin C, beta carotene, & protein.  It gets its name from its history as a fresh green that miners could easily access during the California gold rush.  I like the thought of worn, dusty miners plucking delicate, lemony greens to stuff into their sandwiches, delighting in the cool, refreshing salad.  At the time, miner’s lettuce was essential for warding off scurvy.  Chickweed is high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, selenium, silica, phosphorus, zinc, & potassium.  Chickweed is also an excellent addition to the diet for its benefits to circulatory health.  It helps purify the blood & carries out toxins, and is said to dissolve plaque in blood vessels.  It is used often as an appetite depressant, which can assist with weight loss.  It is beneficial to lung health, particularly for those with asthma symptoms.  Chickweed is used to relieve extreme exhaustion.  Topically, it is used to alleviate a myriad of skin conditions, including burns, wounds, acne, & eczema.  Given all this, it seems silly not to include chickweed in your diet!  I’ll be using both miner’s lettuce & chickweed in a wild greens salad for the event.

Kale, featured in the heart-healthy salad mix, is a superfood.  A cholesterol-lowering, cancer-preventing, detoxifying, nutrient-boosting, anti-oxidant, anti-inflamatory superfood!  Read more here.

Beets – ridiculously good for you.  Lower cholesterol, increase heart health.  Eat beets!  Read more here.

Citrus – more than high in vitamin C, these fruits are high in a myriad of nutrients, and contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.  More here.

Vinegar has been touted as a health elixir for centuries.  Though the scientific evidence backing up the benefits is not fully established, studies are showing promise that vinegar can be used to benefit those with diabetes, high blood pressure, even cancer.  Here is a little more on the subject.

Below are the recipes for the salads I’ll be sampling at The American Heart Association National Go Red Day celebration @ Macy’s.
I hope to see you there!

Here are the details:
Celebrate National Wear Red Day and connect with loved ones, friends and experts who share a common cause: saving lives and sharing a powerful message of heart health with women.   At the Wear Red Day Community Event, you’ll embark on Go Red’s heart-healthy passport program. Visit stations throughout the store to meet experts and learn how to make smart choices for your health, including physical activity, nutrition and stress reduction. Guests who visit each station and complete the passport will be entered to win a $250 gift card from Macy’s! The first 100 people to complete the passport will receive a Macy’s tote bag.  Don’t forget to wear red!

Don’t miss:      • Heart-Healthy Cooking Demonstrations      • Massage Therapy      • Fitness Experts, including Pilates and Zumba      • Red Cosmetic Demos      • Health Screenings      • Go Red Photo Booth      • CPR Demonstrations      • And More!

Friday, February 3, 2012 from 11:00 am until 1:30 pm @
Macy’s Downtown Portland (621 SW 5th Ave.)
FREE!

Winter Kale Salad with Citrus-Marinated Beets

& Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini

Serves 4

2 large or 4 medium-sized beets

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 oz. fresh goat cheese

1 Tbsp. chopped soft herbs, such as chives, parsley, tarragon, or chervil

4 Tbsp. Marcona almonds (or substitute whole almonds)

1 small bunch cavalo nero or other tender, flavorful kale, cleaned & cut into thin ribbons (about 4 cups shredded kale)

4 thin slices of rustic bread, such as ciabatta, pugliese, or mulitgrain boule, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and toasted under the broiler 

  • Boil or roast the beets until tender when pierced with a fork or skewer.  When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into chunks, or slice into rounds.
  • While the beets are cooking, make the citrus marinade.  Pour the orange juice into a bowl.  Add the champagne vinegar to the juice and season with salt & pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Stir the prepared beets into the marinade and let the beets macerate for at least an hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Mix the goat cheese with the herbs and a few grinds of black pepper. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.  Place the almonds on a baking sheet & roast them until they are toasted golden brown (about 3 minutes – watch them closely).  Remove the almonds to a plate.  When the almonds are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them with a sharp knife, or pulse once in a food processor.
  • To serve, remove the beets from the dressing with a slotted spoon.  Toss the greens with enough dressing to coat them evenly.  Arrange the greens on 4 plates and spoon some of the beets over each.  Sprinkle the almonds over the salads.  Spread the toasted bread with the herbed goat cheese.  If desired, the goat cheese crostini may be warmed for a minute or two in the oven before serving.  Divide the crostini amongst the plates.  Serve at once.

Wild Salad with Preserved Lemon,

Shaved Fennel, & Sliced Apple

serves 2

2 oz. mixed tender wild greens (such as miner’s lettuce, chickweed, purslane, and amaranth) 

1/2 oz. fresh fennel bulb, shaved or cut very thin 

 1/2 oz. apple, sliced very thin or cut into slivers or matchsticks 

 1 tsp. champagne vinegar, berry vinegar, or apple vinegar 

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. chopped preserved lemon

several grindings of black pepper

  • In a salad bowl, combine the greens, fennel, & apple. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar & olive oil.  Stir in the chopped preserved lemon and freshly ground black pepper.  Taste the dressing.  Adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Gently toss the salad with the dressing & serve immediately.

For the above recipe, I made both the apple vinegar (apple-scrap vinegar), & the preserved lemons.  Both recipes are very easy, requiring very few ingredients, but much patience & wait time.  Here are links to the sites where I found simple methods:

Preserved Lemons - Can you believe that there is a Farmer in Oregon who grows citrus for the Farmers’ Market?!  Gus Eberhardt of Raynblest Farm brings Meyer Lemons, Rangpur Limes, and other hot-climate treasures to the Saturday Portland Farmers’ Market.  Meyer lemons make wonderful preserves.

Apple Scrap Vinegar - Use raw scraps.  I let mine macerate for a month before straining, then aged it another 3 weeks before using.  The time it takes really depends on your apple scraps, ambient room temperature, & environmental factors.  Just smell & taste – use your senses to guide you.  And if it goes from a pleasant fermented aroma to something that smells like…butt, rot, or rotten cheese, it hasn’t worked and you should not consume your vinegar.

The Salad of Crisp Chicory, Blood Orange, & Page Tangerines can be found on The Farmer’s Feast post “Chicory – Crisp Winter Leaves”
Here is a link

About these ads

About Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans

By offering Sage Culinary Advice, The Farmer's Feast assists Farmers' Market shoppers in making the most of their purchases, and helps vendors realize the culinary possibilities of their products. We create culinary education programs at Farmers' Markets. Through food preparation and cooking demonstrations, recipes focusing on technique, samples, stories and free advice, we're encouraging people to cook more often, from scratch, with market-fresh ingredients. Our goal? To cultivate domestic culinary arts. Once you've tasted the Farmer's Feast - glistening local produce, pastured meats, artisan cheese, wild seafood, rich nuts, grains and legumes - and see how easy cooking this bounty can be, you'll be hungry for fresh. Visit The Farmer's Feast on Facebook / E-mail wildeats@msn.com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Go Red – Go Green! Heart-Healthy Salads

  1. Pingback: Salted Citrus | The Farmer's Feast

  2. Olsen Ann says:

    THANKS, MUCH

  3. Pingback: The Farmer’s Feast Follow-Up: Go Red Event | The Farmer's Feast

  4. Pingback: The Farmer’s Feast Follow-Up: Go Red Event | The Farmer's Feast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s