Yields: 4 servings
- 2 whole wheat pitas (We used Joseph’s Bakery Flax, Oat Bran, & Whole Wheat Pita Bread – can be found at most grocery stores)
- 8 cups organic, dark leafy greens (i.e. romaine, spinach, kale)
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/3 c. thinly sliced radishes
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- Small handful of mint, minced (yields about 2 heaping tablespoons when minced)
- Small handful of parsley, minced (yields about 2 heaping tablespoons when minced)
- black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ c. pomegranate juice
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly spray with olive oil.
- Chop the pita into one-inch squares and place in a single, non-overlapping layer on the cookie sheet.
- Bake the pita until golden brown and crispy, approximately 6-8 minutes (if your pita takes up two cookie sheets, rotate the top and bottom sheets halfway through the cooking time).
- Chop all of the leafy greens, tomato, cucumber, radishes, and onion. Mince the mint and parsley. Liberally add some freshly ground black pepper. Toss in a large salad bowl.
- Once the pita is removed from the oven and cooled, add it to the salad and toss.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Serve on the side, or if eating all of the salad at this time, toss the salad with the dressing.
- If you’re prepping the ingredients ahead of time or packing it for lunch, store the pita and the dressing in air-tight containers, so the ingredients won’t get soggy or wilt.
- Serve as a side with a lean protein, or top with grilled chicken or grilled tofu.
Per serving: 131 calories, 4.9 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 189.8 mg sodium, 18.1 g carbohydrate, 5.2 g fiber, 5.9 g sugar, 6.1 g protein.
Dark Leafy Greens: Salad greens are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and also contain some B vitamins. They’re also a rich source of iron, calcium, and some trace minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. If the mixed greens contain dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, they’ll also be good sources of vitamins E and K. These vitamins and various phytonutrients can help combat cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
Whole Grains: Whole grains are higher in fiber, minerals, and vitamins compared to their more processed, refined counterparts. Their main health benefits include reducing the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma, colorectal cancer, inflammatory disease, gum disease, and tooth loss. They also lead to healthier carotid arteries, healthier blood pressure levels, and better glycemic control.
Tomato: Tomatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, copper, vitamin B3, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B1, phosphorus, protein, tryptophan, choline, and iron. It’s also plentiful in numerous phytonutrients, including lycopene. They offer cardiovascular support, support bone health, and offer anti-cancer benefits. Also, while these studies aren’t as numerous as conclusive, there is recent evidence suggesting tomatoes may reduce risk of some neurological disorders (like Alzheimer’s disease) and obesity.
Cucumber: Cucumbers are high in vitamin K, molybdenum, citamin C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, tryptophan, and vitamin B5. They offer many antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer benefits.
Radish: Radishes have a high vitamin C and fiber content. They offer protection against heart disease, diabetes, diverticulitis, and cancer. They’re also very low in calories.
Onion: Onions are high in vitamin C, fiber, molybdenum, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and tryptophan. They are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that not only contribute to their odor, but to their varied health benefits, including benefits to connective tissue . Onions, when in combination with a vegetable-rich diet, can contribute to heart attack prevention. Onions can also help increase bone density, proving especially useful for women of menopausal age experiencing bone density loss. Additionally, onions offer cancer protection benefits and contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Mint: Mint can aid with digestion, nausea, headaches, respiratory disorders/ coughs, asthma, skin care, oral care, and cancer.
Parsley: Parsley contains vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and iron. It promotes optimal health, acts as a rich source of antioxidants, helps for a healthy heart, and offers protection against rheumatoid arthritis.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 75% of olive oil is made up of monounsaturated fats. Studies have shown when individuals increase their intake of monounsaturated fat (and decrease intake of other fats), their triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels decrease. Olive oil also contains a wide variety of polyphenols, which contribute to a variety of their health benefits, like their anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits.
Lemon: Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which makes them great antioxidant and antibacterial agents.
Black Pepper: Black pepper is a good source of manganese, vitamin K, iron, fiber, and copper. It’s known to improve digestion and promote intestinal health.
Pomegranate: Pomegranates are most known for their strong antioxidant properties. They may be effective in reducing heart disease risk factors and also offer antibacterial properties.