When I think about sunflowers four thoughts enter my mind: Summer. Cottage Gardens. Showy Flowers. Bird Magnet. Yet this iconic symbol of summer is much more, it’s the source of a mild, nutty, health promoting snack: sunflower seeds. In today’s post I am spreading these seeds in a salad of field greens in response to June’s Recipe Redux challenge: Sowing Seasonal Seeds.
Sunflower seeds are small but mighty. Packed with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they may help lower your cardiovascular risk and blood pressure. They are a source of protein and fiber which aids in weight control by filling you up. Some of their key nutrients include: vitamin E, pantothenic acid, folate, niacin and riboflavin. Like nuts and other seeds, they contain plant phytochemicals – substances important in the treatment and prevention of many diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because they are calorie dense, remember to snack on small portions of raw or salt-free roasted sunflower seeds (one handful) or add by the tablespoon to cereals, salads, baked goods, and trail mixes.
My green salad topped with grilled asparagus and hard boiled eggs is nutritious in its own right. But sprinkled with sunflower seeds maximizes its flavor, texture and nutritional profile.
I hope you are inspired to try my summer salad with sunflower seeds. For a casual summer meal, my suggestion is to serve it with blackened tuna and herbed quinoa. Please check out the links at the bottom of my post for more creative recipes using seeds.
What are your favorite seeds and how do you enjoy them?
Field Greens, Asparagus, Egg, & Sunflower Seed Salad
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 7 min
Ingredients (serves 4)
for the salad
- 2 cups mesclun
- 1 pound asparagus, washed and trimmed
- 2 hard cooked eggs, halved
- 2 Tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- ground pepper, to taste
for the dressing
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon pear infused white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
for grilled asparagus
1. Preheat grill.
2. Lightly coat asparagus spears with canola oil. (A mister works especially good for this.) Sprinkle with sea salt.
3.Grill asparagus for approximately 5 minutes. During grilling, roll spears 1/4 turn every minute to ensure even cooking.
4. Remove from grill and set aside.
for salad dressing
Add ingredients for dressing together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.
In a large bowl add mesclun. Stir salad dressing to combine and pour over greens. Toss well. Top greens with grilled asparagus and hard cooked eggs. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and freshly ground pepper.