Sunday, June 12, 2011

Try Something New: Arugula!

I remember a long time ago reading about a salad green called arugula. I read that it was spicier than regular greens, with a bold, peppery taste. I am not into bold, peppery salad, so I passed. Until now.

I was looking for something new... a little kick for my boring usual greens like Romaine and spinach. I decided to buy a container of arugula because it was so pretty:


It is really yummy! It has a unique flavor that I can't quite describe, but wouldn't call it "peppery." Just different, and good, and interesting. And the leaves were very tender, and cute. I thought they looked like little oak leaves! So, what is this vegetable? It is not that popular in the U.S. but I think is more well-known in other countries. So let me explain.

Arugula (pronounced "ah-ROO-guh-lah") is a vegetable related to super-healthy broccoli and is a potent cancer fighter. This article explains the many health benefits of this leafy green. It's really, really good for you.

Get your salad bowl out and get ready to indulge, because arugula has only 5 calories per cup! It also contains less than a gram of carbs, no fat or cholesterol, and just 5 mg of sodium. But in that same cup you get a half gram of protein, 0.3 grams of fiber, 74 mg of potassium, as well as calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and many other vitamins and minerals.

I have eaten it as the sole green in a salad, but I prefer it mixed with other greens. My favorite is a combination of 1 cup arugula with 1 cup mixed Romaine and spinach. It's so good as a salad base. I read in the above referenced article that it can be cooked, too! I am going to try sauteing it with olive oil and garlic and using it in the same way you'd use cooked spinach (alone, in a quiche, in an omelet, in soup).

So break out of your veggie rut and try something new! You might find a new love in the form of a leafy green.

(p.s.... take a look at my new Produce Guide at the top of the page! Hope you like it!)

19 comments:

❦ fitcetera said...

I keep trying arugula but it's too bitter for me. I think I will try it in my next quiche though. Maybe that'll help.
Or in a green smoothie. :D

Glad to see you succeeding, Lyn!
Congrats on this weeks terrific weight loss and for having such an on-track week.
You know I'm rooting for you to take this all the way home!!!

Lyn said...

fitcetera :)~

have you tried baby arugula? They say it is much less bitter. My leaves were not labeled "baby" but they were small and not bitter at all. Thank you for the cheering! I am cheering for you, too.

Tammy said...

I love Arugula. I love just letting it wilt over/in warm pasta or roasted veggies! Even spaghetti squash would work great! Add a few toasted almonds and dried fruit, even better! Just let the hot veggies do the cooking. Have Fun!

Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds said...

I love baby arugula. I agree that it's definitely not peppery as it's always been described.

Not sure if you've ever tried watercress, but that is one of my favorite greens.

Bee said...

thats funny that you posted this because i don't buy arugula very often but i just bought some today and had it for dinner in a salad and in my pasta. yummy.

Anonymous said...

It is really good to see you out of the "junk haze" again! I can tell from your recent posts that you are back on the road to good health. I appreciate your honesty as you go through the ups and downs of life and dieting.

I wish you continued health and happiness on your journey :)

-Amy

slimmer sally said...

I normally get a mix that has arugula in it. it's yummy. sort of gives the salad a back bone I guess. I have used it in some homemade soups, instead of throwing in spinach.

timothy said...

i love the baby spring greens mix with oak leaves and such. but araugula is good too! i like it much better than spinach. salad GOOOOOOD! ;)

Princess Dieter said...

I prefer the baby version. One of my very fave salads is baby arugula with parmesan, a drizzle of EVOO and ground pepper. Yum. It was served at my last two birthdays, as I love it.

I had some tonight in a Tricolore Ensalata: radicchio, arugula, endive, with a chopped tomato/vinaigrette dressing. So good with parmesan.

Anyway, I agree. Folks should try arugula. Every supermarket down here sells it and many restaurants offer it in a salad (one has a caprese over it with pesto, OMG, so good).

Happy green dreams..

Louise said...

we call it Rocket in Australia. I don't like it much, but lots of people rave about it. Very easy to grow yourself.

Alice said...

Dang. People actually like that? It's the green that's always left in the salad bowl at my house.

Yay for liking different things though, because all this means is that there's more for everyone else!

Anna Down Under said...

Yup, known as Rocket here and in the UK and very commonly used - especially by Jamie Oliver! I swear he puts olive oil and rocket in everything. LOL I love it, especially in my hubby's favorite chorizo pasta dish (or vegan chorizos when I make it for me). This stuff is yummy!
http://tinyurl.com/3mwek5u

Andra said...

It amazes me how many people ignore this delightful green. It makes wonderful pesto in addition to, or in place of, basil.

Simply dressed with lemon juice, best quality extra virgin olive oil and shavings of pecorino Romano is my favorite application.

Swistle said...

Oh! Yes, there's baby arugula in the bagged salad mix I like! I think it gives it a nice sharp flavor---not bitter exactly, but that's the category.

Anonymous said...

Timely, as always! To get out of my spinach-only salad rut, I decided to buy a bag of Spinach Spring Mix. There was this deep red "green" that was so tasty! I did some internet searching to discover it's red leaf lettuce. Love it!

neneabean said...

Arugula + beets + blue cheese + balsalmic = best salad ever! Enjoy!

KarmaKristin said...

I <3 Arugula!!! Great post! I am your newest follower and cannot wait to read more!

Michon said...

My DH took me to Cheesecake Factory today, I thought of you when I saw Arugula salad on the menu. :) Your post inspired to to get that salad, I'm SO glad I did. It was arugula, some type of almonds, yellow raisins, shaved parmesan, lemon and olive oil. WOW.

Lyn said...

Michon~

That is so cool and sounds really really good! I am going to make that sometime!