|Seared Feta Salad with Beets, Hazelnuts & Oregano Vinaigrette|
We all know that this is a particularly precarious time when it comes to health. We should all be taking good care of ourselves on a regular basis, regardless of the season, but it's worth being extra vigilant right now.
I found myself with a cold a few weeks ago, and I decided to create a dish that's both delicious AND packed with healing nutrients. Whether it was timing or placebo or that, perhaps, this salad is that good for you, I felt much better the day after enjoying it for both lunch and dinner.
Here's why I chose the ingredients in this salad:
Organic arugula: arugula is actually in the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, along with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and more. It offers anticancer phytochemicals, copious antioxidants and nutrients such as Vitamin A, K and folate. This study found arugula to be a "powerhouse" vegetable, strongly correlated to reduced chronic disease risk
Beets: among many benefits, beets may reduce systemic inflammatory markers, as well improve liver function. They're also rich in fiber, which can help aid in digestion. I sometimes experience constipation when I'm sick, so that's a major bonus!
Oregano oil: This plant-derived oil has incredible antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Not only does it combat your cold, it makes for a lovely flavor in this salad dressing! I personally buy mine from doTERRA. If you're going to use any essential oil, make sure to buy one that's high quality and food grade.
Lemon: I'm sure you've heard this, but it's true! Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C, which can offer anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, as well as cardiovascular protective and neuroprotective effects.
Garlic: from the allium family (chives, onions, shallots etc.), garlic may be a powerful agent in killing bacteria responsible for many infections. HERE is a study that shows how taking a garlic supplement may prevent the common cold.
Raw Honey: As with much of the above, consumption of honey has been shown to offer antibacterial, antioxidant, apoptotic (helps with cell turnover) and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it tastes amazing! I prefer raw honey, which seems to contain significantly more antioxidants.
The other main ingredients, such a hazelnuts, apricots and feta cheese, all contain health properties, but I mainly chose them because YUM. The components of this recipe come together to create a salad that is actually crave-worthy! It's beautiful as well, making the perfect presentation for your next dinner party, baby shower, potluck etc.
You can also take the seared feta technique and drizzle it with honey and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, served with a selection of crackers, olives and charcuterie as a fabulous appetizer!