Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives

Tossed or Composed

Tossed or Composed?

There are two main types of salads; tossed and composed. A composed salad is when the ingredients are artfully arranged on a platter or plate and the dressing is drizzled on the top. One famous example is Salade Nicoise, which consists of potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies and tuna layered beautifully on a plate, drizzled with vinaigrette and topped with Nicoise olives. A tossed salad is just that, greens, veggies, even grains and beans, tossed together in a bit of dressing and served.

Be sure to wash your greens well. Place the greens in a clean sink or a large bowl of water and move the greens around with your hands, then lift the greens out and you will see that most of the dirt is in the bottom of the sink or bowl. A salad spinner works well to dry your greens, don’t fill it too full and empty the water out occasionally. You can roll up your greens in a flour sack-type towel and store in the refrigerator.

Be sure to choose the freshest seasonal greens you can and eat a wide variety for good health.  Here are just a few of my favorite salads:

Health Nut Brown Rice Salad

Serves 8

3 cups long grain brown rice, cooked and cooled

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2  cup sliced celery

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

3 tablespoons vinaigrette, or to taste

2 tablespoons parsley, washed, dried and minced

Place the cooked brown rice in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the almonds, sesame seeds and veggies. Pour vinaigrette over all and toss. Top with the minced parsley and serve.

Serving Ideas

This is a great dish as a main course served on top of a lettuce leaf or you can serve with grilled fish, chicken, tempeh or tofu. Try using roasted red peppers for added depth of flavor. You may also add black beans if you like, which also makes this a complete protein. Beans and rice together have all the amino acids to make a complete protein.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Serves 4

1/3 cup almonds, raw, chopped

1 head Napa Cabbage

1 pound shitake mushrooms, sliced, sautéed in 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound chicken breasts, cooked, shredded or cubed

1 cup sliced scallions

1 cup snow pea pods, fresh

1 cup bean sprouts

1 cup sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup sliced red and orange bell peppers

Toast almonds until golden, set aside. Sauté shitake mushrooms in a bit of olive oil; set aside.

Shred Napa Cabbage and place in bowl with all other vegetables and the chicken.

Toss with Mandarin Dressing, to taste, and then place on bowls, topped with almonds. Place the sliced peppers on top of the salad if you like.

Mandarin Dressing

Leftover dressing can be used on other salads or to marinate chicken or fish

Serves 10

1 ½ cups

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sesame oil, use toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

6 ounces pineapple juice, frozen concentrate

1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate.

The Best Kale Salad Ever

My very favorite salad

Serves 6

2 bunches kale, washed, dried and chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

1 medium apple, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 whole, ripe avocado, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons Tamari soy sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acids

1/2 cup cashews, raw, chopped

Wash, dry and remove the stems of the kale leaves. Either chiffonade the leaves (roll up the leaf and cut into ribbons) or chop the kale; place in large bowl. Add lemon juice and avocado, and with your hands mix together until the avocado is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

These recipes and others are available in Patty’s book: ‘More Vegetables, Please!’


View all posts by


You must be logged in to post a comment.