Summa-time Salad Series: Salade Nicoise gets a Healthy, Seasonal Upgrade
Summer time and the living’s HOT. So hot that lately my motto has been #coldfoodonly. Which is why I’m also SO obsessed with this salad right now.
Other than boiling a few ingredients (beets, eggs and green beans) there’s no cooking required. No oven time, no grilling, no sautéing, no prep work, it’s honestly not even really a recipe. It’s super simple, super nutritious, super delicious. Just the way I like it.
Salade Nicoise is traditionally composed of tuna, hard-boiled egg, cured olives, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes and some sort of dressing. I decided to take it up a notch and seasonally swap chicken eggs for duck eggs, potatoes for beets, and tuna for a hunk of romaine (and exnay the olives as there’s already plenty of other good fats in the mix). Then I topped it with a creamy, vegan dill dressing and died a little (the good kind obvi). MLF (meat-lovin’ fiance) is a fan of this one too- and that’s tough to accomplish with a salad.
Before I get into the non-recipe recipe, you just gotta know how nutritionally dense this ish is.
- Beets are high in nitric oxide which help lower cholesterol, boost stamina and enhance tolerance for exercise.
- Green beans are low in calories, high in fiber and contain flavanoids that can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Duck eggs have twice the nutritional value of a chicken egg (think folate, protein, omega-3’s) and are richer and more flavorful with a much larger yolk (where all the nutrients are). BONUS– duck eggs have different proteins in the whites than chicken eggs which some believe are easier to digest. If you have problems digesting chicken eggs (like I do) you may want to give duck eggs a try.
- Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants which can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.
- One head of romaine contains 206 milligrams (mg) of calcium (about 21% RDA). Combine that with the ingredients in this salad and you’ll get more calcium than in a glass of milk!
So you’ve got a plate full of fresh, seasonal produce, a solid amount of protein, healthy fats and loads of flavor (plus low in carbs and no sugar). This is also a properly combined meal which means all of the components of this dish can be digested optimally (think no bloat, gas, or wasted energy on breaking it down). Now that’s my idea of a balanced meal.
Go get some.
Nicoise Salad Reinvented
- ½ head of romaine (cut further into halves)
- 1 handful (about ½ cup) cherry tomatoes
- 1 large handful (about 1-2 cups) green beans, blanched
- 2 beets, boiled, peeled and chopped
- 2 duck eggs, boiled for 6 minutes
Vegan Dill Dressing
- 1 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours
- ⅔ cup filtered water
- ⅓ cup fresh dill
- ¼ cup vegan mayo (such as vegenaise)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Submerge beets in a boiling pot of water until fork tender (until 30-45 minutes). Remove and place in cold water for a few minutes. The skin should then peel right off.
- Once beets are done cooking, blanche green beans in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove and strain.
- Place duck eggs in a separate pot of water and add a dash of vinegar (which helps to peel the shell off the eggs). Bring to a boil and once boiling remove from heat (covered). Keep covered in pot for 6 minutes, then remove eggs and place in cold water. Once cooled peel shells off and cut each egg in half.
- Blend dressing ingredients together.
- Chop cherry tomatoes and cooked beets. Then compose all ingredients together on a plate and drizzle with dill dressing.