with your favorite social networking sites.
When you think of salad, do you have visions of boring,
simple, raw veggies? I’m here to tell you, that doesn’t have to be the case. By
changing the variety of lettuce, vegetables, toppings and dressings, the combinations
are endless. It’s time to set aside your basic garden salad and build a better,
more nutritious one.
Eating salad everyday is one of the healthiest habits you
can adopt and is a super-convenient way to work in a serving or two of
vegetables. High in fiber and nutrients and low in calories, salad provides you
with powerful antioxidants. The darker the greens, the more nutritious! Studies have shown that people who eat more plant
foods, such as salads, have lower rates of heart disease and cancer. Raw
vegetable consumption is one of our strongest defenses against cancer over any
other food. Just watch the high fat and/or processed dressings!
Things you’ll want to consider when assembling your salad:
the type of lettuce, vegetables and/or fruit, grains and/or beans, cheese,
protein and crunchy topping you will chose. My rule of thumb for a quick throw
together salad, is to chose at least three of these options in addition to your
lettuce. For example: lettuce, fruit, cheese and a crunchy topping or lettuce,
veggies, cheese and protein (like chicken). If you want a really hearty meal, go
ahead and add something from each group-- you’ll feel like you’re at a salad
Things like ready-to-go grape tomatoes and shredded carrots are great to have on hand and they're practically calorie-free.
No chopping required!
Here are some options from the different categories you’ll want to think about
when you shop for your salad ingredients.
You can choose something from a few of the groups and change
up the combinations whenever you feel like something different. Also,
experiment with different dressings which will alter the flavors of the salad. For a healthier salad, chose lean, grilled protein options
over fried ones. Use high fat add-ins in moderation (i.e. cheese, chips, nuts).
Limit your use of processed, full fat salad dressing and instead opt for good
ol’ olive oil and vinegar (red wine or balsamic are good choices).
Need some inspiration? Here are some tasty combinations to
get you started.
Greek Salad: romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, feta and
California Club Salad: bibb lettuce, turkey, avocado, crumbled
bacon and toasted walnuts
Asian-Inspired Salad: mixed greens, edamame, mandarin oranges, sliced
almonds and crunchy chow main noodles
Nuts and Berries Salad: spinach, red onion, blackberries, candied
pecans and goat cheese
Southwestern Salad: romaine, tomatoes, red onions, corn, black
beans and cheddar cheese
Mediterranean-Inspired Salad: mixed greens, bell pepper, cucumber, falafel, tzatziki sauce
As you can see, with so many options, you’ll never grow
tired of salad. Feel free to experiment with interesting combinations. If you
are unsure about what dressing to pair with your choices, you can’t go wrong
with fresh lemon juice, oil and vinegar. This will help keep the sodium down
and processed ingredients out of the picture. Enjoy your healthier, better
I've been dicing up some sun dried tomato to add to my salads recently, as well as a corn/black bean mixture and sometimes some peas too. For the corn and peas I just use frozen ones and thaw a small amount in a bowl of warm water.