When spring breaks and the fresh, seasonal produce is available again, there’s nothing better than a crisp salad. Whether as a side to accompany an already delicious meal, or as the main course, a salad is light yet satisfying. And unlike most meals, it can be completely customized.
May is National Salad Month, so we wanted to jump on the bandwagon and support this campaign for one of the healthiest meals around.
Loaded with everything from greens and vegetables to nuts, fruits and lean proteins, a salad offers complete nutrition in one meal.
Just like an unhealthy food, moderation should be practiced with salads, too. You can all too easily turn a light and healthy salad into a calorie bomb that’s no better than the burger you were actually craving. Keep your salads on the lighter side by:
- Practicing portion control
- Topping with grilled proteins instead of breaded and fried
- Skipping cheese or using a small amount of reduced-fat cheese
- Choosing oil-based dressings (i.e. vinaigrette) over cream-based (i.e. ranch) and serving them on the side
You can ensure that a healthy salad is always available to you by stocking your own “salad bar” at home. Things to keep in the pantry or to buy fresh each week:
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts or pecans
- Dried fruit like apricots or cranberries (watch for added sugars)
- Olive oil and vinegars for homemade dressings
- A variety of vegetables
- Fruits like grapes, apples or strawberries
- Grilled chicken (just chop and keep in individual servings in the freezer)
- Greens like spinach, romaine, kale and baby spring greens
There’s really no rhyme or reason to preparing a salad, just load it up with the items you love and dig in. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little culinary inspiration, though. We have a number of healthy salad recipes here at DietsInReview.com. Check them out, or try some of our favorites:
Blackberry Pear Asian Salad, by Driscoll’s
Blueberry Jicama Salad, by Driscoll’s
Bistro Chicken Salad, by Weight Watchers
Farmer’s Market Salad
Papaya and Avocado Salad, by Sharon Palmer
Southwestern Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Tuna and Arugula Salad, by Bernie Salazar
Driscoll’s Berries Giveaway!!
Leave a comment below telling us your favorite berry or fruit to include in a salad. Two winners will be drawn to each receive a $5 Driscoll’s coupon. Drawing Friday, May 28, 2010.