I cannot believe that I'm more than halfway through my dietetic internship! With the finish line approaching quickly, I'm a ball of emotions. It doesn't help that THE question everyone is dying to know is, "what do you want to do when you graduate?" I am hopelessly indecisive (so I have been told), and there are too many things I'm interested in. However, one thing I am certain of is my passion for healthy cooking and introducing people to healthy, wholesome foods that they would normally shy away from.
Although it's already been 5 weeks (what?!?) since my rotation at the American Botanical Council, the time spent there is anything but a distant memory. I recall vividly the one gorgeous afternoon when I gave a presentation to the staff on the history and health benefits of Arugula. It is definitely one of the more underutilized green vegetables out there, and the fact that the majority of the audience had never tasted it before excited me. Perhaps they will think of me whenever they encounter arugula? 😉 Wishful thinking...
I most certainly believe in "practice makes perfect." With giving presentations, however, even after much practice over the course of my grad program, I'm nowhere near perfection. If only I could calm my nerves... My fingers still get clammy, and words fly out of my mouth faster than I have time to process them.
Much to my surprise, on this day, I had never felt more at ease standing in front of an audience with freshly picked arugula in my hand. Perhaps it was the tranquil setting in which I could free my mind from trying to impress my professors and fellow classmates and worrying about grades. Couple that with my love for whole foods, I was in my element. And it felt electrifying.
Here are some facts about arugula.
- Nickname: rucola, salad rocket - upon one bite, you'll understand why. It delivers an explosion of flavor when consumed.
- Flavor: aromatic, peppery, nutty, slightly mustard-like. The longer the leaf, the more peppery the kick.
- The ancient Romans and Egyptians considered it a potent aphrodisiac, and it was used to "restore vigor to the genitalia." (I love learning about food history!)
- Modern herbalists recommend it to improve digestion.
- It is actually a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes broccoli and brussel sprouts. Therefore, it contains powerful antioxidant and cancer-protective phytochemicals called glucosinolates.
- A great source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, magnesium, calcium, riboflavin, potassium, copper, iron, and zinc.
If you're pressed for time but want to add nutrients and some extra oomph to your dish, befriend arugula. In fact, the less cooked it is, the better its flavor and the more health-promoting compounds it will retain.
Simply toss it into salads, soups, and pasta; add it to sandwiches instead of lettuce or spinach; make pesto substituting it for the classic basil; and it pairs great with whole grains and cheese.
Along with the presentation, I had the pleasure of cooking and serving everyone this Chipotle Sweet Potato Arugula Salad. More than the presentation itself, I was nervous about how the dish would be received. To my excitement, everyone LOVED it, and I found myself quickly regretting not making extra. I truly love feeding people. This dish is super simple to make! The hardest part is roasting the sweet potatoes. I have a feeling you're going to enjoy the harmonious symphony of flavors going on in this dish.
It's a fantastic salad that I would gladly eat every day!
I love sweet potatoes 🙂
Heide M. says
Sounds healthy, I'll have to try it.
Diane Balch says
Well good luck to you in whatever you decide to do with your degree. You are very talented at making tasty healthy dishes, so I know you'll be a success. So glad to have you as a part of foodie friday.
BeBetsy - Smashingly Good Living says
What a wonderful delicious, colorful and healthy salad - visiting from blog hop of Moonlight & Mason jars.
We'd love to see you join us at Simply BeBetsy - our readers would love it too!
Best to you,
Sharon and Denise
Sue | My Korean Kitchen says
I love your blog! What a great combination of your dietitian study and cooking blog! You must be half scared and half excited about finishing your study soon. Keep up the good work! I heard of arugula before it still sounds very foreign to me. It's known as rocket salad here in Australia. I've only used this herb when making 삼겹살 겉절이 salad because I didn't know how else to use it. But your salad looks so light and healthy! I love the sweet potato combination as well. I will give this a try next time. Thanks Min,
Rach @ EazyPeazyMealz says
Truthfully I am not a huge arugula lover, but this...this makes me rethink. I can't believe how yummy it looks. I have decided to give arugula a second chance. Thanks. Saw you on Pin Junkie link-up, glad I did. Pinned.
This looks great. We love eating salads and my youngest is a salad junkie...lol. Would love for you to come and linkup to the Let's Get Real Blog Hop. mypinterventures.com
Lisa@ Cooking with Curls says
Follow your heart Min, do what excites you and you wont be disappointed. 🙂 I have had arugula mix salads, but never tried it alone. I will have to try that next time!!
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Don't feel pressured to know what you want to do yet! I think it's far better to take your time and try different things, and see what unfolds. You need to have some goals and plans, but having a "I definitely want to do X" strategy also sets people up for disappointment if X doesn't prove possible! Lots of interests is a good thing )
This salad is also most definitely a good thing. Delicious!
Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats says
Wow, I can't believe you are already halfway through too. Before you know it you will be done and a full blown dietician! Woot woot! This recipe sounds amazing Min, the spicy arugula with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes! YUM!
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
Our winter garden was kind of pathetic this year. The broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots never really sprouted. I think the unseasonably cold weather we had here killed most of the veggies I planted. But, boy did we have a lot of arugula! I've been picking it from my garden for the past few months. And I love the sound of this chipotle salad!
Delicious and colorful, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.