Saturday, July 17, 2010

Iceberg-Endive-Romaine-Radicchio-Green-Leaf-Red Tip-Frisee-Baby Arugula-Spinach

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When dinning out salads can be so exciting and refreshing.  Restaurants use lettuce leafs which many of us don't ever think about while we are out grocery shopping.  Most people grab a head of Iceberg, cucumber, onion and grab a dressing.

Salads have become a main entree.  People add bacon, nuts and creamy dressings.  Have you considered purchasing fresh crispy Endive or Red Leaf Lettuce?  You can create a masterpiece of a salad at home, grill up chicken, fish or steak and satisfy everyone at the table.

Most people feel salad is healthy and eating salad helps you lose weight but most people add bacon bits and creamy dressing to Iceberg lettuce when making a salad at home and doing so makes the salad fattening and you miss out on the vitamins and nutrients different lettuce leafs offer and you miss out on the wonderful flavor using many different lettuce leafs.  Also, eating raw lettuce such as spinach helps clean out your system naturally because it's known that spinach is a natural antioxidant.

Below are pictures of different kinds of lettuce leafs.  Mixing many different crispy fresh lettuce leafs together adds flavor without needing to add fattening dressings.  Take the time to purchase a handful of different kinds of lettuce leafs and give them a try.  When you get home prepare the lettuce so you have it at your fingertips when your ready to eat.  Take a strainer, break up the lettuce leafs and rinse them thoroughly or let them soak in a bowl for five to ten minutes to make the leafs clean.  Let dry and place the mixed greens into a large bowl, cover with clear wrap and when it's time to eat simply grill up chicken, fish or steak.  Some people cook up jumbo shrimp.  Preparing the salad ahead of time saves time in the long run and helps you healthier.

Iceberg lettuce does not have much nutritional value but does add a crispy fresh crunch.  When preparing Iceberg lettuce, break the leafs up with your hands because using a knife to cut up Iceberg lettuce (unless your going to eat it immediately) turns the Iceberg lettuce brown within hours.


Green Leaf Lettuce - Mild Delicate Flavor
Large amounts of vitamin A and K and green leaf lettuce is used as a natural antioxidant.


Red Tip Leaf - Tender Sweet Delicate Flavor
Red leaf lettuce holds much more nutrients compared to Iceberg lettuce.  The antioxidants are found in the red pigment tip part of the leaf.  A good source of vitamin A and K.
 

Radicchio - Bitter and Peppery Flavor
Radicchio is sometimes called Italian chicory.  Radicchio is an Italian vegetable.  Radicchio size is similar to a small head of Iceberg lettuce and it resembles a heart of read cabbage.  Radicchio holds vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. 



Frisee Lettuce - Mild Peppery Nutty Taste
Curly lettuce with long leafs connected to a connected to a whitish stem.  Sometimes the tips of the leafs are reddish but most of the time the leafs are in shades of green.  Vitamins A, B, C and E are found in Frisee.



Belgian Endive - Crisp With A Bitter Taste
Endive is a part of the chicory family.  Rich in potassium, calcium and vitamins B, C and E.  Belgian Endive adds so much flavor the mixed greens.  Endive leafs are great to use as appetizers too.  Whip up a fresh chicken, tuna or vegetable salad and place the salads on each individual leaf.  Great to whip up summer appetizers.  Try mozzarella salad or fresh guacamole salad too.  Your friends will be impressed and it's easy to do. 




Baby Arugula - Peppery Sweet Tang
Baby Arugula adds the same taste as onions BUT does not leave an aftertaste.  Vitamins found in Baby Arugula are A, C, K and Folic Acid.  Ready absorbable iron, magnesium, calcium, copper and potassium.



Spinach Leaf
Spinach is powerful.  The nutrition spinach holds especially if eaten raw in salads is strong.  Vitamins found in spinach is A, C, E, K, B2 and B6.  High in lutein and has magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, calcium, potassium, folic, acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omeg-3 fatty acids.  If you don't enjoy cooked spinach I suggest you give raw spinach a try if you enjoy salads.  I feel you'll love it.



Romaine Lettuce - Slightly Bitter Taste
Also known as cos lettuce.  The vitamins Romaine lettuce holds is A and C with calcium, folate, iron, phosphorus and potassium.  Just like Endive, Romaine lettuce is a great alternative to bread.  The extra large crispy leafs can hold salads such as chicken, tuna or vegetable salad.  Easy to roll up and eat without it being messy.  Cut down your calories by not eating bread while digesting vitamins and nutrients.