7 Ways To Make Your Salad Healthy
Salad week is the fourth week of July. Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to gather fresh ingredients to create healthy salads. Enjoying a salad is a great way to get a majority of your daily vitamin and mineral needs. They can be a light and refreshing meal to help you beat the summer heat, and can even be prepared in advance to help you eat a healthy meal during your busy summer schedule. Here are some tips to help you utilize the season’s produce to create healthy, delicious and satisfying meals.
Keep the protein lean
Use grilled, sautéed or broiled meats in your entrée salads. Go for lean cuts, like loins, or use chicken breast or fish.
Fill up on healthy fats
Avoid fatty cuts of meat or those that are cooked in butter or fried, such as chicken strips. Instead, use healthy fats such as avocado, oils, eggs, seeds, and nuts.
Make your own salad dressing
Use flavored oils, such as lemon and garlic, to make homemade dressings. You can easily make your own flavored oils by infusing lemon wedges, garlic cloves, other produce or herbs into ¼ cup olive oil for a few days before using to make your dressing.
Beans are a great source of protein and are packed with fiber that helps keep you full. Adding nuts, seeds, egg, or tofu will help you pile on the protein so you stay satisfied.
Try a salad without lettuce
Using ingredients other than lettuce, such as beans and rice, as the base for your salad provides you some variety to be creative. Make a Mexican style salad, or get adventurous with a chicken, chickpea, and avocado-based salad. A salad prepared without lettuce can even rest in the refrigerator for a few days to get the flavors mixed nicely.
Try a fruit salad
Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a light and refreshing fruit salad, and it’s a great choice for an appetizer or a dessert. Remember to add some citrus juice to keep your fruit salad from browning, and never leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid any spoiling.
Add some whole grains
Don’t forget that you need a balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Serving your lean and healthy salad with a whole grain roll or crackers or adding some grains such as quinoa or couscous to your salad will provide you with a well-balanced meal.
These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.