Designed by: Chef Mark Allison, Director of Culinary Nutrition at Dole Food Company.

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Arugula, Mozzarella and Black Grapes

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 2 cups low fat mozzarella, in large crumbles
  • 1 cup black grapes, halved
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely minced
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • 2 tbsp dried blueberries
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves

Preparation

  1. Arrange the arugula on a serving platter. Top with mozzarella and grapes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and minced jalapeño.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds, blueberries and basil.
  4. Serve with warm crusty whole wheat bread or a toasted cinnamon and fruit bread.

Nutrition Facts of Featured Ingredients

Arugula
A leafy green dense with the natural antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. In addition to fighting free radical activity, these vitamins offer great immune system support. Vitamin C has also been identified for its role in preventing cancer and fighting the common cold. Vitamin A is great for the eyes, skin, bones and teeth, while vitamin K is known to promote bone health and brain function while acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Three cups of arugula provide more than 100% of your daily vitamin K needs.

Black Grapes
Anthocyanins are the flavonoid compound that gives black grapes their dark color; the darker the fruit, the higher the anthocyanin content. A natural antioxidant, anthocyanin protect your body from damage from free radicals, which are produced as your body breaks down food. Free radicals cause cell damage and death, contributing to the aging process. A study published in the 2010 Annual Review of Food Science and Technology found that anthocyanin may help reduce inflammation and cancer activity, alleviate diabetes and control obesity.

Blueberries
Have been shown to have the ability to address gut inflammation by aiding good gut bacteria. The phytochemicals from blueberries provide a near-protective effect that may lower the risk of Parkinson’s Disease or slow disease progression. Blueberries are capable of slowing down the formation of new fat cells and may increase the secretion of insulin, while reducing the digestion of sugars in the small intestine, thus having multiple anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects.

This post brought to you by DolePlants for Human Health Institute and UNC Nutrition Research Institute.