Harvest-Inspired Salads to take you from Summer into Fall
By Staci Amend
So many healthy vegetables reach their flavor peak in late summer and early fall—your weekly Fresh & Free Additions plan is practically writing itself! If there’s a farmer’s market in your area, try setting aside an hour or two every week to think ahead about your upcoming menu, compile your healthy recipes, then stroll the fragrant al fresco aisles shopping for ingredients. Here are a few easy harvest-time salad ideas to get you started.
Spicy Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
Start with a half-cup each of these non-starchy “free” veggies, roughly chopped into one-inch pieces: carrots (choose the rainbow variety for added color, if you can get them where you live), beets, radishes, turnips and rutabagas. Toss lightly in fat-free cooking spray and spread evenly on a baking sheet, then sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper or your favorite spice blend. Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then set out to cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle one-fourth veggie mixture over a bed of arugula, toss with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Dressing and enjoy!
Easy Sautéed Bell Pepper Salad
This versatile, summery salad is wonderful warm or cold. Slice one red, one yellow and one orange bell pepper into quarter-inch-thick ribbons and spray liberally with fat-free cooking spray. Heat a skillet to medium, then sauté two smashed garlic cloves and a teaspoon of caraway seeds. When garlic becomes fragrant, add peppers and cook until just warmed through. Toss with the juice of one-half lemon and top with a dash of salt and pepper. Delicious!
Greek Heirloom Salad
This zesty make-ahead salad is perfect for those late-summer heat waves—cool, refreshing and super satisfying. Start with two cups assorted heirloom tomatoes (cherry or full-size), halved or cut into one-inch wedges. Add one tablespoon each of fresh mint, flat-leaf parsley and drained capers, plus a quarter cup sliced fresh basil leaves. Add a dash of salt and pepper and a quarter cup of reduced-fat feta cheese, then toss with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Dressing. Keeps 2–3 days in the fridge; flavors are richer and more pronounced on the second and third days.
Lemon-Mint Sugar Snap Pea Salad
This late-summer side salad is the perfect wingman for any Jenny Craig entrée! Start with one pound sugar snap peas, trimmed; boil for two minutes, or until bright green. Drain. Whisk together two tablespoons chopped mint, two tablespoons lemon juice, one tablespoon minced shallot, one teaspoon Dijon mustard and a pinch of your favorite calorie-free sweetener. Toss with snap peas and sprinkle with a tablespoon slivered almonds.