Well, here is the first recipe of 2011! I know the title of ::Salads: might not be very appealing to many of you, but hopefully this post will give you a new outlook and curiosity to salads. Fortunately, I love pretty much every fruit and vegetable, so I love salads. As crazy as it may sounds, alot of times I crave them! Many, many people, maybe including you, have set a New Years Resolution to lose weight or get healthy. Prior to the first of the year I posted as a facebook status if anyone wanted to see more healthy recipes on the blog; in which a got a lot of feedback for a "yes!" I kept thinking about it and things regarding to the post and the responses. So, I just want to say a couple things. I am not going to be changing the blog and making it a "weight loss" type blog or one with only "healthy recipes," so don't worry I won't be posting carrot sticks and salads only for my recipes!
If you are someone who is looking for healthy recipes or are wanted to be more healthy for the New Year. I challenge you to become more healthy by just making your meals from scratch as much as possible. I am a total believer that consuming tons of processed foods is not good at all. But anyways, that's neither here nor there.
So anyways, onto the recipe! Many people think of salads as just lettuce and some dressing and may be the reason why people don't eat salads very often. However, to get "substance" from a salad there are so many things you can do. In order to make it a healthy salad you have to watch the toppings you use. For example; people may pile on the croutons and think nothing of it...but, about 2 tbsps of croutons has about, or at least, 35 calories. And if you think of how many croutons that you can fit in 2 tbsps...thats not alot compared to the amount people typically use. I have made many diffferent kinds of salads...just kind of adding whatever. I will give you a list of many of the items you can put on your salad and show you a salad I made the other night for supper. Some of the toppings might surprise you!
So, here we go!
A great hearty lettuce is romaine lettuce. Either but the individual heads and chop yourself or buy the chopped lettuce. Also, to get more substance you may want to use a lettuce that contains shredded carrots, radishes, cabbage, etc.
Chopped grilled chicken, imitation crab meat, plain tuna
Also, if you are looking to add protein besides "meat" type items; beans are great to add and really bulk up the salad. My favorite bean to add is black beans. Chickpeas (garbonzo beans) are also great!
I love letting a bag of frozen peas unthaw and using them. By the lettuce in the grocery store I found a small bag of what is called "broccoli slaw." It doesn't have an overpowering broccoli taste at all but it has some shredded broccoli and carrots. Some other vegetable options are peppers, onions, tomatoes (i like using the cherry tomatoes), pretty much any vegetable you like!
Many are probably thinking; "fruit on a salad?" Once you have it you won't want one without it! Some options that I really like are sliced strawberries, sliced or finely chopped apples, mandarin oranges, and sliced pears are some of my favorites!
First, don't add too much! Also, find low fat cheeses and use sparingly. Explore cheeses; there are great ones out there besides the basic shredded cheddar!
When I use croutons; I break up each crouton. It helps you to get more with each bite, but you actually use less croutons. There are many different kinds of nuts out there that people like to use on salads. Same with cheese, use the nuts sparingly, as they contain many calories if overused!
Use a "light" variety to cut calories and make sure you look at the serving size! Only 2 tbsps of reg ranch as over 150calories!
The main thing is to watch what you are putting on the salads as only a few of the ingredients can add up and make it a very unhealthy salad!
Here was a salad I had the other night....
Some of the "stars" of the show!
This is a mixed baby romaine mix. Very good & hearty!
This is the broccoli slaw I talked about earlier.
Croutons! Gotta love em'!
A couple croutons broken into small pieces. Less is more!
Cut up clementines; add a little sweetness!
I'm a pickled beet lover; so i had to add some! Aunt Nellies brand are an awesome store boughten brand!
This was my first time trying this cheese and it was very good! Note: in a 1/4 of a cup there are about 100 calories. 1/4 of a cup is not much to what you could easily sprinkle on without looking. I used very little, but enough to add some flavor and texture.
A vinagrette would have been more appropriate for this salad, but I didn't have any so I used a fat free Dorothy Lynch along with a little bit of Light Ranch.
Enjoy...without feeling guilty! :)