Dr William Cook, Guest Blog – Who said salad was boring?

This week we have a very special guest blogger, Elior’s very own Head of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr William Cook. He takes a closer look at the salad range for Elements and how the ingredients don’t just taste great but also have some great nutritional benefits.

Who said salad was boring?

Who would have thought it? We’re in the middle of a heatwave and at long last are getting to enjoy a summer that is reminiscent of our childhood days. The good news is that our Elements summer salads are much more exciting than the limp lettuce and salad cream (or should that be sandwich cream?!) that was served way back.

To celebrate the arrival of summer, our chefs have created some exciting salads for you to enjoy utilising some of the season’s finest ingredients.   These new dishes not only look and taste amazing but are packed full with nutritious ingredients.  Read on for some of the nutritional highlights of just small selection of our delicious salads.

Salad boxes 1

Rustic Rice, Bean & Squash Salad

Oh là là!  The red rice in this dish comes from the Carmargue region in southern France.  This particular variety of rice was created by chance by white rice being cross-pollinated with wild rice.  The resulting plants were cultivated and the ‘Carmargue red rice’ variety was born and went into full-scale production in 1992- a relative baby in the world of rice!  Carmargue red rice is less processed than many white rices, meaning that the bran and germ have not been removed which is where much of the good nutrition is stored including essential B vitamins, fibre and minerals.  The natural red colour is due to the presence of a group of compounds known as anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants, also found in red and purple vegetables including red cabbage and radicchio.

Mexican Quinoa & Guac Salad

The Incas call quinoa the ‘mother grain’. Not surprising considering the grain is a ‘complete protein’, containing all nine essential amino acids. It is also naturally ‘gluten free’.  Squeeze some fresh lime over this delicious salad and imagine you are in Mexico.  Bliss.

Poached Salmon, Pomegranate, Sweet Potato and Pea Tabbouleh

Salmon is a fantastic source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamins B6 and B12, selenium and iodine.  Salmon is an ‘oily’ fish and most adults are recommended to eat at least two portions of fish each week, one of which should be an oily fish such as salmon (this advice differs for pregnant and breastfeeding woman).  Salmon is rich in two types of omega-3 fatty acids- eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA)- that can only be obtained from our diet; and are important for health including maintaining normal blood pressure and the function of the heart and brain.

Avocado Pulse Buddha Bowl

A scattering of flaked almonds finishes this humdinger of a dish dish- but this is more than just a garnish.  Almonds contain 15 essential nutrients and are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and, would you believe it, a source of iron too!

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