Orange Walnut Mixed Greens Salad

Eating greens raw is very foreign to Indians, and I felt the same way too. We are so not used to the notion of something that is raw, tasting good. I forced myself to eat salads, when I couldn’t eat anything else because of my gestational diabetes. My diet salad consisted of greens, chopped egg whites, almonds, cucumbers and tomatoes. I was off fruits then. And then, the diabetes was gone..but I realized that I didn’t hate salads. I slowly started experimenting,  by adding more flavorful ingredients and arrived at this. This is a salad with orange, cranberries and walnuts, and you can make your own dressing using the orange juice. This is the best salad I ever made and also my favorite.

If you are someone skeptical about eating salads, try this out, I promise that even if you are not crazy about eating salads from there on, you will definitely not hate them. This spring mix greens is very low in calories and filling too. This green salad along with a cup of cut up watermelons was my dinner yesterday, and I felt very full and not hungry. 4 1/2 cup of spring mix greens is only 20 calories and 0 fat, with a significant amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron not to mention the protein and fiber content. They are very good for you, and they also make you feel good.(since you are eating healthy, 🙂 )

This salad goes to the ‘Green Gourmet Event‘ hosted by Preeti at Relishing Recipes.

Ingredients:

2 cups spring mix greens

1 orange

2 tbsp shelled walnuts

1 tbsp dried cranberries

1/4 red onion sliced thin

2 tsp olive oil

salt

pepper

Method:

Start by zesting the orange. Use a grater to grate the outer skin of the orange. Make sure you get only the orange part and not the white pith. Make sure you get about 2 tsp of orange zest.

Next peel the orange using your knife. Take off the top of the orange, and then the bottom, so that it sits flat on your cutting board. Follow the contour of the orange with your knife to take of the peel, making sure you take off the entire pith, i.e. you shouldnt see any white parts on the orange. Now follow the white membrane that you can see, and cut in between them, to get sections of an orange. I should have taken pictures, that would have made it easy. Next time, I definitely will and update this post. Until then, you can follow this video.(Its not by me, I just got it off of youtube.)

Squeeze the remaining orange with all your might, so that you get every drop of juice possible from it. Collect the juice in a wide bowl. Place the orange juice the microwave and set it on high for 2-3 minutes. Pause and stir it every minute or so. What you are looking for, is for the juice to reduce to about 1 tbsp. This way when you make the dressing with the juice, it wont be watery, and the flavors are concentrated. When the juice reduces, take it out of the microwave and set it to cool.

Meanwhile, take the shelled walnuts in a small dry pan, and toast them over a medium high flame. When toasted, remove the nuts and chop them coarsely. Place the spring mix greens in a bowl, add the thinly sliced red onion, add the cranberries and walnuts. Add the olive oil to the reduced orange juice, and whisk well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing with the ingredients in the bowl. Top with the orange segments. Toss lightly to combine. Take care not to crush the orange segments. Toss the dressing with the salad, just before eating or serving.

Place the salad on the serving platter and sprinkle with the reserved orange zest. Your zesty orange salad is ready!!!

Verdict: It was a good balance of sweet, crunch and spicy and very orangey. I didn’t think it would be spicy, but the raw red onion slices were peppery that added some heat to the salad, which balanced the sweetness of the orange and cranberries. I really loved it, and I would make it over and over again.

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