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Warm weather makes me 'think about salad'

POSTED May 14, 2018 1:18 p.m.

When the temperature warms up outside our meal planning may include dishes that are lighter and don’t heat up the kitchen. Often that means I “think salad.” Salads are great ways to incorporate colorful fruits and vegetables. That, in turn, contributes to a healthier plate. Many whole grains can make the salad become more of a main dish that is both filling and nutritious.
As I was preparing for the Walk KS celebration lunch recently I decided to show some of the healthier choices related to salads and also mention some of the unhealthy options on a salad bar. It’s easy to get complacent and think that everything on a salad bar is healthy but that’s just not the case. Adding nuts and seeds, especially if they are candied or roasted, can add extra fat and sodium while sprinkling a handful of dried cranberries onto a salad adds sugar. And then there is the dressing which contains extra fat, sodium and sugar.
I found a neat website from Iowa State University titled, “Spend Smart, Eat Smart.” I have prepared a handout with six recipes, including four salads, a black bean dip and the following Orange dressing recipe:

Orange Dressing with
Fruit and Greens
Ingredients:
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons oil
8 cups greens (romaine, lettuce, or spinach)
2 cups vegetables, chopped (Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, peppers, onions, or tomato)
2 cups fruit, chopped (apples, berries, grapes, or oranges)
Instructions:
1. Combine dressing ingredients in a container with a screw top. Close tightly and shake until combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use (up to 1 week.)
2. For each salad, top 2 cups of greens with ½ cup vegetables and ½ cup fruit.
3. Take dressing from the refrigerator and shake to combine ingredients again. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing onto each salad.
Additional tips: You may substitute any fruit juice you want for the orange juice. Leave out the sugar if you use a sweeter juice such as pomegranate or grape. This salad dressing will be thinner than store bought salad dressing.
If you would like a copy of the salad recipes from the Spend Smart Eat Smart Web site, give me a call or come by the Great Bend office. Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day
From the day we are born, our family gives us our identity, values, and confidence that carry us through life. Today is a special day for families to remember to thank their mother for enriching their life. My mother and mother-in-law are both in their heavenly home but not a day goes by without my remembering their love and nurturing ways. Take time to tell your mom how much they mean to you today and every day!

Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or dkrug@ksu.edu.

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