Summer salads made tasty


The idea of eating salad used to make Barbara Brunner grimace.
"All my life I hated salad," she said.
But a lightbulb went off a few years ago, and the Bowling Green woman took a different approach to
"I figured out it was the iceberg lettuce," that made salad so unappetizing, Brunner said.
"Now I buy the different colored greens, anything that’s not iceberg lettuce."
Her "Bountiful Harvest Summer Salad" was a winner in last month’s "greens" edition of
the Farm Fresh Recipe Contest for the Bowling Green Downtown Farmers Market.
In the summer, she purchases her lettuces from the Bowling Green Farmers Market or plucks them from her
tiny garden outside the Vine Street home she shares with husband Chris.
In the winter, Brunner said she’ll shop Aldi’s and Wal-Mart.
The key to making a good, interesting salad, she said, is to mix in proteins, pasta and fruits.
"I like a lot of stuff in my salad, and a lot of chunky stuff in my salad."
Brunner took the "green" eating a step further a few years ago when she became a vegan. Vegans
do not eat dairy or meat, which vegetarians do consume.
"I retired at age 62. I had no insurance," she said. "I had no doctor for three years. I
decided I’d better get healthy."
When she turned 60, her cholesterol and blood pressure numbers spiked, along with her weight. But she
resisted medication.
"I said, let’s do something else."
Brunner started with exercise, taking advantage of a wellness program at a hospital in Licking County,
where she was living. She used the elliptical machine three days a week.
Then she tackled the diet.
"When I became a vegan, I dropped 30-35 pounds," she said. "I had always struggled with my
For anyone interested in following her path, Brunner recommends reading "Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program
for Reversing Diabetes" and Thomas Campbell’s "The China Study," and watching the
"Forks over Knives" documentary.
She said she weighs 60 pounds less than she did when she married Chris 10 years ago.
The two moved to Bowling Green two years ago to be closer to her son, Brian Jackson, and daughter-in-law,
Melanie, and their three boys. Brunner also has two daughters and three other grandchildren.
"My son and his wife both graduated from Denison University and then came here for a graduate
program and stayed."
She’s taken her salad obsession to Melanie, bringing her daughter-in-law a salad for lunch every day this
While Brunner said she’ll have an occasional craving for scrambled eggs and buttered toast, she hasn’t
had a problem transitioning to a vegan diet.
"I always say, if you want to, you can. It depends on how bad you want to be healthy," she
said. "My tastes have changed. I love vegetables now."
The second place entry in the "greens" contest, "Hot and Sour Greens Salad" by Reina
Calderon, will be posted in the recipe section of the Downtown Farmers Market pages at, along with the other entries in this edition of the contest.
Bountiful Harvest Summer Salad
6-8 cups mixed greens (kale, spinach, lettuce)
1 large cucumber, diced
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup radishes, chopped
½ 15 ounce can of beans (black, great northern, kidney or garbanzo)
1 cup strawberries, halved
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup toasted nuts (pecans, almonds, or walnuts)
In a large bowl mix the vegetables and beans together.  When you’re ready to serve add the fruit and
The salad is especially good with raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette, or citrus dressing (1 teaspoon Dijon
mustard, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoon canola oil, salt and pepper to
taste). Add a muffin, dinner roll, or even cornbread to make a complete vegan meal. Change up the
greens, beans, nuts and dressings to create a different salad each time.

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