Eating a salad a day is one of my strategies for making sure I get at least one serious daily dose of raw veggies. And if you love salads as much as I do, listen up.
Ditch the usual greens and get your hands on Brussels sprouts.
For a long time, none of us knew what to do with Brussels sprouts except boil them. Thankfully, they've become trendy and now everyone knows how delicious they are roasted, sauteed, broiled and even grilled. And with good reason. It's hard to not love the sweet earthy flavor of a sprout tossed in olive oil and browned until the crisp little edges of the outer leaves turn smoky and almost papery.
But today I am celebrating Brussels sprouts as a salad green - raw and in a salad.
It's as simple as it sounds. Slice them thinly with a knife or mandoline, or buy them preshaved in the produce aisle. They are delicious, lightly crunchy and crisp, and have a wonderful fresh flavor.
Brussels sprouts belong to the same family as cabbage, broccoli and kale, so it's no surprise that they are incredibly healthy. Not only do they have tons of fiber and vitamins, but a 1-cup serving of shaved Brussels sprouts packs about as much protein as a handful of raw almonds or a half cup of milk. And all that fiber and protein means you'll stay full longer and be less likely to snack later.
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CHICKEN SALAD WITH BLACK PEPPER-MUSTARD DRESSING
For the dressing:
1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 clove garlic, smashed or roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the salad:
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound Brussels sprouts, shaved or thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked, and chopped or shredded (about 1 cup)
1 scallion, chopped
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, broken into shards
Lemon wedges, for serving
To make the dressing, in a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare the salad, in a large serving bowl toss the diced apple with the lemon juice. Add the Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, almonds, chicken and scallion. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss well to coat. Top with Parmesan shards. Serve with the remaining dressing and lemon wedges on the side.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories (120 calories from fat, 43 percent of total calories); 14g fat (2.5g saturated, 0g trans fats); 35mg cholesterol; 23g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 10g sugar; 21g protein; 400mg sodium.