A seemingly healthy salad can be a calorie bomb when smothered in high-fat dressing.
Many popular salads are loaded with calories and fat.
Whether you want to get rid of excess weight or improve your health, adding salads to your diet can help you achieve your goals. Salads are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
The trick is to make sure you add enough protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to your salad so it is still a perfectly balanced meal.
Eat Lots of Veggies
At less than 25 calories per serving, fresh vegetables are a great addition to any salad.
Vary your ingredients to vary the nutrients; you’ll get a large amount of folic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and fiber.
Stay away from veggies that are fried or swimming in mayonnaise.
Your salad can include cucumbers, peppers, shredded carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, mushrooms, and onions.
Add Some Brown Rice
Adding brown rice to a salad keeps you full for longer and makes it even more delicious.
Brown rice is rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which will boost your energy levels and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Add Protein Rich Foods
One of the best ways to prepare a flavorful salad that helps stave off hunger for hours is to add protein rich foods such as tuna fish, salmon, shrimp, lean steak or beans.
Your salad may also include baked tofu, green soybeans, low fat cheese, boiled eggs, or chicken breast.
By adding these ingredients, you can turn your salad into a complete meal.
Use Raw, Homemade Dressings
Instead of loading your salad with commercial dressings and sauces rich in saturated fat, learn to prepare your own dressings.
You can use extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, yogurt, garlic, flax seed oil, avocado, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.
For a cheese dressing, you can add low fat mayonnaise, garlic powder, crumbled blue cheese, parsley, and white vinegar.
Add Herbs and Spices
Add new flavors to your salads by adding herbs and spices such as mustard, parsley, curry, flavored vinegar, basil, coriander, cumin and others.
You may also add a tablespoon of chopped green olives or a handful of toasted nuts.
Skip the Croutons
Croutons only contain a few nutrients and empty calories.
Instead of adding croutons to your favorite salad, opt for whole grain crackers or a whole grain roll.
Other options include raisins, granola, chopped walnuts, feta cheese and Chinese noodles. Even though these foods are rich in calories, they contain more nutrients than croutons.
A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Adding salads, grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet is a great way to improve your health and maintain a balanced weight.
Few recipes to help you create an amazing salad:
BACON AND AVOCADO MACARONI SALAD
- 12 ounces elbows pasta
- 5 slices bacon, diced
- 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and thyme in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, avocado, lemon-thyme dressing, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately, garnished with thyme.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces Mexican chorizo, casing removed
- 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup Del Monte® Whole Kernel Sweet Gold and White Corn, drained
- 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
- 1/4 cup tortilla strips, for garnish
FOR THE LIME VINAIGRETTE
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime zest and juice, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chorizo, cook until dry and crisp, about 2 minutes, making sure to crumble the chorizo as it cooks; let cool.
- To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chorizo, corn, black beans, tomato and cilantro. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Stir in avocado.
- Serve immediately, garnished with cheese and tortilla strips, if desired.
There you have it 2 amazing salad recipes to help you through your weight loss journey.