The best salad is the one you’ll actually enjoy and eat. So if you’re tired of wilted greens and need to perk up your lunch or dinner salad, here are some ideas.
Look for dressings that are citrus or vinegar-based. If a dressing is called Creamy anything, it almost aways means that there’s plenty of fat and cholesterol in the batch.
Salad dressing is actually easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients you likely already have in your panty. Search online for healthy salad dressing recipes and try a few. And salad dressings you make at home will have no added preservatives.
You might also consider forgoing the dressing and adding raw sunflower seeds or other healthy toppings for extra nutrition, crunch and flavor. Also, if you season a salad with lemon pepper, garlic pepper, Italian seasoning, mustard, dill or other spices, you might not miss the dressing at all.
Cheese in salad adds plenty of fat, cholesterol and sodium to your otherwise healthful bowl. It’s a good idea to skip the cheese.
Instead of cheese, consider adding cooked lentils or quinoa. It will take your salad from boring to unusual, while adding more fiber, protein and other nutrients. Grains like quinoa will also keep you full longer than a plate of raw vegetables alone. Boost protein by adding chickpeas, cooked potatoes, beans or corn.
Another category to add is fruit. Grapes cut in half perhaps or strawberries, mandarin orange slices or any kind of small berry. A small sprinkling of dried fruit like raisins or goji berries (wolfberries) will give the salad a sweet or tart zing.
The FitWatch blog recommends these additional ingredients to boost the pleasure and nutrition you get from a salad: green olives, capers, hot peppers, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, granola, sardines, salsa, marinated mushrooms or artichoke hearts, tofu, pickles, water chestnuts, hard-boiled eggs and more.
The point is to think outside the box about what makes a great salad. Hopefully, you’ll feel inspired to try something new in your salad bowl today.
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Author: Rebeca Espinoza
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on at firstname.lastname@example.org.