Mixing It Up With Salads

Whenever someone says they are eating 'healthy,' we always think salads. They're eating nothing but lettuce. How boring. How can they stand to eat that?

But I'm here to tell you, there is more to salads than just iceberg lettuce! Salad can be fun, exciting, and flavorful in addition to nutritious! Here's some hints to help you eat better salads.

First of all, think color. The more variety and color of the ingredients of your salad, the more interesting it is, and the more visually appealing it is. If a food is not appealing, you're not as likely to eat and enjoy eating it. While I like iceberg, cucumbers, green onions, and green peppers, it's not very stimulating visually. Mix it up a little! Add red pepper instead of green, add radishes, red onion, a hint of purple cabbage, a little shredded carrot. And typically, the more color you get, the wider range of nutrients you are getting!

Also try mixing up the textures a little. I love adding a little diced apple or broccoli to my salads for the crunch. Another thing I enjoy is sliced avocado or even guacamole in my salad for the creaminess. Adding mandarin oranges adds juiciness. Try a couple different types of lettuce- even those have different types of crispiness.

Think outside the box- salad are not just veggies! Fruit salads are everywhere! Beans are delicious. My grandma feed me a five bean salad last time a visited her and it was fantastic. The salad below is tomato, onion, black beans and corn- not your normal salad! Mix fruit and veggies. Mix a protein in somewhere.

Don't be afraid to try something new. While I definitely have favorite types of salad- I love almost every spinach salad I've come across- by trying new things, you'll find new favorites. I take lunches to work almost every day, and recently combined my green salad with veggies and my pouch of tuna that I take for protein. It was delicious topped with a citrus vinaigrette! A new way to eat normal ingredients. Add an apple to your salad. Sprinkle dried cranberries on it. Crumble feta cheese on top. By trying new combinations, you can find new blends that will inspire you to continue eating healthy!

Quick note about add-ins: be careful what you add if you are trying to watch calories or fat. While dried cranberries taste great on a salad, they are a calorie dense food. Same for many cheeses and meats. Super yummy, packed with protein, but can also hide calories and fats.

Open your mind when it comes to salads! They can be nutritious, good for you, and appealing! Enjoy this salad below! I love to serve it with tortilla chips on the side almost like a dip. Yum!

Rainbow Fiesta Salad

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    Brenda Lower
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2015
    Email the author! brenda@dvo.com

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