Strawberries!

We always look forward to fresh local strawberries.  They are another sign that summer has finally arrived.  They make a colourful addition to any meal and they have the benefit of being low in calories but relatively high in nutritional value.  From a nutritional standpoint, they are high in anthocyanin and ellagic acid, an excellent source of Vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid and contain vitamin-A, vitamin-E and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and beta-carotene in small amounts as well as minerals like potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine.

Pam Collacott, CTV News Ottawa’s Food Specialist, recently ran a feature on local strawberries and demonstrated the following Brown Rice and Strawberry Salad.  Click here to see the demo and other strawberry recipes.  The recipe is from Foodland Ontario  www.foodlandontario.ca.  We added the Nutritional analysis.  Add a half a grilled chicken breast per person and a small green salad to complete the meal.

BROWN RICE AND STRAWBERRY SALAD

Serves 4 to 6.

  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole grain brown rice
  • 1/3 cup (83 mL) each: coarsely chopped pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup (63 mL) each: cider vinegar and vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) liquid honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground or cracked pepper
  • 3 cups (750 mL) hulled quartered Ontario strawberries
  • 3 Ontario green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) torn fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup (83 mL) slivered dried apricots
  • Garnish: Ontario lettuce leaves, fanned strawberries and basil leaves
  1. In medium saucepan, bring stock and rice to boil; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until just tender. Drain off any liquid and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile in dry medium skillet, toast pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. In bowl or jar, mix or shake together vinegar, oil, honey and pepper.
  4. Five to 10 minutes before serving, pour dressing over berries and toss to coat. Add toasted nuts, seeds, green onions and basil to rice; stir in strawberry mixture and apricots.

Serve at room temperature on lettuce lined plates and garnish with fanned strawberries and basil leaves if desired.

Nutritional Analysis per serving, based on 6 servings (by PPEP using EATracker):  

Brown Rice and Strawberry Salad (alone): 360 kcal, 25 g fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 29 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre, 10 g protein, 120 mg sodium. Canada’s Food Guide Servings: Vegetables and Fruits 1.3, Grain Products 0.3, Meat Alternatives  0.7.

Brown Rice and Strawberry Salad served with 1/2 grilled chicken breast and 1/3 cup of spring greens:  455 kcal, 26 g fat, 3.2 g saturated fat, 30 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 29 g protein, 120 mg sodium. Canada’s Food Guide Servings: Vegetables and Fruits 1.7, Grain Products 0.3, Meat Alternatives  1.4.