Cool and crispy arugula salad with pomegranate, tossed with a sweet and tangy mustard dressing, gluten free

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Dig into this refreshingly, crunchy summer salad for a satisfying side dish. You could also turn it into a complete meal simply by adding more feta cheese and beans © Copyright, 2015-2018, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

Beat the heat with this oh-so-cool, but amazingly simple, summery salad. On those hot summer days when you just want to sip on a cold lemonade, and the last thing you would want is a heavy meal, this refreshingly light, but surprisingly filling salad is sure to hit the spot! Low in calories, but brimming with taste and antioxidants, what’s not to love??! The salad dressing can be made ahead of time, covered tightly and refrigerated for up to 7-10 days. The sweet and sour flavor of this home-made dressing is a treat for the taste buds, but can be made in a snap!

© Copyright, 2015-2018, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

Vegan version, without cheese. © Copyright, 2015-2018, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

Number of servings: Approximately, 9, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

  1. 5 cups arugula leaves, rinsed and drained in a salad spinner
  2. 1/2 cup radishes, cut into wedges
  3. 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  4. 1, 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed in a colander
  5. 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
  6. 1 ripe mango, chopped into small wedges
  7. 2 tablespoons walnuts

For the dressing: ( makes 3/4 of a cup of dressing)

  1. 4 oz. dark green, extra virgin olive oil.
  2. 2 oz. apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon, gluten-free Dijon mustard
  4. 4 tablespoons, table sugar
  5. Salt to taste, if desired

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender at high-speed until completely blended.
  2. Pour into a glass bottle, cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Toss all seven ingredients for the salad in a glass bowl.
  4. Shake salad dressing bottle thoroughly as oil may have separated from the rest of the dressing.
  5. Drizzle over tossed salad and serve cold.
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© Copyright, 2015-2018, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

A Registered Dietitian’s tip: 

Conquering the “after-meal nibbles”: A common mistake many of us sometimes make is that we might forget to add “substance” to garden salads, often consuming just the greens and some veggies with a dressing, in a feeble and misplaced attempt to “save a few calories”. However, the lack of protein and carbs often back fires and we find that we may get the hungry horrors and end up nibbling all day to compensate. Sound familiar?? Well, try adding small amounts of protein (feta cheese in this case), healthy carbs from whole grains such as farrobulgur or legumes such as beans, and sprinkling healthy and satisfying fats from crunchy nuts as an easy way to fix this problem, and feel satiated.

Pack a hefty nutrient punch with beans: Packed with fiber (approximately 8 grams for every 1/2 cup), protein, potassium, iron and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals, beans are truly nutrient power houses! Affordable on a shoe-string budget, they bring new meaning to the term, “getting the biggest bang for your buck”!!!

The beans may be the superstars in this recipe, but they face stiff competition from the pomegranate and radishes which are also brimming with antioxidants and phyto-nutrients.

Pomegranates contain punicic acid, a type of fatty acid that is a key constituent of pomegranate seed oil (PSO),  and has been shown in clinical studies to favorably impact cholesterol levels. In addition, pomegranate peel extract contains several compounds with antioxidative properties. Emerging  evidence shows that the  addition of pomegranate peel extract to foods may reduce oxidative stress in the gut as well. Like all antioxidants, pomegranate seeds and the juice leave a stain behind.

Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your personal physician or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

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