Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Super Food Salad

 
I have confession to make. Blogging has been bad for my health. There, I said it. After a recent physical I had, I realized that my more sedentary ways and eating habits had become even worse than I thought. What was revealed was a 13 lb. weight gain over the last year and cholesterol on the high side. Yikes! Time to do something. In addition to exercise, I have tried to incorporate more vegetables and whole grains into my daily menu. (Remember my Italian Lentil Salad from a couple of weeks ago?) This Superfood Salad that I'm sharing with you today has been a great meal for me many times over the last few weeks.
Superfood Salad
(makes about 2 cups of salad- you could easily increase the amounts to be able to serve it as a side dish for a crowd)

1/2 cup cooked barley
1/2 cup steamed lentils
1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup diced yellow pepper (optional)
1 Roma tomato
2 pieces marinated artichoke hearts (optional)
1 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
1 Tbsp. red wine vinaigrette- I use a homemade dressing

Combine all ingredients, salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Here is some information I have gathered online about some of the ingredients in this Superfood Salad. It should be noted that I am not a health expert, but I have always heard these vegetables and grains were good for me and I went looking for why they are so important and what makes them a "superfood".
~ Lentils~
 High in fiber and protein, low in fat
 Helps reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure
Effective in fight against Type 2 diabetes by lowering overall glycemic index of diet
 High in folate which helps prevent birth defects and certain forms of cancer
Contain an abundance of antioxidants

~Barley~
Nutrient dense...packed with fiber and B Vitamins
Helps prevent colon cancer
Helps reduce cholesterol

~Spinach~
Loaded with vitamins A, K, D, and E and Iron
Anti-Cancer and Anti-Inflammatory properties
Strengthens Bones

~Tomatoes~
High in Vitamin C which aids in absorption of other nutrients like calcium and iron
Contain Lycopene which is a cancer fighter, particularly in the prevention of prostate cancer
Low in calories
High in heart healthy nutrients

This salad also has olive oil and yellow peppers which are also considered "superfoods" for their anti-inflammatory and heart healthy qualities. 

When I eat this salad, I am full for a long time and I feel like I am doing a good thing for my body. What's great about the lentils and barley are that they add to the fullness factor and blend in well with all the flavors. They say you eat with your eyes first. Well, this Superfood Salad is very colorful to look at and even better to taste. Now, if only exercising were as easy as eating these delicious nutrient-rich powerhouses! Do you have a favorite Superfood?
I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

14 comments:

  1. I need to go for a physical as well {suspect my HBC is sky high!} Thank you for joining our Let's Get Social Sunday Party , Nici !

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  2. Yep, I have to agree...sitting on my duff blogging, not to mention all the things I have baked in the name of "research" have not been good for my 'bottom line'. I've been trying to start my day with fruit/veggie smoothies...I just wish I could type while on the treadmill :-)

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  3. This salad looks awesome Nici! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a fabulous weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  4. this looks awesome. I don't have barley, but I do have quinoa. Do you think that would work as a sub?

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  5. Yum! This might make me give lentils another try. Not my favorite last time I had them, but there are such yummy ingredients in this dish that I am willing to give it a go!

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  6. This sounds so good! I am a huge fan of every single one of these ingredients, YUM! I can't wait to try this! Pinning!

    ~Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy

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  7. This looks so good.
    I saw you at monday fun-day
    Jackie
    www.delectablydomestic.com

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  8. Oh yum!! Coming over from The Scoop.

    I invite you to come link up to our new #LetsMingle Monday social link party! We also have giveaways each week!
    http://thefirstyearblog.com/2013/06/03/letsmingle-monday-1/

    Beth @ The First Year Blog

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  9. I think my family would actually enjoy all of these healthy foods! I've pinned this to try Nici! Thanks so much for sharing at last week's All My Bloggy Friends! I can't wait to see what you share this week :)

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  10. Oh this looks delicious! I am definitely in salad mode here! I would love for you to share this at what i am eating http://www.townsend-house.com/2013/05/what-i-am-eating-30.html

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  11. Good for you! I noticed the same thing...sitting in front of a computer takes a toll on my weight! This salad looks awesome. Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

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  12. This looks delicious! The fact that it is healthy is such a bonus! Stopping by from the Blackberry Vine! :)

    Megan

    http://www.cmongetcrafty.com

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  13. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great week and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

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Thank you so much for stopping by to leave a comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to write your words of encouragement. Your sweet notes make my heart smile! Have a delightful day!