Do your salads leave you feeling bored - and hungry? Are you doing the same old lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes? Read on for ideas about how to make your salads exciting, delicious, healthy, and satisfying.
This week's Top 5 Salad Ingredients:
Dark leafy greens:
- Watercress, romaine, spinach, arugula, mache, kale, baby greens, etc.
- Mix and match.
- The darker the greens the more nutrient-packed they are – watercress tops that list.
- Garbanzo beans, black beans, lentils, butter beans, fava beans.
- Beans add protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals all with a low glycemic index, which means they will leave you feeling satisfied longer.
- Cooked chicken/turkey/crumbled veggie or turkey burger/canned or fresh tuna/salmon/lean beef/tofu/egg.
- Don't skimp on the protein. It will help make this salad a real meal.
Nuts and seeds:
- Almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, etc.
- Nuts and seeds add so much flavor, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber and a nice crunch!
- Fresh (or dried, but fresh is best) – fruit adds a whole new dimension and flavor profile to your salad.
- Plus fruit adds even more fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Try some cut-up orange, apple, mango, kiwi, pear or strawberries or any other kind.
Dress your salad simply with some good olive oil and either vinegar or lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Yum!
I will be doing a series of “Top 5 Salad Ingredients” over the next few weeks so check back periodically for more new ideas!
Allegra Burton, MPH, RDN
Nutrition with Allegra
Chapel Hill, NC