Little Leaf Lettuce Farms reached out to me and wanted to see if I was up for a challenge to come up with a winter salad recipe with their lettuce. I choose my sponsored posts carefully–being pretty busy at my full-time job as an engineer, it’s my free time that I put into these posts and want to make sure I’m making the best use of my free time! (PS. I know that full-time bloggers and others also choose to partner with brands that they really care about and stand behind too!)
I was excited to learn more about Little Leaf Lettuce because they are a a brand that seem like a great fit for me. I love trying to find ways to eat healthy but still make things delicious. I struggle with making salads that I find more interesting than those I can get at the stores near my work so it was perfect to give me more motivation to get creative.
Little Leaf Lettuce Farms is located in Devens, Massachusetts and delivers lettuce locally to the area. Part of my job and passion is to find ways to design buildings and live a more sustainable life and these principles are seen in Little Leaf Lettuce Farms. They believe in trying to use sustainable practices in all aspects of their work. To name just a few…
- They built their greenhouse to optimize the use of sunlight.
- When daylight is unavailable they use solar when possible to power their LED grow lights (which use 40% less energy than typical grow lights in the first place).
- Their greens are grown hydroponically using 100% captured rainwater.
- They built an advanced fertilization and irrigation system that uses up to 90% less water than field-grown greens.
As I started to think about my recipe, I knew that I had a few goals:
- It would be easy. I need to have something that I will actually want to make.
- It would have a variety of nutrients
- It would have some texture to keep me interested
- It will have to taste good
There seem to be a lot of ingredients, but it’s really not so bad if you have a food prep day like I do.
Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
- Little Leaf Lettuce
- Chia seeds
- Sliced pear
- Goat cheese
- Roasted sweet potato chips
- Roasted broccoli
- Crispy chickpeas
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
- Roast the broccoli and sweet potato. Thinly slice a sweet potato and slice broccoli florets. Cover veggies with olive oil on a cookie sheet and roast veggies about 20 minutes (or until they are done to your liking).
- Prep the chickpeas. Rinse and dry the chickpeas. Place a paper towel down and lay the chickpeas on there. Put a paper towel on top and move across the chickpeas to dry and loosen the skins. NOTE: I find taking the skins off kind of annoying so don’t always take them all off. I also made sure I made a lot of chickpeas so they weren’t just used for the salad. I could eat them as a snack throughout the week!
- Roast the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas on a cookie sheet and cover with olive oil. Sprinkle whatever spices you want on them. I used turmeric and paprika. Place the chickpeas in the oven. Turn chickpeas every 10 minutes or so until they are crispy enough for you.
- Ta-da! Combine all ingredients and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Why are these ingredients good for you?
I like to try to learn more about ingredients and wanted to share what I found! Full disclosure–I’m not a nutritionist so I did some Googling to find a little tidbit of why each ingredient is good for you (and me!). If you are a nutritionist and have some fun facts about any of the ingredients or any corrections–please share in the comments!
High in fiber which helps lower your risk for constipation, high cholesterol and help control your blood sugar levels. Increases iron intake and iron is needed to form red blood cells and carry oscygen throughout yoru body. (Source: LiveStrong, Top 10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds)
One of the highest fiber fruits (6 grams per medium sized fruit). Contain boron which your body needs to retain calcium. Vitamins C and copper which are antioxidant nutrients which help your immune system. (Source: PopSugar, Forget Apples! Why You Should Be Eating a Pear a Day)
Scientists said that walnuts have the highest amount of antioxidants compared to other nuts. They have
Richer in vitamins A + B, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potatssium. Easier to digest because it has less lactose and slightly different protein structure than cow’s milk. (Source: Prevention, 6 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Goat Cheese)
A serving of quinoa provides 8 grams of complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids your body needs). It is tough to find vegetarian forms of complete proteins. Twice as much fiber as other grains–helping reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. (Source: Huffington Post, So THAT’S Why You Should Be Eating Quinoa)
A cup of mashed sweet potato contains 58 grams of carbohydrates, which will easily fuel you for an hour. (Source: Runner’s World, How Sweet Potatoes Can Help Your Running)
One of the most nutritious vegetables, providing vitamin C (a days worth in a cup, chopped), potassium, vitamin B and some calcium and iron. (Source: Berkeley Wellness, Broccoli Stalks vs Florets) Vitamin C is needed to grow and repair tissues in all parts of your body. It helps make collagen which is used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin C)
Fiber, folate, protein rich (not complete like quinoa though!). (Source: LiveStrong, Health Benefits of Chickpeas)
Check out the Little Leaf Lettuce Recipes if you need some more inspiration!