Mandarin and Greens Salad

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published May 14, 2023

This light salad is easy to make for lunch at school, work or home.

Looking for a fresh and healthy salad? Try this Mandarin and Greens Salad! Packed with nutritious ingredients like red leaf lettuce, watercress, broccoli, and mandarins, and topped with a tangy dressing made with rice vinegar, orange zest, and low sodium soy sauce, this salad is a flavorful and satisfying meal option.

Mandarin Oranges: The Diabetes-Friendly Citrus Powerhouse

Mandarin oranges, also known as clementines, are a type of citrus fruit that are low in calories and high in nutrients. They are a great source of vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system, and vitamin A, which is important for eye health. They also contain folate, potassium, and dietary fiber.

In terms of glycemic index and glycemic load, mandarin oranges have a low glycemic index of 40, which means they do not cause a rapid spike in blood glucose levels. They also have a low glycemic load, which takes into account both the glycemic index and the carbohydrate content of the food, making them a good option for people living with diabetes.

Additionally, the dietary fiber found in mandarin oranges can help regulate blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates in the bloodstream. This can be especially beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.

Overall, mandarin oranges can be a nutritious and diabetes-friendly addition to a healthy diet.

How to Shop and Store the Masterful Mandarin Orange

Mandarin oranges are typically in season from November through March, with peak availability in December and January. When shopping for mandarin oranges, look for fruits that are firm, heavy for their size, and have a bright orange color. Avoid fruits with soft spots or blemishes, as these may be a sign of decay.

Mandarin oranges can be stored at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If storing at room temperature, it is best to keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If storing in the refrigerator, place them in a plastic or mesh bag to allow for air circulation and to prevent moisture buildup, which can cause spoilage.

Broccoli: The Cruciferous Veggie with Diabetes-Fighting Benefits

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories and high in nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. It also contains folate, potassium, and vitamins B6 and B2.

As a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli contains compounds called glucosinolates, which have been linked to numerous health benefits. When broken down during digestion, these compounds form bioactive substances such as indoles, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties.

Sulforaphane, in particular, has been studied for its potential role in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that sulforaphane can activate enzymes that improve glucose metabolism and reduce oxidative stress, which are key factors in the development of diabetes and its complications.

Broccoli is also high in fiber, which can help regulate blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates in the bloodstream. This can help prevent spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels, which can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes.

In addition to its potential benefits for diabetes, broccoli has been linked to numerous other health benefits, including improved heart health, reduced cancer risk, and better digestive function. Adding broccoli to your diet is an easy and delicious way to boost your nutrient intake and support overall health and well-being.

Shopping for Broccoli

When shopping for broccoli, look for firm, tightly-packed heads with a deep green color and no yellowing or soft spots. The stem should also be firm and not too woody. Broccoli can be sold both with and without leaves, but either way, the leaves should look fresh and vibrant.

Once you've selected your broccoli, it's important to store it properly to prevent spoilage. Broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. To store, wrap the broccoli in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag or airtight container. This will help to prevent the broccoli from drying out and becoming tough.

To prepare broccoli, remove any leaves and trim off the bottom of the stem. You can then either break the broccoli into bite-sized florets or slice the stem and florets into smaller pieces. Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways, including steaming, roasting, stir-frying, or sautéing.

Overall, broccoli is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that is easy to prepare and incorporate into your diet. By following these simple tips for shopping, selecting, and storing broccoli, you can ensure that you are getting the freshest and most flavorful broccoli possible.

Mandarin and Greens Salad

Beverly Verwey
Servings 1 person
Calories 465 kcal


For the Salad

  • 4 cups red leaf lettuce chopped
  • 1 cup watercress chopped
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and grated
  • 3 mandarins peeled and sections separated
  • 1 medium English cucumber sliced on a slight angle
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds dry toasted
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1 head broccoli chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown rice cooked

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 juice from mandarin


  • In a small container with a tight lid place all the ingredients for the dressing. Shake well and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or container, place all the salad ingredients and toss so all the ingredients are well mixed. If you are taking this salad to school or work, just layer the ingredients and toss it before eating and adding the dressing.


If you are taking this salad to work or school, package the dressing separately and only put in the salad just before you want to eat it. Package the salad in an air-tight container to take with you.


Calories: 465kcalCarbohydrates: 84.5gProtein: 12.7gFat: 4.8gSodium: 341.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.