Your Healthy Salad Recipes!
You can find a smorgasbord of healthy salad recipes on the internet. Let's dig deeper. Soon you will be making your own healthy salads every day!
WHY EAT LIKE A RABBIT?
I am not a huge fan of the traditional salad. Lettuce in general doesn't appeal to me. By the looks of most restaurant salad bars, I am not alone. You often end up with very little lettuce and lots of creamy dressing, meat, cheese, nuts, etc.
The benefit of eating raw vegetables every day cannot be overstated. The fiber in raw vegetables will help your digestion immensely. Fiber helps you feel full with very few calories and often no fat. A daily salad can help you lose weight and maintain it. But if you, like me, aren't a huge raw vegetable fan, these healthy salad recipes will spark your creativity and excite your palate.
Iceberg lettuce is everything I do not like about salad. I have heard that garden grown varieties are better than store bought. My experience with iceberg lettuce is boring and tasteless torture. Other lettuces and greens are much better for you. Every other mainstream lettuce, like romaine, bibb, or leaf, has more fiber, vitamins and nutrients than iceberg. Adding other greens like arugula, spinach, kale, chard, radicchio, endive, and watercress greatly improve the texture and nutrition.
Adding other raw vegetables also makes your salad more interesting. Baby carrots, broccoli florets, raw green beans or sugar snap peas are not strangers on my salad. Bell pepper strips can add a lot of flavor and red and yellow bell pepper add a crisp sweetness.
Healthy salad recipes do not qualify as healthy if you add a creamy dressing. Blue cheese and ranch dressings are very high in fat and saturated fat. The "low fat" alternatives to these cream dressings often have lots of questionable additives, like high fructose corn syrup. If you like dairy with your salad sprinkle on some shredded cheese.
To save money and calories and artificial ingredients, make your own salad dressing. Start with something acidic, like citrus juice or vinegar, and add the same amount of olive oil. If your acid is not a strong flavor, like rice wine vinegar, you can add half as much oil as vinegar, saving you lots of calories and fat. Experiment with your acid/oil balance to suit your tastes. Add your favorite dried spices, like garlic, oregano, basil, cilantro, etc. Freshly grind in some salt and pepper and shake it all together. If you make your own dressing, your salad will be different every day. A fresh made dressing tastes miles better than anything from a bottle.
MY FAVORITE DRESSING
1/4 cup Raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tsp Poppy seeds
pinch of sugar (optional)
two pinches of mustard powder or 1/8 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Shake to combine. This is great as a chicken marinade also.
MY PENULTIMATE FAVORITE DRESSING
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil... or, even better... sesame or peanut oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
a pinch of garlic powder
Shake to combine. Great with Asian themed food.
WHERE ARE THE HEALTHY SALAD RECIPES?
Naming this page Healthy Salad Recipes is a little misleading. I'm sorry. I do not believe in recipes. I would rather you experiment with different ingredient amounts. You know how much you like the taste of various flavors. Be the chef. I hope these "recipes" will inspire you.
1) Drain a can of black beans and a can of corn very, very well.
2) Dice a tomato.
3) Squeeze a lime into a container or measuring cup that has a lid. Add the same amount of olive oil and shake vigorously. Add a little salt, pepper, and a dash of dried cilantro flakes and garlic powder. Add a dash of cumin if you like it. You can also add cayenne if you like heat.
4) Top a bed of romaine with a sprinkling of black beans, corn, tomato and your lime dressing. Add chopped fresh cilantro if available.
I have been known to put rice and chicken in a bowl and pour this salad over it. Viola! It's a meal!
1) Make the Raspberry Salad Dressing (above)
2) Toss with romaine lettuce , spinach and broccoli florets
3) Top with almonds and dried cranberries
4) Grilled salmon makes this a meal
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