If you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier in 2015, you should include a healthy green salad at the beginning of every meal. Create a basic salad with iceberg lettuce, and add dark greens and other healthy ingredients to created a healthier salad. If you haven’t made salad a part of your family’s dinner, here are some helpful hits to build a healthier, more nutritious salad.
The foundation of your salad. Add dark greens such as baby spinach, arugula, romaine, endive, escarole, mesculin greens, kale, dandelions, and chard to your salad. Use what is in season and affordable. You don’t need a lot of additional dark greens, a cup or two added to iceberg lettuce should be enough to add nutrition to your salad, but feel free to add whatever you want, or leave out the iceberg lettuce all together.
Other vegetables to add your salad:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Bean sprouts
- Bell pepper: red, green, yellow, orange or purple. Chopped, julienned or diced
- Carrots, shredded
- Celery, chopped or diced
- Cucumber, sliced
- Radishes, sliced or diced
- Red cabbage, shredded
- Tomatoes: grape, cherry, heirloom, beefsteak. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, halve them. If using larger tomatoes, thinly slice, dice or chop
- Snow pea pods, cut into thirds or quarters
Other items that will add nutrition to your salad:
- Avocados, thinly sliced
- Apples, diced or thinly sliced
- Grapes, green or red seedless, halved
- Orange, tangerine or grapefruit segments, supremed
- Walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Pecans, coarsely chopped
- Almonds, coarsely chopped; roasted but not salted or smoked
- Click HERE to see video how to supreme an orange, grapefruit or tangerine
Use a large bowl for your salad, something twice as large as the salad you are making. Tear lettuce into bite size pieces and toss with your choice of darker greens, vegetables, fruits and/or nuts. Give each person a bowl or plate for their salad and let them serve themselves. Serve salad dressings on the side, allowing each person to add the dressing of their choice in the amount of their choice.
If using a basic oil and vinegar dressing, you may want to dress the salad before serving. Salad dressed with oil and vinegar dressing tastes better when it’s had a chance to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
If you decide to serve croutons, olives, bacon bits and chickpeas with your salad, serve them on the side so that each person can decide what they want on their salad and in what amount.
Break the bottled salad dressing addiction by making fresh salad dressings and keep them on hand in the fridge. Homemade salad dressings such as French, Catalina, Blue Cheese, Russian, Greek, Oil and Vinegar and Ranch, taste better than the store-bought bottled dressings. You can control the ingredients in fresh, homemade salad dressings, using lower fat and lower salt versions of the ingredients. Homemade salad dressings will keep for about one week in the refrigerator, and you’ll want to make them one to two cups at a time.