For the Love of Salad by Jeanelle Mitchell

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For the Love of SaladStars: ****1/2

Whitecap Books (2010)
176 pages
Nonfiction – Cooking

Summary: For the Love of Salad is a comprehensive guide to a dish we eat (or should!) almost every day. From leafy greens to pasta salads, this book addresses them all—and them all, with flavorful dressings that will take all your salad creations to a whole other level. – from Whitecap Books

I didn’t think I was a big salad eater but that’s mostly because I think of lettuce when I think of salads. But there are so many other types of salads.

After some tips for successful salads (that’s 19 pages of tips!) you’ll find recipes in the following categories:

  • Leafy Green Salads
  • Garden Vegetable Salads (Hold the Lettuce)
  • Grain, Pasta, Rice & Bean Salads
  • Meat & Chicken Salads
  • Seafood Salads

Okay so personally, I’ll never be making anything out of the seafood salads section but I know there are plenty out there who would.

Some of the topics covered in salad tips are: Buying and Preparing Leafy Greens, Buying and Preparing Fresh Vegetables, Fresh Herbs, Salad Extras, Dressing, Kitchen Equipment and recipes for three homemade dressings: Maple-Glazed Pecans or Honey-Glazed Walnuts, Basic Vinaigrette and Basic Creamy Dressing.

I’d like to share a recipe:

Five-Spice Grilled Pork Tenderloin & Noodle Salad

© 2010 For The Love of Salad. Used with permission. pg 132

4 to 6 Main-Course Servings

This Asian-inspired salad is delicious and unique, with intriguing flavours and textures in every bite. Lean pork tenderloin is easy to grill when butterflied; you can also substitute chicken or shrimp. Whole wheat pasta is a good source of fiber and has an appealing chewiness.


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) five-spice powder (see tip)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 10 oz (300 g) dry whole wheat spagehettini
  • 2 cups (500 mL) bean sprouts or shredded napa cabbage
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, cut in to thin matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint

1. For the dressing (and pork marinade): combine orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, and orange zest in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil until well combined. Set aside.

2. Cut tenderloins in half lengthwise, almost but not all the way through; open like a book. Place in a Ziploc bag or in a shallow glass bowl with half the dressing and let marinate for 30 minutes, or for several hours in the refrigerator.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add spaghettini and cook until al dente. Place in a large serving bowl, toss with remaining dressing, and set aside.

4. Brush a barbecue grill, indoor grill, or grill pan with cooking spray. Preheat barbecue or grill to medium-high. Grill tenderloins for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until no longer pink inside. Remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes. Slice tenderloins into thin strips.

5. Toss bean sprouts, mango, cucumber, carrots, green onions, cilantro, mint and grilled pork with noodles. Can be served at room temperature or chilled. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

TIP: Five-spice powder is a blend of ground fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. It is available in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets.

My Take on the Recipe

Okay so if you’ve been reading my other Weekend Cooking posts this last month, you will know that I almost never follow a recipe as written. I like to experiment and substitute. My husband is really picky and I’m picky too so I did the salad differently (with much less veggies) but I made the tenderloin as described except for using regular vegetable oil in place of grapeseed or safflower oil and dried ginger instead of fresh. I already had to buy two new ingredients (Five-spice powder and rice wine vinegar) so I didn’t want to buy even more new ingredients I wasn’t sure I’d ever use again. Also I don’t own a zester so I just used a knife to scrape off the orange part.

The meat was DELICIOUS. I was hesitant as I don’t normally like sweet tasting meat but even with the orange juice and brown sugar, it wasn’t all that sweet but just right. We weren’t thrilled with the noodle salad part but we didn’t make it as written either. I plan to make the meat again this way, perhaps just used in a different dish.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.