Leafy Greens with a Drizzle of Dressing
From a simple salad — say, leafy greens with a drizzle of dressing — you can easily create a meal with a few extra ingredients. Here’s how to make heartier salads while avoiding high-calorie toppings such as fried noodles, tortilla chips, sour cream and bacon.
- Pick your base. Most salads start with greens such as romaine, arugula, kale and spinach, which are high in health-protective antioxidants and fiber. But for a change from greens (or in addition to them), there are other fun ways to start a salad, including:
- Shredded vegetables such as carrots, kohlrabi, purple cabbage or beets
- Paper-thin slices of cucumber, celery or sweet peppers
- Whole grains such as wheat berries, quinoa (keen-wah), brown rice or buckwheat
- Add vegetables (and fruit) in all colors. Turn your salad into a rainbow. Carrots, grape tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, peas and broccoli each add texture, flavor and crunch. And don’t forget the fruit — berries, pears, apples and oranges are perfect in salads.
- Pack a protein punch. The secret of turning a salad into a full meal lies in the protein you add. Vegetables alone won’t provide a filling meal, but protein can help. Add some of these delicious, nutrient-rich options:
- Turkey or chicken breast
- Lean steak or pork loin
- Canned salmon, tuna or sardines
- Fish fillet
- Chickpeas, lentils or beans
- Tofu cubes
- Shredded cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Add some health-friendly fat. You absorb antioxidants from vegetables better when you pair them with a source of fat. A good choice is a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, almonds or flax. Top off your salad with a tablespoon of an olive oil-based vinaigrette.