Low Carb Lunch Ideas on the Go: Mediterranean Salad Featuring Fennel & Orange

A Mediterranean salad is an easy, low carb side that you can whip up in minutes. This particular salad features the unique flavour of fennel, along with tangy Navel oranges and salty black olives.

This recipe is elegant enough to serve at a fancy dinner, but it’s also a great way to introduce your kids to a new vegetable. Trying juicy orange slices in a savoury dish can be a new flavour adventure. And if they love olives as much as my kids do, they’ll be happy to gobble the salad up!

Remember Mediterranean salad when you’re looking for low carb lunch ideas on the go, too! This salad can be made ahead and stored in the fridge overnight. Or if you have to go out last minute, you can throw everything together quickly before you leave home. I’ve even brought whole fennel bulbs on road trips, and cut them up for a meal on the go!

Need low carb lunch ideas on the go? This crisp, refreshing Mediterranean salad can be made ahead or thrown together in minutes before you leave the house! | #24CarrotDiet
The cold, crisp flavour of fennel blends beautifully with citrus in this easy Mediterranean salad


Have You Ever Tried Fennel?

Chances are, you’ve seen fennel in your grocery store. But have you ever bought some so you could try cooking with it?

This vegetable is extremely popular with the Italian community in Montreal, where I lived most of my life. But I must admit, for the longest time I never thought to buy fennel and taste it myself. Like many North Americans, I usually cooked what I was used to eating. Since fennel wasn’t a vegetable we ate when I was growing up, I never thought much about it.

I didn’t try it until a friend at university offered me some. She had brought raw fennel sticks in her lunch, so I gave them a try. They looked an awful lot like celery, but they had a licorice flavour that really surprised me. At first, I found the taste a bit overwhelming. I later discovered the flavour is milder when you cook fennel. It’s also less bold if you slice the fennel thinly and eat it with other foods. This makes it a perfect choice for salads!

Fennel can be used almost anywhere you would normally use celery. Substitute fennel for celery in your spaghetti sauce or in chicken soup. You can also saute it with Italian sausages and bell peppers. Or try roasted fennel with sweet baby carrots. It’s a very versatile vegetable!



Fennel Nutrition

Fennel is a good source of both fiber and potassium, providing 10% of your daily requirement for each in a cup of sliced vegetable. It also supplies modest amounts of magnesium, calcium, and iron. As green vegetables go, fennel is fairly low in vitamin A at only 2%. (Celery supplies 9%, by comparison.)

Fennel also supplies 14% of your vitamin C, compared to about 4% for celery. And since our Mediterranean salad also includes oranges, it’s a great vitamin C booster. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, this salad is a great choice as a side with your dinner or for a lunch on the go.

But what really surprised me when I looked at fennel nutrition is the vitamin K content. One cup of sliced fennel provides just over 68% of your day’s supply. Which means that a serving of fennel – say, in a Mediterranean salad – supplies more vitamin K than green beans, garden peas, kiwi, or avocado. It’s not way up there with broccoli, kale, and the rest of the leafy green vegetables. But it’s respectable all the same. And all of this is in a low sodium, very low fat package that supplies only 27 calories per cup!

Oranges Add Nutrients to Mediterranean Salad

The Navel oranges in this Mediterranean salad bump up its fiber and mineral counts. You may not be aware that an orange supplies roughly 6% of your day’s calcium. It also contains 6% of your vitamin A, which helps to make up for the fact that fennel is lower in that vitamin. Oranges also add a modest amount of vitamin B6 to the salad. This vitamin is important for your metabolism and adrenal functions, as well as for a healthy nervous system.

Some recipes for this type of Mediterranean salad call for blood oranges. You can substitute them for the Navel oranges if you prefer. They supply pretty much the same nutrients, but they bump up the anthocyanins. But since I’ve added red onion to my Mediterranean salad recipe, we already have that covered. And of course, there are anthocyanins in the olives too.

Easy Mediterranean Salad Recipe

Mediterranean Salad Featuring Fennel & Orange
5 from 3 votes

Fennel & Orange Salad

Fennel is a crunchy vegetable with a unique licorice flavour. This classic Mediterranean salad is refreshing and loaded with vitamins. It's perfect for impressing guests at home, or for a lunch on the go!
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 160 kcal
Author Kyla Matton Osborne


To make the salad:

  • 1 large fennel bulb sliced thinly
  • 3 Navel oranges peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion sliced very thinly
  • 12 pitted Kalamata or other black olives cut in half lengthwise


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the salad ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk vinegar, honey, and mustard together in a small bowl. 
  3. Gradually pour in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Pour up to half of the vinaigrette onto your Mediterranean salad and toss lightly before serving. The rest of the vinaigrette can be stored in a sealed jar or bottle in the fridge for up to 4 days.


More About Fennel

Want to know how to grow fennel in your garden without spending a lot of money? You can grow fennel herb from seed and regrow bulb fennel from the part of the plant you’d normally discard. Learn more!



Want to pin this post for later? Feel free to use the graphic below:

Mediterranean salad featuring fennel and orange | #24CarrotDiet | olives | vinaigrette recipe | nutrition
This easy Mediterranean salad makes a great lunch on the go
PLEASE PIN THIS ARTICLE – remember sharing is caring!



Did you enjoy this article? Check out some related content below!


Tabouleh salad is a great source of whole grains and leafy greens (Graphic made in Canva using a licensed image by cyclonebill/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)



Do you eat one dark green and one orange vegetable each day? (Graphic made in Canva using a public domain image by Pixabay user silviarita)



Being a meal planner has its advantages | #24CarrotDiet


Original content © 2018 Kyla Matton Osborne, aka #RubyWriter
Public domain images by Pixabay users congerdesign, silviarita, and stevepb
Tabouleh photo by cyclonebill/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

This article was published on my food blog, 24 Carrot Diet. If you are reading this content anywhere else, it has probably been stolen. Please report it to me so I can address any copyright infringements. Thank you!

I am not a nutrition expert or health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Please seek out a licensed health professional as needed. For more information, see the health disclaimer linked in the sidebar.


p align=”center”>weird error

How to Hide Healthy Veggies in Yummy Green Tomato Pie

A few green tomatoes are a normal thing towards the end of the gardening season. If you just have a few, it’s no big deal. You leave them on the countertop to ripen and when they do, you use them as you would tomatoes that ripened on the vine.

But what about if you have bushels of unripe, green tomatoes?

An Abundance of Green Tomatoes

We were recently gifted with several really large boxes of green tomatoes from a neighbour’s garden. Now, we have a very small kitchen and no pantry. So space for food storage is at a premium, and I couldn’t even begin to think what to do with all that unripe fruit.

I made a bit of an internet search to see what I could make with unripe, green tomatoes. Of course, I found a ton of recipes for green tomato pickles and relishes. I also saw suggestions for adding green tomatoes to soups, spaghetti sauces, and chili. I already knew that green tomatoes make a suitable substitute for zucchini, carrots or bananas in a spice cake or muffin recipe. And of course, there’s the classic fried green tomato! I even found recipes for green tomato jams, jellies, and marmalade.

Green Tomatoes in Pie

The one recipe I had never thought of making was a green tomato pie. No, this is not a savoury pie. It’s a sweet one. Apparently, you can use green tomatoes with or instead of apples in pies and tarts. There are literally dozens of recipes on the internet for green tomato pie or another variation, green tomato and apple pie. The green tomato pie recipe I read says you can’t tell the difference. It’s hard to believe! Would you make one of these pies for your family?

Green Tomato Nutrition

Nutritionally speaking, green tomatoes are similar to their ripe, red counterparts. They have a lot of the same nutrients as ripe red tomatoes, though in slightly different proportions. Green tomatoes have a few more calories than red tomatoes; they’re also a bit higher in sodium and sugars.

One medium green tomato provides 15% of your daily requirement of vitamins A and K, along with 5% of vitamin B6, folate and dietary fibre. As for its mineral content, a medium green tomato has 3% of your daily iron and magnesium, as well as 1% of iron.

Green tomatoes are especially rich in vitamin C, with just one medium tomato providing a whopping 48% of your daily requirement. Green, unripe tomatoes offer many of the same nutrients as dark green vegetables, and in similar quantities. So do consider them if you’re looking for a change from leafy green vegetables like kale or Swiss chard.

Green Tomato vs. Apple

What’s interesting is that cup for cup, green tomatoes have fewer than half the calories of apples – 22 calories for one cup of sliced green tomatoes, compared with 57 calories for the same amount of apple slices. Apples also contain lower levels of vitamins and minerals than green tomatoes. The tomatoes, for their part, offer higher amounts of protein and less than half the carbs compared to apples.

My Adventures with Green Tomato Recipes

Our little valley is bear country, so this time of year it’s really important for people to pick their fruit and glean their gardens. That often means that even small home gardeners have too much fresh produce when summer comes to a close.

A few days ago, a neighbour sent my husband home with three big boxes of tomatoes. Most of them were green. So far we’ve made stuffed tomatoes, sandwiches, and school snacks from the ripe ones. And we’ve made a beautiful green and red tomato soup that I will most definitely make again. I have more tomatoes cut up for a different tomato soup recipe that uses just the green tomatoes.

This weekend, I am hoping to attempt a zucchini brownie recipe with green tomatoes substituted for the shredded zucchini. I also found several different green tomato cake recipes I want to try. One reminded me a little of a war cake, but with the green tomatoes providing the moisture instead of the raisins.

Another recipe that caught my eye was an interesting savoury green tomato cobbler that uses cheddar biscuits for the topping. So, you can see I have a lot of stuff I want to make with our lovely green tomatoes! And luckily we have more than enough tomatoes for our household and several others!

Want to pin this post for later? Feel free to use the graphic below:

Green tomatoes baked into a pie make for a healthy alternative to apple pie – and they’ll never taste the difference! | 24 Carrot Diet | healthy desserts | pie | apples
Green tomatoes baked into a pie make for a healthy alternative to apple pie
PLEASE PIN THIS ARTICLE – remember sharing is caring!
Graphic made in Canva using a public domain image by Pixabay user PublicDomainImages

Did you enjoy this article? Check out some related content below!


What Does Science Say About Storing Fresh Tomatoes? (Graphic made in Canva using a public domain image by Pixabay user magdus)


It's OK If Your Kids Aren't Eating The Perfect Diet Everyday (Graphic made in Canva using a public domain image by Pixabay user Alexas_Fotos)


How to wash lettuce, kale, chard, and other leafy green vegetables - 24 Carrot Diet

Original content © 2015-2017 Kyla Matton Osborne, aka #RubyWriter

This article was published on my food blog, 24 Carrot Diet. If you are reading this content anywhere else, it has probably been stolen. Please report it to me so I can address any copyright infringements. Thank you!