By Allegra Burton, MPH, RDNTuesday, 4 August 2015 

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!