We are into spring, and that means the return of the salad. The basis of most salads are a leaf of some kind. Romaine lettuce is a good choice as it includes both vitamin c and beta carotene. These two nutrients work together within the body to prevent plaque forming on the walls of the arteries. Romaine is also a good source of potassium, folate, iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Vitamin K, manganese and chromium. It helps regulate blood pressure and it supports body movement.

Here are four ways to get more romaine lettuce into your diet;

1. Chinese Pork Lettuce Cups

These are great as a starter, a party canapé, or a more meaty salad. These cups of goodness include spiced pork mince wrapped up in a tasty leaf of romaine lettuce. Here’s a good recipe for you to try.

2. Caesar Salad

Everyone’s favourite salad and perfect with an ice cool glass of white wine or prosecco on a Friday night. If you’re concerned about the calories, ask for the dressing on the side. Mix it up by using king prawns instead of chicken for a bit of variety.

3. Braised Lettuce and Peas

Banish boring veg and replace with tasty braised lettuce with peas – perfect for spring nights when the weather calls for something a bit more hearty. Braised lettuce and peas is a perfect accompaniment to fish, pork or chicken. We like this recipe.

4. Crudites For Dipping

The cup shape of romaine makes it perfect as a carrier for dip. Serve on a crudite platter alongside carrots, cucumber, peppers and cauliflower heads. This idea works well with flavoured hummus, thousand island and ranch dips.

5. Cobb Salad

If you’ve ever visited America you’ll be familiar with a Cobb Salad, it appears on nearly all bistro menus. Cobb Salad is typically made with chopped lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, grilled or roasted chicken breast, hard boiled eggs, avocado, chives, cheese, and red wine vinaigrette. This is all presented in lovely lines in a big bowl. In fact, it might unwittingly be the first ever Buddha bowl!