I know – who knew that there was a National Salad Month? Certainly not me, and I eat a LOT of salad. I try, every day, to eat my recommended five fruits and veggies, and a salad at lunch is a terrific way to bump those numbers up quickly. It’s yummy as well! Many salads, especially those you can get in restaurants or fast-food places, aren’t as healthy as they could be, full of fat and loaded with high calorie ingredients such as dressings and croutons. How can you transform that calorie laden dish into a lighter, even more flavorful dish?
Start with the basis of most salads – the lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is a decent choice, but there are much better green choices to be had. I often will throw in a handful of romaine for the crunch and the added value of ten times the beta carotene. Try spinach, shredded cabbage, bok choy or kale as well. What about the toppings, though – those can make or break you. Forget the Chinese noodles, the mayo based slaws, and the syrup packed fruits. Instead, look to the fresh veggies. Cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, alfalfa or bean sprouts, shredded carrots, radishes, beets, sliced peppers, chopped broccoli and cauliflower are all wise choices that add much flavor with minimal caloric impact.
One last component of a healthy salad is the protein. Don’t forget the protein. Chopped hard boiled egg, diced chicken or turkey breast, shredded roast beef, grilled salmon, boiled or steamed shrimp, and water packed tuna. A serving of protein added to your salad gives you staying power, and the choices are infinite.
Can you make a goal to eat a salad a day for thirty days? I’m going to try it – why don’t you join me? We’ll check in with each other on June 1 and see how we did!
For inspiration, try one of the many healthy salad recipes right here at DietsInReview.com.