Something I frequently tweet is “another day, another chance to make healthy lifestyle choices…” As we welcome the New Year, we can celebrate by revising that tweet to, “a new year, another year of opportunities to make healthy lifestyle choices.” Each day of the year is a gift to be welcomed with great joy. Now is the perfect time to do that cleanse you’ve wanted to do, give a rest to cocktails for a while, dive in to a cool new workout and supercharge your meals in simple, effective ways.
Easy ways to boost the nutrients in your meals is to add small amounts of ingredients that pack a powerful, nutrient-dense punch. Among the top nutrient power-foods are flaxseeds, chia seeds, spirulina and edible tea leaves. Each of these possesses varying degrees of powerful properties that help the body in many ways. Flaxseeds contain fiber, protein, omega-3s and act as an anti-inflammatory; chia seeds are a good source of calcium, fiber, protein and omega-3s; spirulina is a strong source of vitamin K, protein and iron; and edible tea leaves are said to have nearly 100 times the nutritional properties of steeped tea leaves.
Sprinkle a pinch or two of any of these natural health boosters on salads, in smoothies, dry rubs and marinades, vinaigrettes or practically any dish. Your taste buds won’t know the difference but your body certainly will. As with introducing any new ingredient to your diet, if you have questions about its effects on your specific health, consult your doctor.
Kale Mixed Greens with Cranberry Chia Seed Vinaigrette
• 1/3 cup no-sugar-added cranberry or raspberry vinegar
• 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ orange zest
• ½ lemon zest
• Pinch sea salt
• Pinch ground black pepper
• 1 Tbs chia seeds
• 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
• 6 cups mixed greens
• 1 bunch kale leaves, finely chopped (equates to about 2 cups chopped)
• ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
• ¼ cup chopped walnuts
• 4 Tbs fresh Parmesan shavings, if desired
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, orange and lemon zest, salt and pepper. Whisk in chia seeds. Add onion, mixed greens, chopped kale and pomegranate seeds. Toss well to coat. Place on each of 4 serving plates and sprinkle with a few walnuts and finish with approximately 1 tablespoon Parmesan shavings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Serving size: about 1½ cups
Saturated Fat: 2.1g
By Susan Irby