We have had some beautiful days and hints of Spring…I’m thinking about all of the lovely produce that will be blooming and sprouting soon. Eating healthy meals is important to our overall wellbeing. But healthy does not have to mean boring. Salads are one of the simplest meals to make and with fresh produce can be delicious.
Sadly, salads are often considered boring as most people chop some lettuce, tomatoes and toss. Often, salads are not good for you when smothered in dressing and made more of meats and cheeses than veggies and produce. Here are some ideas to fix that.
Start with a healthy foundation of greens. Lettuce is ok but there are many kinds of lettuces and greens available. This should mostly fill your plate and will give you great nutrients and filling fiber with almost no calories. Add lots of veggies. Try to think outside the box…you can still use the common standbys of tomatoes, peppers and onions but broccoli, cauliflower, jicama, bok choy and brussel sprouts (I like mine sliced into thin ribbons) are great veggies to eat raw and add to salads.
Ensure you have some protein…but 3 ounces will do. Lean (cooked) meats such as chicken or turkey, hard-boiled eggs and veggie protein such as tofu also keep you fuller and healthier. Add one fun item with some healthily fat such as nuts, seeds or avocado and you’ve got a great salad.
Dressing is fine in moderation and oils can help you absorb more nutrients but realize that one tablespoon of creamy dressing packs on 100 calories EACH. Oil based dressing usually ring in around 80 calories but seem to go further.
I am so glad spring is here and I am looking forward to lots of yummy healthy salads! What is in your favorite salad?