March: Arugula

by Samantha Sidorsky

As we make our way back to school for the Spring Semester, we do not have to forget about all of the New Year’s resolutions made last month! Eating healthy at school does not have to be difficult or boring.  Whether you want to dive into your salad, pasta, soup, pizza, or vegetable dishes, arugula leaves are the perfect green you need to turn up the volume in your meals.  Arugula is enjoyed mostly all year round however, the peak season for this green goodie is during the early spring and fall.1

Adding in arugula to any of your dishes not only adds a beautiful green color, it also ensures a burst of freshness and peppery flavor.  Although America’s favorite go-to is iceberg lettuce, arugula is a more nutritious option.2   There are so many ways for this food can be consumed and prepared, raw or cooked, and with only 8 calories per 2-cup serving, fresh arugula has virtually no impact on your daily calorie allowance.  A half cup of fresh arugula provides 2 calories, folate and vitamins A and C.  Arugula is rich in beta carotene and contains more than three times the amount of vitamin C than spinach.3   It also contains 14 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements and a boatload of lutein, an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eyes, skin and heart.1 Also, arugula has the highest bioavailability of these vitamins compared to other leafy greens such as kale or cabbage.This low in calorie, nutrient dense food is very beneficial for college students to add into their diet who are trying to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight.

Salmon, Arugula & Avocado lunch/dinner 4

  • YIELD:Serves 4 // ACTIVE TIME:10 minutes // TOTAL TIME:10 minutes



  • 4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon filets, preferably wild
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  • Press salmon filets between paper towels to dry surfaces thoroughly. Season on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1/3 cup oil in a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add salmon filets skin side-down. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, pressing gently on back of filets to ensure good contact with skin, until skin is rendered and crisp, about 6 minutes. If skin shows resistance when attempting to lift with a spatula, allow it to continue to cook until it lifts easily.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine arugula, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper and toss in grated cheese.
  • Flip salmon and cook on second side until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120°F for medium rare or 130°F for medium, about 1 minute longer. Transfer salmon to a paper towel-lined plate. Spoon salad onto plates, top with salmon, and serve.



  1. Amidor, T. (2011, May 19). In Season: Arugula. Retrieved from
  2. Campbell, M. (2018, November 9). 5 Things You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Arugula. Retrieved from
  3. Arugula Baby. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. Šamec, D. (2018, June 28). Comparative analysis of phytochemicals and activity of endogenous enzymes associated with their stability, bioavailability and food quality in five Brassicaceae sprouts. Retrieved from
  5. Yahr, Y. (n.d.). Pan-Roasted Salmon With Arugula and Avocado Salad Recipe. Retrieved from
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