A Chef Salad is a good choice when you need something hearty and healthy without cooking
This is a great salad idea I came up with over the years for brown bagging lunch for work. I make this big giant salad and split it into 5 portions. That way I don’t have to dirty up knives, cutting boards, etc. for one serving. It is more convenient to make it all at once. This recipe is based on 5 hearty servings and it also comes in handy if you have a potluck to go to and want to bring something for the group that is healthier than the fried chicken, even though I love me some fried chicken!
Another option for lettuce is to buy fresh green leaf, red leaf, or romaine and fill up a clean kitchen sink with cold water, about 2 tablespoons of vinegar and let it soak a few minutes. The cold water helps make the lettuce crisp and the vinegar helps clean the lettuce. Then place batches at a time into a salad spinner. Once you place in a salad spinner you may want to tear the lettuce into bite size pieces.
Mixing the ingredients by layer
- 10 oz Spring Salad Mix
- 8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Red Pepper, sliced in strips
- 1 large Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 English Cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup Kalamata Olives, drained and pitted
- 5 Hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 4 Carrots, peeled with a potato peeler
- 1/2 lb Smoked Ham, from the deli
- 1/2 lb Smoked Turkey, from the deli
- 1 pint Grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 5 Hard Boiled Eggs, Each egg sliced in 4 sections
Putting It All Together, Layer by Layer
- To make mixing the ingredients more manageable, I add layers at a time. Add the Spring Mix and mushrooms and mix together.
- Then add the red pepper, red onion, and cucumber together.
- Then add the olives and julianne carrots together.
- Then add the ham, turkey, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and mix together.
- For each serving, add a hard boiled egg on top which has been sliced into four sections.
- Have with your favorite salad dressing. Enjoy!
The Finished Product
Key Nutrients per 1/2 cup (100g) Carrots
Vitamin E (mg)
Vitamin C (mg)
Benefits of Eating Carrots
In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to stimulate the elimination of wastes and to dissolve gallstones and ancient Greeks drank carrot juice as an aphrodisiac. In the West carrot juice is known by herbalists for diuretic action and as a treatment for heartburn. Carrots are one of the richest known sources of beta carotene. This antioxidant has the ability to soak up and make harmless the dangerous by-products of metabolism and pollution known as free radicals, which are believed to be able to damage cells and start cancer.
The traditional belief that eating carrots can help you see better at night is well founded. Night blindness is usually due to a lack of the substance visual purple, which requires beta carotene for its formation. The beta carotene in carrots will help to ensure that visual purple can be produced.
The Benefits of Eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine in the East for centuries. The shiitake has been used in Japan for a variety of disorders. It has been used to prevent heart disease, build resistance against viruses and disease, and treat fatigue and viral infections. In China during the Ming Dynasty, this mushroom was recorded as increasing stamina and in the 15th century was given to warrior priests for energy.
Mushrooms are also a useful source of iron. They contain about 1mg of iron per 1.5 cups. Unlike many vegetable sources of iron, mushrooms do not contain phytates, which reduce the body’s ability to absorb this mineral, so the iron present in mushrooms is readily absorbed.
Secret to Fresh Salad Greens
Many of my garden salads are made in advance all at once. I have found it is helpful to wash the greens with vinegar and cold water to make them last longer. Bagged lettuce is very convenient when short on time, but most weeks I will buy fresh heads of red, green, or romaine lettuce.
Fill up your kitchen sink with cold water and add a few tablespoons of white vinegar and about 3 cups ice cubes to the water (always make sure your kitchen sink is clean beforehand). Place the lettuce in the cold vinegar water and let set for 20 minutes or so. Then swish the lettuce around to get it cleaned. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in the salad spinner to dry.
You will not taste the vinegar and it may help in preserving the greens throughout the week. You may even rinse under cold water before placing in the salad spinner if that is a concern. Make sure the lettuce is not wet when assembling with the other ingredients.
Benefits of Eating Salad Leaves
Salad Leaves include spinach, endive, chicory, cress, raddichio, arugula, red leaf, Boston or Bibb lettuce, Belgian Endive, Watercress, and Frisee. In Chinese medicine, salad leaves are used as a diuretic and to “dry out” digestive problems. They are given to expectant mothers to increase a mother’s milk production. Spinach strengthens the blood and cleanses it of toxins that can cause skin disease. In China, people believe that spinach helps bowel movements, the flow or urine, and relieves herpes irritations.
There is evidence that regularly eating salad leaves decreases the risk of colonic cancer. This is partly due to their supply of antioxidants which help stop the production of carcinogens, and partly due to the fiber that they provide. Fiber appears to reduce the risk of colonic cancer in several ways.
A good amount of folate is found especially in cress, frisee, spinach, and lettuce. Eating folate-rich foods on a regular basis is believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating folate and folic acid can also reduce the risk of spina bifida, a defect of the spinal column. Calcium is found in spinach, cress, and frisee which the body needs for the formation of strong bones.
Key Nutrients per 1/2 cup (100g) Tomato
Beta carotene (mcg)
Beta cryptoxanthin (mcg)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin E (mg)
Benefits of Eating Tomatoes
One of the most popular vegetables in the world, the tomato, is actually a fruit. Eaten raw, cooked, sun-dried, and canned, tomatoes are used in a variety of ways including juices, soups, sauces, ketchups, chutneys, purees, and pastes. They supply potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, and are among the richest natural food sources of the antioxidant pigment lycopene.
One tomato weighing about 3 ounces supplies 36 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Canned tomatoes contain slightly less vitamin C than fresh ones. They are rich in lycopene and if eaten regularly they may reduce the risk of heart disease. Research in the US has looked into the relationship between eating various fruits and vegetables and prostate cancer. Out of the 46 types of fruit and vegetables studied, tomatoes and their derivatives such as tomato sauce, had a significant impact on a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer. It is the powerful antioxidant called lycopene in the tomatoes that is believed to offer protection against prostate cancer. Lycopene is one of the most efficient carotenoids when it comes to “mopping up” cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
Research in Italy has indicated when people eat 7 or more servings of tomatoes a week, a 60 percent lower risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum was observed, since tomatoes contain the substances p-coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, which are thought to prevent cancer causing substances called nitrosamines from forming. Tomatoes are also believed to help with improved mental and physical capacity in old age due to the benefits of lycopene.
What is Your Favorite Kind of Salad?
Other Healthy Recipes
- Portobello Mushroom with Tomato and Mozzarella
Portobello mushrooms are an excellent substitute for meat in any vegetarian dish because they are so hearty and flavorable.
- Great Asparagus Recipe Ideas
I always forget how much I love asparagus and brussel sprouts so I decided to combine both of these vitamin-packed vegetables into one dish!
- Spinach with Leeks and Fennel
Spinach is an excellent source of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, and Manganese.
- Healthy Garden Salad with Chicken
If you want to save money and eat healthy, here is a salad you can make that meets both demands.
© 2012 Michelle Dee