Healthy Salad Recipes help you avoid the pitfalls of salads. All salads are not healthy! There can be so many unsuspected points of fat and hidden calories with questionable ingredients. Many salads rate high in taste, help us feel guiltless and temporarily full. However, nutrient-wise, we’re still hungry!
Healthy salads are easy to prepare and are loaded with the minerals, vitamins and protective powers the body needs to prevent disease and stay strong.
Spinach Salad Bed
Healthy salads must move beyond the traditional iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is mostly water, cheaper, and more accessible today. However with just a little more effort, you can reach for several other greens with richer color and as a result, packed with more nutrients.
Green leaves should form the bed for all salads and many entrees. The role of the salad bed goes beyond serving as a colorful decorative garnish. The salad bed should be first on the checklist for a healthy salad recipe. Here are some of the many types of greens:
Dark, long, soft-textured leaf with a sharp, peppery taste. Best when mixed with other greens.
Also known as Bibb lettuce has a sweet flavor and smooth, tender texture.
Smaller when rolled and shredded with a knife, then cut across lengthwise. Collards are a heavy texture but when made small, can be sprinkled with other greens or marinated (see marinated collards recipe) to make a heartier bed.
Frisee or curly endive, is greenish yellow, coarsely textured curly leaves with a bitter taste. Best when combined with other greens.
Mesclun is a mix of young greens. The texture varies and the color ranges from light to dark, green to red. This type of salad bed exercises the palate fully.
Romaine is a crisp, watery leaf with a firm texture and mild flavor. It blends nicely with other greens.
Spinach is dark, leafy, and rich in chlorophyll. It has a firm to medium texture. It is very beneficial when eaten raw, which makes it a great salad bed. It can be mixed with other greens or used as a stand-alone.
Salad beds can be presented as a part of an entree' for a great one dish meal! Using 1/2 cup of greens, arrange on your plate and then build your entree' (see sample). The heat from the food will wilt the greens nicely and compliement the dish. You could also sprinkle roasted garlic or garlic powder or olive oil on the bed before adding your cooked food.
After we have a good salad bed, there are many directions we can take for a salad. However this can easily become the point of failure. To stay in the healthy salad game you have the following options:
Add more colorful vegetables and use a protein-enriched dressing with nutrient-rich oil, like olive oil or flaxseed with a hint of sesame oil.
Add more vegetables and add marinated tofu, edamame (green soybeans), hummus, nuts, shredded soy cheese and a nondairy salad dressing (which is a low fat choice).
The photo above looks like coleslaw but it is broccoli slaw!
Any vegetable can become a part of a salad. How about Kale or Collard Salad, which can be marinated into a delicious, nutritious set of flavors. Tried to work with the vegetables that are in season.
Consider using nuts as the protein on those beautiful salad beds, for example walnuts or slivered almonds. Soybeans (edamame), chickpeas, tofu, and other veggie meats are excellent protein options for a healthy salad.
See Tips for how to keep salads fresh for a few days.