Monday, October 20, 2008

Garden Orchard Salad

I caught the tail end of the conversation between Terry Gross the host of "Fresh Air" and Micahel Pollen on our local NPR affiliate WAMU. He was describing how salmon caught in Alaska was shipped over to China to be filleted and chicken raised in California were shipped over to China again to be packaged. I mentioned this to DH who immediately asked if they were being shipped alive. That part was not mentioned but I doubt that they'd be shipping them alive, anyway it is a quiet a while from harvest to plate. The more I know about our food sources and food processing techniques the curiouser it gets.

While it is very easy to eat local during the spring and summer months I have found it is almost impossible trying to do the same during the winter months. Last night's frost ended the harvest from the backyard for the season. I also made probably one of my last visits to the local Farmer's market for the season on Sunday. On a cold windy day the Farmers market was still doing brisk business. There were apples, pumpkins of all sizes, bell peppers of all colors and broccoli. I also picked up a bunch of my favorite green, multicolored swiss chard. There was a researcher from the University of Maryland Maryland Cooperative extension doing a demonstration of healthy tasty salads.

I am not a big salad fan but I stopped by to pick some of the recipes she was handing out and taste the Garden Orchard Salad. It tasted really good, for somebody who does not eat broccoli even when cooked to have found this salad tasty with raw broccoli is surprising in itself. I also found out that the salad dressing had vanilla yogurt! I was able to pick all of the ingredients at the market and was ready to cook it for dinner. I was not disappointed, it tasted fresh and crispy and ofcourse the peanuts made a lot of difference as well. I steamed the broccoli but feel free to use it raw.


Note: If you like Vannila yogurt, the honey in the recipe is not required. If spice is not your thing leave the chili garlic sauce dressing as well.

Recipe Source: Agriculture Cooperative Extension, University of Maryland

Serves: 3-4
1. 2 Cups worth of broccoli heads
2. 1/2 cup worth of asparagus with the hard end chopped and then cut into about 2 inch pieces
3. 1 carrot grated into slightly bigger pieces
4. Apple cored and chopped
5. 2 tbsp of roasted unsalted peanuts chopped roughly
6. 1/2 cup of yogurt whisked to smooth (I used home made plain yogurt)
7. 1/2 tbsp honey
8. 1/2 tbsp garlic chili sauce

1. Heat water in a sauce pan, add salt and cook the broccoli and asparagus for 4-5 minutes and pour cold water immediately and drain - this step is not needed if you like it raw.
2. Chop the broccoli and asparagus into smaller pieces.
3. In a bowl toss the broccoli, asparagus, carrots, apples and the peanuts
4. Separate the yogurt into two containers, whisk the honey into one and the chili sauce into the other.
5. Separate the salad into 2 containers, add the honey yogurt into one and the chili yogurt into the other. Let it sit for a few minute (OR)

drizzle the dressing over the salad when you are ready to eat.


  1. This is a very healthy recipe. Looks so good. Nice recipe. YUM! So colorful...

  2. I am not sure why, but I do not like vegetables and fruits mixed together in a salad. I like them separately though. Loved your salad idea minus the fruit of course!

  3. Looks good, perhaps I used to make it a similar kind of salad few years ago, but never with broccoli LOL..Its better to steam the broccoli florets for few minutes and then add in salad.Yogurt is much more healthy salad dressing than other options..
    hugs and smiles

  4. You dont like salads? This sure sounds delicious, love both the dressings seperately and these will even taste great together...

  5. That is a delicious looking salade, one of the fish i like to eat is salmon.
    Beautiful colours

  6. Indo, Oh! that's bad that you were disappointed after all that work. It sure looks good.

    I like salads esp. if they have beans in them. very filling. Now If only I can make myself eat all those leafy greens raw :(

  7. Sukanya it tastes as good as it looks, give it a try.

    RC I totally understand what you mean, I used to feel kind of icky about it too but I have to like apples in salads. Substitute with raw mango if you do have them.

    Jaya, Welcome! I guess steamed broccoli loses some of its broccoliness :)

    Sig, nope! unless it is slathered with hot sauce :) you are right, I tried them together as well the slight taste of honey did enhance the taste.

    HC, sure amazing right the carbon that gets burned before food reaches our plate.

  8. Healthy recipes with fruits n this comba..sure will give a try..

  9. Kay! My bad! That was a typo, I was not disappointed, it did taste really good. Boiled peanuts or even black beans might be a great idea. Will try that next time.

  10. Sounds like a nice salad, ISG! Talking about food sources- I recently watched an Oprah episode where she talks about cage-free/free range eggs/meat versus the caged ones. She was very non-committal about it but after watching that show, I'll be looking for cage free/free range products from now on.

  11. Vani, I did watch that show and talked about it in the previous blog post. Seeing those calves and pigs standing in those tiny pens was really sad, though I don't eat both but I am sure chickens get the same treatment. I have been buying free range eggs for a while now but it is not that easy to find free range chicken and stuff.


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