Fighting Heart Disease with Salad Dressing

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I am what you would call a ‘health fact nut.’ I love finding random health tidbits on the internet that can inspire me to improve my diet and give me the mental push to continue with my healthy eating habits.  Recently, I came across some new information which really inspired me to kick my salad-noshing habits into gear.

According to researchers at Harvard University, salad dressings contain alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that has protective effects against heart disease.

If that’s not a reason to use more salad dressing in my diet, I don’t know what is. This fact alone gave me the push to try out this new mixed greens salad with apples, red onion, goat cheese, cranberries and toasted walnuts. Ingredients are super easy to find at the grocery store and if you can’t find the cherry balsamic vinaigrette, any vinaigrette salad dressing will do!

To make, simply throw the walnuts in the oven for about eight minutes and then toss all the ingredients together with the arugula in a bowl. The result is a light and nutritious salad that has the right amount of crunch in each bite. The vinaigrette really helps the flavors blend together in harmony as you pile through the salad.

 

This salad really packs a punch too when it comes to heart boosting power. Walnuts are packed with heart-healthy antioxidants and cranberries can increase your HDL cholesterol levels (that’s the good cholesterol you want to keep). Add in the power of salad dressing, and you have the makings of a great heart healthy dish.  

Quick tip: Feel free to season the walnuts with your favorite seasoning before placing them in the oven for your own twist on this salad!

Mixed Greens with Apples, Red Onion and Toasted Walnuts

2/3 C. Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 C. Walnuts
5 oz. Spinach arugula salad mix
1 small Granny Smith apple, diced
1 small Crisp red apple, diced
1/4 C. Finely chopped red onion
4 oz. Crumbled goat cheese
1/2 C. Dried sour cherries or cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place walnuts on a baking tray and bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with Simply Dressed Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette and gently toss. Serve.

Serves: 6-8

Laurel Sprague

Association for Dressings & Sauces

Recipe courtesy of the T. Marzetti Company