The best thing about salad leaves or lettuce, is that they are a universal favourite from children to the elderly of the family. And for some children, it is the only way to make them eat greens sans the coercion.
Not only is this a super crunchy and juicy meal, but it is also packed with minerals and nutrients that our bodies need.
Lettuce leaves contain lots of moisture. Other than that it also contains protein, carbohydrates, fats, sugars and a substantial quantity of dietary fibres. Minerals include iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and sodium.
Vitamins found in lettuce leaves are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, foliates vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, and vitamin K.
Lettuce contain ample amounts of dietary fibre, which help clean the insides of our intestines and speed up the digestion process. Not to mention prevents constipation and bowel related diseases as well.
Consuming dietary fibre makes us feel full, helping us to eat less, hence losing weight in a healthy manner.
Consuming raw salads gives our body a boost of antioxidants that helps keep it safe form free radicals.
Healthier Neuron Cells
Lettuce leaf extracts poses the ability to control neuron cell deaths, which can even contribute to memory loss. This also helps protect our body from neurodegenerative diseases.
Cuts on cholesterol
Consuming green leaves can protect our heart and the entire cardiovascular system from disease simply by regulating the cholesterol count in our bodies, a process known as lipid peroxidation which is a form of degenerating lipids.
Lettuce has been used in Unani medicine, a form of ancient Greek medicine, as a sleep inducer for many years now. This is because of a chemical found in these leaves, which can decrease the heart rate and can block excitatory signal processes in the muscular and neural tissues. All these help one fall asleep faster, without any side effects. One of the best things about salads is the infinite amount of recipes you could create with them, and play around for fun colourful meals that are enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Fresh and firm lettuce
3 tbsp olive oil
One medium lemon, cut in half
Fresh parmesan cheese
Make sure grates of grill are clean and turn to medium high. Brush lettuce halves liberally with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, cut side and back side. Then sprinkle each halve with some salt. Grill for 3 minutes, cut side down, pressing with your tongs to make sure the lettuce gets a good sear. Flip and grill for one or 2 more minutes. Remove from grill. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, drizzle with remaining olive oil. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over each half. Top with a tablespoon of parmesan on each halve.
CASHEW CHICKEN LETTUCE CUPS
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp olive oil
2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1½ tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp corn starch
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup unsalted cashews
Lettuce cups or butter lettuce
Green onions, for serving (optional)
Heat the butter and the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add in a single layer of chicken. Add salt and pepper to chicken. Allow to cook for 3-minutes or until brown and then flip onto the other side. Let it cook for an additional 3-minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the heat to low and then stir in the garlic and cook. While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, and corn starch in a small bowl. Stir into the skillet and cook with chicken over low heat, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in cashews. Serve in lettuce cups or over rice if preferred. Top with chopped green onions if desired.
Recipes and photo: collected