If you’re like me, this is what you do when you have a salad placed in front of you: you add twice as much fatty dressing than you need, add salty sunflower seeds to it, bacon bits, and lather on the cheese, olives, and croutons. Yum, yum, healthy salad bar treat, right? Well, when it comes to salad, you can have it be a healthy side dish, or a poor excuse for a diet food. Here is how to spruce up your salad and make it taste delicioso without making your waistline go, “Hey!”
Add fruit to your salad, like pomegranates, tangerine, grapes, cranberries, apples, even strawberries! These fruits make any type of salad taste gourmet and fresh, and also make a boring spritzer for dressing taste simply amazing. Fruit gives your tastebuds a surprising burst of flavor from the salad (you can choose better salad greens as well, like arugula or spinach greens) and tempts you to eat your salad just like it is. Forgo salty sunflower seeds and exchange them for unsalted walnuts or almond slivers instead and you will never guess that the salad you are eating is a healthy one. It tastes too great to be healthy!
Skip the ham or the bacon bits and go for tuna, swordfish, or grilled chicken, or just extra walnuts. Choosing a lean protein over a fatty and salty one is a great choice (which absolutely means go for grilled chicken over breaded), or you can skip the meat all together. You can still get your protein (and your Omega-3s) if you just go for extra unsalted nuts rather than a flesh protein source.
Hey, how about avocado? Avocado is a great addition to any salad, and is super healthy for your skin and hair. With the superb taste, avocado makes a great substitute for a fatty creamy dressing (toss on some crumbled Parmesan cheese or low-fat mozzarella) to keep you from your ranch or bleu cheese cravings that pile on more fat than flavor.
Your greens go way beyond iceberg lettuce. Toss in snap peas, raw broccoli or carrots, red onion (which lowers breast cancer risks), fresh pepper, arugula, red lettuce to your salad to make it taste more appealing before you even toss in the dressings. A little bit of a fresh spring green can go a long way, and iceberg lettuce? Really?! You can so do better than that!
Perhaps one of the best dressings for a salad is salsa- salsa with beans is a great option, as is salsa with pomegranates or mango (trust me). Salsa is a great, less fat, tasty alternative to creamy dressings, and a great addition to those avocado slices that you add to your salad in general. I much prefer a salad with salsa on it than a regular salad any day! Oh, and don’t forget the fresh mushrooms! Mushrooms create a wonderful blast of flavor that will make you forget all about the cheddar cheese you would normally toss in there.
How I eat salad