Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spinach Fennel Citrus Salad

Some days I try to eat as clean and as much raw as possible. This is mainly to relax my digestive organs which seem to over work some days and not work so well on the other days. I cannot starve and the only way I can let my body get energy is by including as many fruits and vegetables in my meals. This decision has opened me up to the exciting world of Salads. Growing up salads meant eating cucumbers,tomatoes and carrots only. Anything else had to be cooked and I am sure most of us are still this way. Many of us even overload our meals with spices and make it so over powering that you wake up with a heaviness. I have had people blurt out to me that they hate salads. Well if you are one among the salad-haters then this post is definitely going to be boring you.


For the rest who are still open to the idea of eating salads, this new recipe is exciting and full of flavor. Subtle flavors of fennel and citrus. Fennel ? You are wondering if fennel is the saunf which we eat as mouth fresheners then you are right. Only this is the fennel plant. Here is what it looks like. A big white bulb with tiny spiny leaves. Exploring new flavors and new tastes has been on my mind for sometime. When I recently walked past this stuff on the super market aisle I had to pick it up. It sat in my refrigerator for sometime until I decided to make a salad. Today all I needed was fresh salads for my meal.  



I put together all the stuff I had in my refrigerator and pantry to make this salad. Looking at the fresh leaves I couldn't stop myself from including them in the salad. Among all the different greens used for salads, spinach ranks high for its nutrients so there is always a box of fresh organic baby spinach available in my fridge. Occasionally I do let them rot and throw the whole pack away but this doesn't stop me from stocking up. Spinach and Fennel: pretty bland. I needed to spice things up and I spotted the bag of tiny clementines. So after chop-chop and throw-throw I had this wonderful salad ready. I added some walnuts for crunch and the goodness ( See notes for nutritional info)




Ingredients:
1 bulb with leaves of Fennel 
1 cup packed Baby Spinach
2 tiny clementines or other citrus
handful walnuts
Salt,Pepper 


1. Wash the fennel and chop the bulb into strips. Separate the leaves of the fennel from the harder stems.
2. Peel the citrus and chop into bite sizes.
3. In a bowl toss the spinach, fennel leaves, citrus pieces and walnuts.
4. Add salt and pepper. Serve




Serving suggestions:
I skipped any kind of dressing as the citrus and fennel were quite flavorful.
You can add your favorite dressing to this. Also add your favorite meat to make it a complete meal.
I heated up a veggie burger patty and served it atop this salad. 
Served it to myself for my lunch today!!


NUTRITIONAL NOTES:
Fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients.The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, is anethole—the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer.(Source WholeFoods)


Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled.(Source Wiki)

Walnuts are one of the several high nutrient density foods. 100 grams of walnuts contain 15.2 gram protein, 65.2 gram fat, and 6.7 gram dietary fiber. The protein in walnuts provides many essential amino acids. (Source Wiki)

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