Learn how to build a healthier, tastier salad with five quick tips. Use this guide to make your salads low-calorie, nutritious and more flavorful.
Just because this is my second vegetarian post in a row, it doesn't mean I'm turning into one. As much as I love my veggies, not in the least bit tempted. But when you receive a gorgeous bagful of greens from your favorite zero pesticide farm company, you make your salad and eat it too. The problem with salads is that, if not done right, they can be deceptively high on calories. And most salads you eat at restaurants, drenched in cloyingly, thick dressings probably are. You'd be surprised that a Cobb's Salad, however delicious, can set you back by as many as 700-800 calories. So today, I'm going to give you my quick tips on how to build a healthier salad.
It's important to choose the right greens. While it may be tempting to reach out for the popular ice berg, try a darker lettuce instead, like the Oak Leaf or Romaine. Mix things up with some spinach or even kale. These will help build a good base for your salads, and get lots of fiber into your system. The best part - lettuce has very few calories; as low as 10 calories per cup, and are great sources of vitamin A and potassium.
CRUNCH IT UP WITH VEGGIES
Add some color and crunch to your salad with lots of vegetables. Cucumbers, capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and peas are great additions. Just make sure they are either raw or steamed. No frying please.
ADD SOME PROTEIN
We sometimes forget how important protein is for us. Carbs just taste so good, don't they? Salads are a great way to amp up the protein. If you are vegetarian, choose between tofu, cottage cheese or even kidney beans and chickpeas. Otherwise there is always chicken, fish and eggs. If you are choosing meat, make sure you stick to the lean varieties and have them boiled or poached.
ADD IN EXTRAS
Extras like fruits, nuts or seeds can add more flavor and crunch to your salad. I love adding walnuts, almonds, oranges, pomegranate or even pumpkin seeds to my salads. You could even sprinkle a small portion of goat cheese or feta if you are feeling particularly fancy. But remember, a little goes a long way. My Apple Walnut Summer Salad is a regular at home.
DRESS IT UP
Now this is where it get's tricky. Up until now, you were building a wholesome, flavorful and nutritious salad. But if you are going to douse your salad in creamy dressings like mayonnaise or ranch, you just undid everything. Stick to lighter dressings like mustard, lemon or balsamic vinaigrettes or even a squirt of lemon juice with some olive oil. I have three great salad dressings for you.