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08/07/2007, 01:53 PM
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5 Veggies That Make Any Salad Super-Healthy

<CITE>Posted Tue, Jul 31, 2007, 9:30 am PDT </CITE>

Those fresh, delicious summer salads that sustain life in sauna-like weather? They can do a lot more than keep you cool. In fact, five salad veggies turn out to be antioxidant superstars. Toss a handful into any bowl and you'll instantly up your defenses against everything from wrinkles to heart disease and even help make your RealAge (http://www.realage.com/?cbr=YAH07) younger. Then season some olive oil and vinegar with a few of the herbs and spices below and you'll punch up the antioxidant power even more. Health food doesn't get any easy-breezier!

5 Superstar Veggies
Red chicory
7 Stellar Seasonings
Fresh ginger

The #1 Vegetable
Of the 27 vegetables scientists studied, the almighty artichoke led the antioxidant pack. Plus it's rich in both fiber and folate, two good-for-you nutrients. Look for plump but compact globe-like artichokes with thick, green, fresh-looking scales.

The Runners-Up
Radishes, broccoli, and even luscious leeks are stocked in most supermarkets. But what's red chicory? An Italian salad favorite with an oddly appealing bitter taste. Try mixing it with romaine.
The High-Powered Herbs and Spices
Sage, rosemary, and thyme...when Simon and Garfunkel made them famous, nobody knew they had disease-fighting powers. Cumin, a spice used heavily in Indian food, is even more impressive, as is ginger. But experiment: All of these seasonings are simple ways to boost the health -- and flavor -- of any salad (soups too). Here's a get-you-started recipe.
This elegant mix is both light and filling -- perfect to serve a few friends on a sultry night.
Serves 4
10 baby artichokes, peeled and quartered
2 cups diagonally cut asparagus
1/3 cup thinly sliced radishes
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 19-oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
8 large romaine leaves
1. Steam the artichokes for 8 minutes. Add the asparagus and steam about 2 minutes more, or until crisp-tender. Drain and run vegetables under cold water. Let cool.
2. Make dressing: Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Combine radishes, onions, and beans in salad bowl with half of dressing and toss well. Gently stir in artichokes and asparagus.
4. To serve, place 2 romaine leaves each on four plates. Divide salad equally among plates and drizzle with remaining dressing.