Green salads are a great addition to any meal. They are low in carbs and calories but filling so you can eat a lot without going above your daily goal. They are a delicious way to pack in nutrients. But like anything else on the table, salads can be boring. Here’s some ways to beat the boring . . .
Based on a yummy salad we first found at Panera, the strawberry combination above is easily one of our favorite salads. The base is a spring green mix. Add a couple of fruits, some nuts and the saltiness of feta cheese. Yum! The fruit changes with the seasons – strawberries for spring, apples for fall, canned mandarin or fresh clementines anytime. Dried fruit makes an appearance as well, for color, nutrition and flavor. You can use golden raisins or dried cranberries, flavored or plain. (Dried fruit has a high carb count, so resist the temptation to over load the salad.) Nuts can be English walnuts, slivered almonds or pecans. I love salads without dressing, but a light raspberry vinaigrette or lemon poppyseed are good dressings for fruit salads.
Raspberries in season are also a great addition to salads. This salad is waiting for a bit of protein which can be in the form or cheese or meat. Raspberries are mild in taste so you might want a cheese with a stronger presence like blue cheese to play the flavors against one another. Or marry the flavors by using fruit glazed grilled chicken slices as the protein.
You can see a bit of formula creeping in here. Greens as the base get the supporting role that carries the whole show. A star for color and flavor. One or more proteins, such as nuts, cheese, beans or meat, for nutrition and glucose balance. A character or two that provides crunch and texture to the production. It works for raw vegetable salads too, as you can see below. The recipe given below can be used as a guide for all sorts of variations!
To help with other salad variations, I ran across this wonderful download from the American Dietetic Association. When I find that kind of “this makes sense” information, I pinky-promise that I will share! You can print or download it to your own computer here, Color Your Plate with Salad. (No compensation – just passing on what I found helpful.)
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