Vivid slaw tosses in beets and apples for a fresh, tangy crunch

The health benefits of incorporating the Mediterranean diet’s vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and fresh herbs are well documented. With the newly published “Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” registered dietitians Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball show how to keep these foods on regular rotation in your kitchen, with 125 recipes.

The book includes pantry lists to stock a Mediterranean kitchen, tips on avoiding food waste, and some myth-busting of claims about costs and carbs. Five-day meal plans guide those who want gluten-free, vegetarian, twice-weekly seafood or meatless Monday menus.

Here’s one quick, flavorful menu idea that’s ideal for fall. The jewel-like Shredded Beet-and-Apple Slaw is a simple but surprising mix that may have you looking at beets in a new way.

Shredded beet-and-apple slaw

In the Ball household, this gluten-free, egg-free, vegetarian slaw is the go-to side for main dishes from Mediterranean Crispy Chicken and Potatoes to pizza. Even Serena’s kids can whip together this vibrant tangle of shredded root veggies with a touch of honeyed fruit. Raw beets and carrots are common in Mediterranean veggie dishes from Italy to Israel, as a tangy and delicious mix of sweet and sharp. And even in the dreary wintertime, bright orange carrots and ruby-red beets are in season when there isn’t that much colorful fresh produce around.

1 medium lemon, cut in half

½ cup plain 2{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

1 medium apple, chopped

1 medium beet, scrubbed

1 medium carrot, scrubbed

⅓ cup chopped pecans

½ cup raisins

Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a small bowl. (Save any remaining lemon for another use.) Add the yogurt and honey and whisk together. Add the chopped apple, mix together, and set aside.

Using the large holes on a box grater, shred the beet and the carrot. (For the most efficient shredding process, use long strokes as you run the vegetable from the top to the bottom of the grater. Other shredding options include using a mandoline or a julienne peeler.)

In a serving bowl, stir the shredded beet and carrot together. Add the yogurt mixture, pecans and raisins. Stir to combine.

Note: To bump up the nutrition content, we don’t peel the beet, carrot or apple skins. Many of the phytonutrients — the components that help plants ward off disease and can help our bodies ward off disease, too — are located right beneath the skin. Peeling a fruit or vegetable strips these away.

Makes 4 servings. Nutrition per serving: 183 calories, 7 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 46 milligrams sodium, 30 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein.

— Excerpted with permission from “Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” by Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball (2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

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