This snappy, slightly spicy and somewhat sensuous springtime Mango Spinach Salad is rich in flavonoids, fiber, folate and carotenoids (such as lutein and zeaxanthin) that inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells. And the powerhouse of phenolic compounds found in mangoes makes for a synergy of health benefits tossed into a tasty salad. MANGO SPINACH SALAD SERVES 4 TO 6
• 1 large mango, coarsely chopped
• 1/3 cup orange juice
• 1 tablespoon nut oil (such as walnut or almond)
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
• 1 teaspoon fresh-grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
• 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar, depending on ripeness of mango
• Dash of salt
• 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
• 2 to 3 green onions, sliced
• 1 large mango, chopped
• 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas (about 8 ounces), trimmed, stringed and cut in half on diagonal
• 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
• 1/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans*
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, or toast on a baking sheet in a 300-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1. To make dressing, puree first 10 ingredients (mango through salt) together in a blender or food processor; set aside.
2. To make salad, toss together spinach, green onions, chopped mango, sugar snap peas and red pepper in a large serving bowl. Pour dressing on top of salad and gently toss together until thoroughly combined. Garnish the Mango Spinach Salad with toasted pecans and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Kris Wetherbee is a contributing editor who lives and tends her herbs in western Oregon.
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