GF Recipes, Healthy Living

Fennel Orange and Sesame Salad and New Year, New You!

24 Comments 05 January 2012

Fennel Orange and Sesame Salad and New Year, New You!

Welcome to the first installment of New Year, New You!  Hallie of Daily Bites and Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen have organized an inspirational blogging event with the goal of encouraging all of us to “Take the Pure Living Plunge”!

What does Pure Living mean?  Every Thursday in January you’ll hear from various gluten-free bloggers who will encourage you to take your current definition to a deeper level.

Today, I am thrilled to be joined by Ali of Nourishing Meals and Wendy of Celiacs in the House as we challenge you to Eat More Produce!

How can you fit more produce into your diet without eating salads at every meal?  We’re not asking you to become a rabbit, but there are very balanced ways you can beef up your daily percentage of fruits and veggies.


An easy way to start your day with produce is to add a serving of fruit to your breakfast. Having oatmeal?  Top it with fruit.  Yogurt?  Top it with fruit.  Toast?  You guessed it.  Fruit. Add strawberry slices instead of jam.  Worried about the extra calories?  Ignore them!  With just over 40 calories in a half cup of blueberries, the health benefits far outweigh the calories.  (Take the stairs instead of the elevator if it makes you feel better!)

But my favorite trick to is add greens to your smoothies.  Greens?  There are three nutrient-rich greens that are almost unrecognizable by even the most discerning palates when hidden in a smoothie.  Go ahead, toss in a fistful of spinach, kale, or swiss chard.  Paired with a few power fruits, you won’t even taste them.  Promise.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Do you eat eggs for breakfast?  Saute chopped veggies in olive oil and then pour your eggs over top.  You have an easy veggie omelet in minutes.


Lunch is by far the easiest meal for me to get my produce in.  Salad, salad, salad.  But don’t get locked into the same salad day after day.  Mix it up.  Look for color.  Pair veggies with fruits.  I have a lovely Fennel Orange and Sesame Salad below to share with you.  If your taste buds are happy, you aren’t going to mind Eating More Produce.


I’m a huge snacker, so I need to make sure my snacks are nutritious and satisfying.  I want to challenge you to replace anything in a wrapper with produce.  I’m not asking you to be excited about gnawing on a celery stalk instead of a granola bar.  But you can get creative, wake up those taste buds, and Eat More Produce!  How about an apple and peanut butter? Hummus and veggie slices?  Cucumbers topped with salsa?  Or choose your favorite seasonal fruit and add some nuts.  When you reach for a package, think again, and find something that grew from the ground instead.


I love the Meatless Monday movement.  I loved it so much, in fact, that meatless meals slowly replaced our meat meals, and we are now vegetarians.  When I started tasting the incredible flavors in meatless dishes I found that I wasn’t missing meat at all.  Two of my favorite resources are Ricki’s Wellness Weekends and Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays. Do a little surfing and try some new recipes. Start with one night a week.

Whether or not you’re eating meat, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that 2/3 of your dinner plate is filled with produce.  Sound overwhelming?  Aim for half.  The most important part is that you Eat More Produce.

I love a good stirfry for dinner.  You can toss practically any chopped veggies in a wok, and with a nice sauce or a few spices it tastes amazing over brown rice.

The bottom line is that you can easily Eat More Produce at every meal of the day and in between.  I just takes a little forethought.

Fennel Orange and Sesame Salad

by Heather 

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of green leaf lettuce
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 T. chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 T. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black sesame seeds
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


1.  Layer lettuce at the bottom of a salad bowl.

2.  Add cucumber, fennel bulb, and clementine slices.

3.  Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad.

4.  Sprinkle with fennel fronds.

Serves 4

Don’t forget to stop by The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen and Celiacs in the House today to hear more produce enhancing tips from Ali and Wendy.

And here’s the schedule for the rest of the month of January:

We’re in for a month of inspiration!
What ideas can you share for increasing your daily produce?
This recipe was also shared at:

Your Comments

24 Comments so far

  1. Love your tips and that salad is beautiful, Heather! Thanks so much for helping to kick off this month of eating well. :)

    • Heather says:

      My pleasure! I love how Ali, Wendy, and I all had such different aspects of produce tips to share. I’ve learned so much from their posts! Thanks for inviting me along on the pure eating ride!

  2. What a wonderful bunch of tips, Heather!! I love love love this salad. I am a huge fennel fan. I roast it all of the time and add it to all types of things. This salad will be going on much must-make list for sure!!

  3. Gorgeous salad, Heather. It’s like a bowl of sunshine in the dark of winter. Color is so important to me, especially in the winter. Good thing that lots of color means lots of nutrients too.

  4. That is one gorgeous salad, Heather!! Who wouldn’t want to eat that? 😉 Love the tips and reminders, too! Happy to be participating in Hallie and Lexie’s event with you and so many wonderful other folks! :-)


    • Heather says:

      This is a wonderful event! Can’t wait to be inspired by your upcoming tips. This time of year we all need reminders to stretch a little and think outside the box. I’m so lucky to have friends like you who help lead the way!

  5. I think all the dark weather is making crave clean bright crispy salads. This sound lovely.

  6. Ricki says:

    Great tips, Heather, thanks! (And you know I already agree with that smoothie trick–and I would have picked those same three as “tasteless” when combined with fruit, etc.). :) Your salad looks wonderful–I am on a quest to eat more fennel as I try to like it more, so this looks perfect.

    • Heather says:

      Yes, my smoothie friend! <3 I had to learn to like fennel as our CSA gives us gigantic fennel bulb/stalks/fronds every Fall. I think the key to tempering its licorice flavor is a citrus/vinegar combination.

  7. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    Share your great fermented food recipes at my Probiotic Food Linky – open through Februray 6, 2012.

  8. Melanie says:

    Great tips on eating more produce! I too eat a big salad at lunch, but since I’m easily bored I’m constantly switching up the veggies, which has the perk of making it more nutritious! Your fennel orange salad is so pretty. I love cooked fennel, but the strong black licorice taste in raw fennel is something I cannot get over. Maybe one day lol :)

  9. I love the mix of orange and fennel together. 2 ingredients that are readily available too! Thanks for sharing this with us at Whole Food Wednesdays. Hope to see you next week.

  10. Linda says:

    I love the green and orange in this salad. It looks delightful. I’m with you. Salad is easy lunch food, but I often get set in my salad ways and forget to add things like oranges.


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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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