As prompted by my post about foods that cause inflammation (here), I am starting a 5 day series of having salads everyday for lunch and highlighting one or many ingredients that can help counteract inflammation. I started planning last week and my produce list was a mile long! But now, I’ve got my fridge loaded with lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Ready set salad!
Often times when I have a salad for lunch it’s to use whatever protein was left over from the previous night’s dinner. Any protein can be made into a salad, you just have to get creative with the salad additions. Along with the greens and protein, I like to add an additional veggies (cooked or raw), often times a fruit, as well as something crunchy and some kind of cheese. That’s my normal salad equation. I’m going to branch out this week and try some new things! I’m pretty excited. Dork, I am. I know.
This was dinner last night. A grilled flank steak with asparagus and corn on the cob. Thanks to my fantastic grill master hubby. He was so proud he took some grilling shots for me to share here.
Flank steak is a great cut of meat but it needs to be marinaded first to tenderize the meat. I’ve used this marinade for years and it’s the right combination of tangy and sweet. I recommend marinading overnight for the best flavor. So here’s our Asian-inspired marinade:
So with leftovers, I was set to make my salad for lunch today. Here’s what went into my salad equation: flank steak, grilled corn, bacon, feta cheese on a bed a romaine lettuce topped with an avocado garlic smear (not quite a dressing as I didn’t get the consistency right but still tasty).
The avocado smear was 1 1/2 avocados with 1/4 c olive oil, 1 tsp garlic and salt and pepper blended in the Vitamix. In hindsight, I would have added some balsamic vinegar to cut the fattiness of the avocado. Still tasty though.
Now, let’s talk about the good things in this salad. Flank steak is an excellent source of protein and minerals. In fact, three ounces has 25 g protein and almost 40% of your daily amount of iron.
We all know avocados are an excellent source of healthy unsaturated (good) fats. But did you know that avocado is anti-inflammatory? A compound found in avocados, persenone A, has been characterized to inhibit the activity of critical enzymes responsible for the inflammatory response (reference). All the more reasons to eat avocado!
Let’s not forget the ingredient at the base of a salad, the lettuce! Today, I chose romaine lettuce because it’s crispy, mild in taste and very nutritious. Two cups of romaine lettuce contain more than 100% of your daily vitamin K, which helps your blood clot, almost all your daily vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and folate. All things needed to support your immune system.
So what’s for lunch tomorrow? Well, we’re eating pork tenderloin for dinner tonight so you can bet I’ll be using it to top my salad tomorrow.
Joelle is 10 months today, so I’ll have to find some time to take her monthly pictures. Here’s a quick shot of her eating her grilled cheese today. I’m not sure she’s got the dental capacity for a crispy salad just yet.