Salads, Salads, Salads!

Salads are one of the most versatile meals out there. There are so many different ways to make healthy salads. From protein options, vegetables, dairy, fruits, nuts and seeds, there are many ways to enjoy this meal. 

Looks Can Be Deceiving – Make Good Choices

Okay, we’ve all been told to “make good choices” throughout the years. When putting your salad together, the same mantra goes here.  Many salads LOOK healthy and SOUND healthy, but if you look at the nutritional value, they are not as healthy as they look. Here I will discuss what you can do to make healthy salads that are both satisfying in taste and will fill you up. 

What I try to avoid in salads include any protein that is breaded or fried, fried tortilla strips/bowls, overloaded with cheese (yes, that is a thing) and adding gobs of unhealthy salad dressing. 

What I Look For

Base – I aim for a cup or two of greens that may include kale, spinach, spring mix or romaine.

More Veggies – There are so many possibilities here. Some of my favorite options are carrots, cucumbers, roasted beets, shaved brussel sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, onion, mushrooms and sprouts.

Fruits – In the summer, fruit salads are one of my favorite salads. I love fresh raspberries, blackberries and strawberries in salads. Other favorites are nectarines, apples, pears and peaches.

Proteins – Lean healthy proteins are the way to go here. These include boneless, skinless chicken breasts, turkey, tuna (steaks or canned) and salmon.

Healthy Carbohydrates – Quinoa is amazing in salads. Other favorites include diced, roasted sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas and edamame. 

Dairy – This category is easy to go overboard. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese? I typically opt for a small amount of cheddar, feta, blue or goat cheese. 

Healthy Fats – Although these are considered healthy fats, it’s easy to overdo this category as well. And too much of a “good” thing is not that good.  I like to add avocado (about a half of a small one), chia seeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. 

Dressings – I try to avoid store bought, highly processed dressings.  My “go-to” dressing is my homemade ranch or homemade balsamic-vinaigrette.  

If you stick with the above items, you too can make healthy salads in so many ways that you will not get bored with them. 

 

 

 

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