Salads for all Seasons

January 14, 2016

The simple salad strategy SALAD MANIA

 

Are you thinking about changing the way you eat this winter? Is spring break closing in and you would like to reach your weight loss goals? Do you want to be eating more vegetables but aren’t really sure how to start? Salads provide the link to health, fullness and nutritional decadence. Eating more salad can fulfill an enormous appetite, provide the crunch and chew and flavors of the season with a full on nutrition “punch”.

By increasing the amount of vegetables you eat each day you are not only feeling more full and satisfied-but you are giving your body the boost of nutrients it needs.

Salad eaters tend to eat less calories, take in more anti-oxidants-(those are the nutrients that help fight off disease and aging), and vitamins and minerals.

 

Take a first step and head to the market to see what looks fresh and delicious and once you get home follow this simple 5 ingredient strategy. Salads seem to be that dish that at the end of a long day-many people just don’t feel like preparing. Or sometimes a salad at a restaurant sounds like the healthiest choice.

 

Let’s first focus on what makes a salad a great choice as part of your salad strategy and how to make it simple. Avoiding heavy meats, cheeses and dressings keeps the salad to its pristine focus-the veggies…Taking a look around the local market is one step to finding what is fresh and seasonal. Keep more hearty staples like romaine lettuce, peppers, carrots and cabbage in your refrigerator make it more likely you will prepare a salad.

A simple perfect salad is mostly vegetables and tasty herbs and spices.

Start with only 5 ingredients.  As you become a salad connoisseur you can add to the list of ingredients. Starting small and easy is the first step to trying something new.

If you are overwhelmed by all the cutting and chopping to make the salad-Use prepared chopped, shredded, cut, or boxed veggies to make it simple.

If you use pre-chopped vegetables-give them just a quick chop of your own by measuring out your ingredients on your cutting board and giving them a quick once over with your knife. The quick chopping gives you a better size bite of the veggie and seems to reinvigorate the packaged products.

So grab your favorites and let’s start with a few of my staple salads-

If you imagine an explosive combination of flavors, crunch, textures and tastes that’s the feeling to make a balanced salad. Once you start the practice of making salads-you will begin to become more intuitive with what your taste buds like and what your family enjoys the most.

Here are simple recipes with 5 ingredients to make as a side dish. Try starting your own salad frenzy. Remember you don’t need heavy dressings, cheeses and meats to enjoy a salad-the time is now to taste your vegetables…

 

THE DETROIT GREEK:

2 cups romaine, chopped

1/2 cup chopped cherry or grape tomato

½ cup chopped red cabbage

½ cup chopped cucumber

2 TBSP chopped fresh dill, mixed with 2 TBSP of red wine vinegar

 

THE KALE PLEASER

2 cups baby kale

1 TBSP sunflower seed butter

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp nutritional yeast

½ cup mushrooms, roasted or fresh chopped

 

MEX SW FIESTA

2 cups romaine, chopped

¼ cup red or yellow pepper, chopped

¼ cup frozen corn, defrosted or one ear of corn, steamed or grilled and cut from cob

½ cup red cabbage, shredded and chopped

¼ cup avocado cubed mixed with 2 TBSP of fresh salsa

 

EAST WEST GREEN FAVORITE

2 cups napa or green cabbage, chopped

½ cup pea pods ,chopped

1 scallion, chopped

2 TBSP almonds, chopped

2 TBSP seasoned rice wine vinegar mixed with 2 tsp of sesame oil

 

THE ALL AMERICAN

2 Cups butter lettuce, chopped

½ cup shredded carrots

½ cup frozen peas, defrosted or fresh chopped broccoli

1 green onion, chopped

2 TBSP of plain greek yogurt mixed with with 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 tsp of green goddess dry salad mix from Penzey’s.( it’s a natural ranch dip mix)

 

THE AMOIRE

1 cup arugula, chopped lightly

1 cup butter lettuce, chopped lightly

1 cup of chopped steamed, grilled or roasted asparagus

½ cup of chopped radish

½ TBSP of roasted walnuts

1 TBSP of red wine vinegar mixed with 1 tsp of dijon mustard

 

 

 

These salads are sized for eating as a side dish. They make great counterparts to a sandwich, soup or a couple slices of pizza, a burrito or taco,

If you want to make your salad an entrée try topping with chickpeas, a fresh poached egg on the kale pleaser is fantastic, hardboiled egg, edamame, black beans or grilled fish, chicken, or marinated tofu, or pre-cooked lentils on the Amoire are splendid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EMILY CAMIENER MPH RDN

REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST

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