One common rule of thumb in an iron rich diet is actually to eat vitamin C foods. Vitamin C complements iron absorption — you will absorb more iron in your plant-based foods if you eat high vitamin C foods along with it. Eat tomato salsa with beans or an orange with oatmeal and the tomato and orange will help you absorb more vitamin C in the beans in oatmeal. That’s a definite win until you get tired of tomato salsa and oranges. (Yes, it does happen on rare occasion.)
Tiring of the usual fare, I set my mom on a challenge to create fruit-based salads for us. She’s still on the task, but some really incredible salads and salsas have come out of all of it.
Each of these fruit salads adds a brightness to the meal. They pair well with a heavier meat-based meal but also with a grain-centered meal.
Pomegranate Orange Salad
For a fall treat, this pomegranate orange salad is a simple salad to put together and the pomegranate makes it visually impressive. Check out the recipe at the Traditional Foods site.
In the early summer when the bounty of fruit begins, a fruit salsa is a great way to enjoy the bounty in a new way. A splash of vinegar on freshly chopped strawberries intensifies the strawberry flavor and, of course, the color is bright and inviting. Find the recipe.
In another memorable meal, this peach salsa added a new dimension to one of our favorite meals. Mom writes: “We had this peach salsa with grilled salmon and brown rice pilaf, both of which are standouts on their own. However, when combined with the peach salsa, the salsa made the salmon and pilaf even more interesting. The ginger-peach salsa raises the bar for this particular dinner that has been a favorite of ours for years.” Find the full recipe here.
As our cherry tree came into production this summer, we enjoyed a great cherry salsa. Mom writes: “We enjoyed this salsa with pork chops and couscous (toasted with minced garlic and cooked in bone broth). The couscous, cherry salsa, and the pork chops sang together just deliciously. Brown rice pilaf would work as well.” Check out the recipe.
Spicy Orange Salad
This spicy orange salad may seem off-the-wall but our first taste of it is memorable. Mom writes, “When the meal was finally served – along with the citrus salad – we marveled at how wonderfully the flavors and textures complemented one another. Besides being beautiful, the citrus salad is a palate cleanser, keeping the beef and grain from seeming too heavy.” Find the recipe.