How To Grow-Cut-And-Come-Again Salads

Baby salad leaves are tasty and nutritious, quick and easy to grow. Because you can harvest the leaves from each plant three or four times they provide a bumper harvest for the space they take up. They are a perfect crop for children to grow because they are very colourful, grow quickly and can regenerate in a seemingly magical way.

Sowing directly into the soil is the simplest and cheapest way to grow vegetables. Soil preparation is key to reaping a good harvest. The depth you need to plant the seeds at will be stated on the packet. The general rule is to make a seed drill three times the depth of the dimension of the seeds you are planting.

Sow your seeds in a straight line. Use a long cane or a taut piece of string wrapped around two sticks pushed into the ground each end of your drill to act as a guide. It is much easier to distinguish weeds from your seedlings if you grow them in a straight line. Your crop will have identical leaves; the weeds will probably have many different leaf shapes.

Don’t sow into cold, wet soil; wait until the weather improves. Every spring is different and spring comes to different parts of the World at different times so it is very difficult to be prescriptive about exactly when to sow seeds. Salad crops planted too early will bolt if the weather is cold.

Water seeds with a fine rose on your watering can; a torrent of water will wash them away.

If you plant plugs that are either shop-bought or home-grown, your crop will get off to a better start when planted outside and you won’t have the job of thinning your seedlings which will save time and wastage. Space the plugs in a way that will give them plenty of room to grow.

It is still important for you to keep the plot clear of weeds so that your salad plants don’t have to compete with them.

Divide the packet of seeds into three or four and plant each batch every week for three or four weeks. This is called succession sowing and will give you a longer harvesting season rather than a glut at one time. Cut the salad leaves regularly to encourage more growth.

Protect you seeds and tender, young plants from cold winds, mice and birds with cloches. These mini greenhouses will trap the Sun’s warmth which will encourage germination and growth.

Your salad crops can be grown through the winter and early spring in a greenhouse or cold frame.

If you have no garden, you can grow cut-and-come-again salads in a box or large flower pot on a window sill in a cool room. In this way they can be grown through the summer or winter. This will be a very easy way for a child to grow a crop. It will be small and manageable.

The crops to choose for the winter months could be colourful loose-leafed lettuces, salad rocket, oriental mustards, mizuna, land cress, lamb’s lettuce or pak choi. In the summer, in addition, you can grow baby spinach, mibuna and kale. In summer your plants will take about four weeks to grow good-sized leaves but when the days are shorter probably about six.

The leaves can be used in salads, sandwiches, stir fries and home-made soups so children can easily take their own crops to school in their packed lunch. The sweeter varieties rather than the spicier ones would be a better choice for a child’s palate.

The smaller the leaf when harvested, the sweeter it will be. Left to grow bigger, the taste will be stronger. Harvest with scissors so that you will take only the leaves you want and not damage the others. Water the stalks, and new shoots will soon start to appear. After a few harvests the plants won’t re-grow, but if you have employed succession sowing you should have a new crop ready to harvest.

 

What’s the Big Power of Micro Greens?

Are you eating microgreens in your lunches or dinners?

If not, now is the time to learn about the big nutritional benefits to these tiny greens! Micro greens are the baby version of foods you may already know and like. They are usually sprouts (or sprout-like small leaves) usually under 14 days of growth. You can find full grown grocery staples like spinach, kale, chive, arugula, and broccoli as a microgreen. However, you can mix things up with watercress, mustard-greens, onion sprouts, radish & alfalfa. Each of the micro greens will not taste exactly like the adult plant. They are usually milder, since they’re not fully grown. However, items like mustard, onion, and radish will have a stronger, more spicy flavor.

How do these little leaves bring you a big value?

They generally have from FOUR to SIX times the concentration of nutrients you usually get in the bigger/adult size plant. That means you get more nutrients in a smaller package, like beta carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C and even amino acids. That’s great news if you don’t want a traditional salad every day. Since you don’t need as much plant material to get the benefits, they’re easier to include in your diet with ideas like blending them into a smoothie, using lettuce sprouts to top a burger instead of lettuce (or topping any sandwich, really) or replacing the spinach leaves in an omelet with micro spinach sprouts.

Microgreens are tiny leaves with many health benefits.

The health benefits differ slightly between the different varieties of plants you can choose. For instance, most of the bean sprouts are rich in C, while alfalfa has higher calcium, potassium and magnesium. While no one would think to eat the sunflower plant, you can (and should) eat the sprouts as they have amino acids, folate & and vitamin E as well as trace copper. The benefits just go on and on, so the best thing to do is pick your favorite flavored sprout (the sweeter & mild sunflower, or the zippy radish, or maybe the heartier crunch of the bean-sprout in a stir fry?) and search for all of its specific nutrients on the internet.

Can you raise micro-greens in your own home?

Yes! But some are easier than others. For instance, with lentils you have to have several soaking, rinsing and resting periods before you can even get them to sprout. It is, of course, worthwhile if you really enjoy sprouted beans, but if you’re looking to get to the greens faster you need the chia seed. If you’re looking for the simplest and quickest sprout,(It’s pretty much foolproof) look for the chia seed first. Chia seeds are so easy to sprout, they even made a gimmick ceramic animal “Pet” for kids to grow them on. They grow quickly, thanks to the nutrient packed seed, making sprouts to add to your salad even faster. Chia sprouts have a somewhat ‘spicy’ flavor. It isn’t as powerful as onion or radish sprouts, but it is not as mild as alfalfa.

What is sprout safety?

With some seeds, a little potting soil (Or seed-starter mix soil) and a low dish, most people can raise microgreens in their own home. Chia seeds will certainly sprout if placed on damp soil in a low dish. It is important to properly care for any plant’s microgreen, to avoid issues like mold & to maximize the appeal when serving as well as the nutrition. However, with a few quick tips, small plants like these are generally easy to manage.

Things to keep in mind include:

Clip tiny leaves or stems about a centimeter above the substrate they grew on
Clip only with clean, food quality scissors
Plastic shears or ceramic shears will prevent browning (important for serving presentation)
Expose the greens or sprouts to strong sunlight for several hours before harvesting – this will maximize the chlorophyll content for better health
Do not use/consume sprouts if you find mold at the base
In a moist or humid climate, it’s better to let your seeds sprout on a sunny sill & keep them there until ready to avoid any mold issues
Clip most greens when they are about 1 to 2 inches tall
Don’t grow them outside unless they’re well protected by a mini greenhouse or screens – you may love microgreens but so do bugs, spores and other pests you don’t want on your food
Mist for moisture – Misting ensures safe moisture levels where heavy watering may lead to crushing sprouts, washing away seeds or mold in the soil
Most greens are ready in about 10 to 14 days but they don’t grow back once clipped
Rinse greens gently in only cold water & serve immediately
You don’t need to fertilize them, they’re drawing their initial nutrition from the seed itself

Raising your own greens means saving money too, sometimes this healthy ingredient is expensive at the grocery, or appears less than fresh. Keep in mind that each one has a different flavor, if you don’t like one microgreen, you may enjoy another, so experiment as much as you want, now that you know that the nutritional benefits are quite worthwhile. If you sample a few varieties and still find you want something a bit milder that adds nutrition to meals, you can always just eat the chia seeds. While the chia sprout has flavor, the seeds themselves do not. They can be mixed into every day foods without altering the taste, such as yogurt, ice cream, salad dressing, soup, stew, scrambled eggs, and PB&J. If you can sprinkle, you can use chia seeds. Remember the last sprouting tip: “The sprout doesn’t need fertilizer because it is drawing its initial nutrition from the seed”-this illustrates the nutritional power of chia as you watch it grow. Its sprout is large & vigorous despite the seeds’ tiny size. And, it’s no wonder because the seed contains more calcium by weight than milk, is 23% complete protein (like what’s in meat) has healthy omega-3 oils and two kinds of fiber, plus b-vitamins and the trace mineral boron.

With eating fresh & eating raw getting so much press for its health benefits, you can be ahead of the curve with the freshest food in town… food you harvested just minutes before serving. You save money at the store and save space in your home, because microgreens can be grown in small batches and never require massive pots or large areas. Something as simple as a foil pie tin & small bag of potting mix are all you need to get started (and the seeds, of course!) so there’s hardly an up-front cost on time or supplies.

 

Cold Spaghetti Salad

This recipe has certainly been a lifesaver over the years. My sister, Debra first introduced me to this delicious salad a few years ago. It’s so economical to make and only has a few ingredients. Sometimes, homemade salads can get quite expensive but not this one. It really is a budget stretcher and it’s certainly a show stopper on any table.

I really enjoy making this cold spaghetti salad because it’s easy to make, packed with lots of flavor, and it never fails to satisfy. Every time I make this recipe it is the talk of the table. In fact I just made it this past Labor Day for a cookout at my niece house. Everyone loved it and it was the first salad to disappear. The cucumbers and tomatoes give this recipe extra freshness which make this recipe truly unforgettable. Once you make it, you’ll be making it quite often and you’ll always remember how delicious this recipe is.

Even though this is a salad, I normally serve with my appetizer menu because it goes with so many appetizer dishes-both hot and cold including meat balls, chicken wings, seafood dishes as well as turkey and ham sandwiches which are all the making of a great appetizer menu. And it’s a great addition to your holiday menu without the fuss and long hours putting together. This cold spaghetti salad is surly a winner and is a welcoming addition to any menu. Enjoy and please share this recipe.

You’ll Need

6 ounces spaghetti, uncooked
Garlic powder to taste
4 to 6 ounces basil Pesto sauce, more to taste, divided
Seasoned Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, chopped

Directions

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and run cool water on spaghetti in a colander. Once cooled, drain well.

Place spaghetti in a large bowl or pan; season spaghetti well with garlic powder. Add about 4 ounces of Pesto sauce to cold spaghetti; mix well. Refrigerate. One hour before serving, add cucumbers and tomatoes; add seasoned salt and black pepper as needed. Mix well making sure all ingredients are covered with the pesto sauce. If more Pesto sauce is needed, add according to taste. Mix well. Serve cold. Yield: 6 to 8 servings. Enjoy and please share this recipe.

 

What’s In Your Salad?

A bowl of good salad can just be the nicest thing you can have any given time of the day – yes, healthiest too! Provided, it is assembled this way: flavorful, rich in textures, with fresh vegetable cuts, lots of crisp greens, crunchy fruit slices and sprouts peeking here and there. To make it more mouth-watering you add some nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu or beans. This you drizzle with choice dressings and what have you got? Now, that’s the question!

What really is in your salad?

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular salads’ contents

  • Coleslaw Salad

The thin strips of cabbage and shredded carrots make a powerhouse combination. However, when using regular mayonnaise, the typical dressing used in this preparation, you reduce the health benefits provided by the vegetables. The calorie count per serving could total 260. Instead of mayonnaise, you may use low-fat yoghurt.

  • Caesar Salad

This salad has earned a spiteful standing, health-wise, because of the fat and calories coming from some of its primary flavor adders, parmesan cheese and creamy dressings. For each 100 grams serving, its calorie count could reach 500 and fats of 40 g. If you wish to continue enjoying Caesar salad, guilt-free, use fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for dressing. Top it with finely chopped garlic for added flavor. A tablespoon of parmesan cheese then will not hurt.

  • Waldorf Salad

During apple season, what better way to celebrate it than to have a bowl of nicely prepared Waldorf salad? But then again, you might hold a bit back seeing that it contains mayonnaise giving you a calorie count of 195 and 18 grams of fat per serving of 100 grams. Counter that by using fat-free Greek yogurt as substitute for mayo then add some chopped roasted walnut for intense flavor. Walnuts are rich in healthy fats that help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

  • Greek Salad

Probably the only thing that would be contrary to the health benefits of this salad is the fat and sodium content of the cheese you add to it. Go easy on that particular ingredient so that you cut down the fat from 10g to 3g per serving. Spinach, a staple addition, is iron and calcium rich but your body may not absorb it all because of its oxalic acid. What will help counter this is vitamin c from oranges or drops of lemon juice blended in aside from what you get from tomatoes which also gives you vitamin A. For stronger heart, throwing in lots of olives which is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acid, does it! Calorie count per small bowl is 90.

How healthy your salad is depends on what goes into it. Keeping nutrition in mind, you want the healthy fats that olive oil and avocado can give. For the best influence in your digestive system from beginning to end, you get that from fiber courtesy of those greens. As for protein, the nuts and seeds you add to your salad and those strips of chicken breast can provide that just as some carbohydrates are supplied by starchy veggies such as pumpkin and also carrots. All these health benefits and more can be yours when you make sure of what’s in your salad.

 

Awesome Avocado Salad – Make Sandwiches Tastier With Vegetable Spreads for Pizzazz and Added Flavor

Awesome Avocado: Use as a spread, or eaten as a cold salad can really add a stream of fresh, zesty or ethnic flavor to your favorite turkey, chicken or ham sandwich! Enjoy eating sliced avocados, as a complete side salad. There are many abbreviated ways to make to sliced avocado, that does not take as much chopping, seeding or peeling and may be entertained for a quick avocado flavoring. You may add a spice combination of ground cumin, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro and of course, you can’t forget 1/2 a squeezed lemon or lime, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, of your choice. Usually, I blend all of the above ingredients together in a small bowl and place, on the table, so that guests can add as much, or as little, according to taste. Remarkably, I find that avocados are a very versatile food, they can either be served chilled, or cut on-the-spot and eaten just as soon as you have peeled and added the spice and vinegar-oil combination above.

Enjoy and entertain cooking and seasoning your sandwiches, salads or side dishes with as many vegetable and spice combinations as you can create by blending a few different vegetable together.

Eating dishes blended with various colors has always been a way to keep me excited in meal preparation. Green avocados accompanied with chunks of red, ripe tomatoes and yellow chili peppers along with spices make for a tasty, colorful salad!

Mix your liquids and spices in a small bowl and set aside. Roast your peppers; chop your cilantro and parsley blend; peel and chop tomatoes.
Lastly, peel your avocado and set aside. Blend your liquid/spice mixture and lightly blend with your avocado, chili, cilantro, and tomato mixture, enjoy with warm, thinly, sliced bread or taco chips!

SUGGESTIONS:

2-3 medium-sized ripe avocados—
3 roasted, peeled, chopped and seeded yellow chili pepper, if yellow is unavailable, use green, or even large, long, red chili peppers.
1/2 cup chopped parsley, and cilantro
1 large peeled and seeded ripe,red tomato

Liquid mixture:

1 large lemon, juice only, squeeze your lemon in a lemon press, or face lemon toward your palm
drizzling the juice down the sides of your lemon and into your dish.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon smoky cumin
1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.

Avocado contains vitamins E and B-6, other healthy skin vitamins and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Enjoy and entertain cooking and seasoning your sandwiches, salads or side dishes with as many vegetable and spice combinations as you can create by blending a few different vegetables together.

 

5 Quick, Yet Delicious Salad Dressing Recipes

Having a bowl of healthy salad daily is great for the health. However, it can easily become boring to your taste buds especially if you use the same ingredients all the time. Add a variety of flavor and texture to your salad greens by trying new ingredients for your dressing. You can have it sweet, spicy, sour or however you prefer – having a good dressing for your salad makes all the difference.

Here are 5 quick and easy salad dressing recipes you can make:

It’s Gingerrific

 

  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger

Mix together carrot, mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar and ginger in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing

 

  • 2 bunches cilantro, stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Anaheim chile peppers, roasted
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine garlic, chile peppers, mayonnaise, oil, pumpkin seeds, cheese, water, salt and black pepper in a blender or food processor for 1 minute or until smooth. Add cilantro in batches, pulsing for about 40 seconds per batch. Pour mixture in a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Easy Sweet and Spicy Salad Dressing

 

  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Stir together onion, sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl until sugar has dissolved. Carefully stir in vegetable oil until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir before serving.

Cranberry and Mustard Combo

 

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Combine garlic, cranberry sauce, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Carefully add vegetable oil and walnut oil in a steady stream. Pulse again until mixture is thick and creamy. Serve immediately.

Milk and Vinegar Fusion

 

  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granular no-calorie sucralose sweetener

Place half-and-half cream, vinegar, salt and sweetener in a small bowl. Whisk together until sweetener has dissolved.

 

4 Refreshing Seafood Salads That You Will Love

If you like adding a bit of protein to your salad greens but still want something light, seafood is the perfect choice. Adding a few chunks of fish or a few pieces of shrimp to your greens with a light dressing will result to a light and refreshing meal!

Here are 4 refreshing seafood salads you’ll love:

Shrimply Refreshing Salad

 

  • 1/2 kilogram large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place the cooked shrimp, eggs, carrot celery and onion in a large salad bowl. Add mayonnaise and gently toss to mix ingredients well. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Fresh Lobsterrific Salad

 

  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 small white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 kilogram cooked lobster meat, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine lobster and melted butter. Stir in mayonnaise and season with black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. When ready, mix together salad greens, tomato and onion in a large salad bowl. Top with lobster mixture, toss and serve.

Curry and Cinnamon Tuna Salad

 

  • 1/4 kilogram water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Combine tuna, pickle relish, lemon juice, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, curry powder, black pepper and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Avocado and Salmon Salad Mix

 

  • 1 avocado, cored and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups pink salmon (from can), drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

Mix together salmon, celery, onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss to combine ingredients well. Season with dill and salt. Divide mixture into two and scoop onto each avocado half. Chill in the refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Eating More Salad Is Savory to the Palate and a Valid Source of Vitamins and Fiber

Salads are a great way for beginning any lunch or dinner meal. I find that due to cold and allergy season, I am less drawn to cold foods and more drawn to comfort foods. SO, what do I do? I entertain different ways of making salads more of a comfort food to appease the taste of me and my family that are still creative, comforting and healthy! I also find ways of adding fruit to my salad, whenever feasible, to increase my daily intake of fruits, grains and fiber.

Hi folks, Yes, I know, rabbit food, salads are not your first choice. BUT, OH, if your salad had a voice, it would be telling you about all the healthy fiber, vitamins and roughage that is great for your digestion. Daily requirements of vegetables, fruits and grains combined in so many ways makes food more vitamin and mineral complete, and pleasing to the palate-at best! Pick and choose a salad that is both sweet and savory to the palate- SATIATE YOUR TASTE DESIRES. Salads are a sweet way of eating more fruits and grains, or substituted and improvised, or comprised as complete meal option,too! *** I have listed a few salads that offer uncommon, nuances for creating or enjoying more salads. There are various ways of sneaking more fiber, grain, or tasty additions to your salad dishes that have a high-impact on daily nutritional requirements. Add some of my favorites or research and add some of your own additives for optimal vitamin and mineral balance.

* Coleslaw-carrot and pineapple salad- all raw, and when blended with vinegar and olive oil are tasty and pair easily with chicken, or even with BBQ ribs.

* Cold potato salad- Boiled potatoes with black olives, cumin, olive oil and vinegar- accompanied as a side dish along with tasty meat or anything.

*Apple-celery-cranberry salad- I have a terrific recipe and I also add walnuts. It’s really good! I place a piece of lettuce and a scoop of my salad on top and garnish with a small scoop of dry coconut.. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold bean salad- Cold beans of your choice with spices and oils and refrigerated makes a great side dish. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold beet salad- Add balsamic vinegar, or whatever you prefer, chopped herbs and spices and serve with a serving of greens for extra vitamin absorption. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold carrot-current salad- Sliced carrots with added currents, cranberries and salt and pepper for seasoning. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold lentil salad- Cook lentils, season as usual, let rest chill and serve as salad topped with chopped tomato and fresh parsley. Serve with meat, chicken or fish.

*Cold couscous salad- Cooked and chilled couscous with spices, chopped vegetables, herbs and spices. Serve with meat or fish.

Salad before, during or after dinner, as some cultures prefer, is a wise way of adding additional fruit, vegetable, or more fiber to your meals. You may find it to be a more savory way of enhancing the taste, it can also be a subtle way to increase your fiber intake. Find ways of adding chia seeds to your fresh fruit or salad dishes. Add almonds, seaweed, bean sprouts, olives, or any other fresh additive for more of a flavor punch and meal benefit.

*** I hope you like and utilize my salad suggestions. I have plenty of recipes and ways of eating and combining fruits and vegetables for tasty, healthy or crunchy and sweet salads. Many of my salads are just as much savory as they are healthy! Write to me with your salad suggestions and recipes or ask me questions and I can create great salad combinations easily!