Friday, September 2, 2011

Leafy Salads to Go

I've been needing to get really creative with salad lately. Eating salad as a main dish has proven to help reduce our belly-size. So even if there are days when the thought of another salad seems (at first) boring and bland, I think to myself, "We can't give up now!!!"

There are, of course, lots of different kinds, but I'm focusing on leafy salads here. Lettuce can become the canvas for painting a hearty lunchtime or dinnertime meal. You just need lots of veggies and/or fruits, and a protein or two to bring flavor. And, don't forget texture. A little crunch or a little chew can go a long way in making salad a more satisfying eating experience.

This one has tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, leftover steak, and garbanzo beans, served with a balsamic vinaigrette

Here are some tips on building a yummy salad on the go:
  • Use a large reusable container, at least a 1-quart sized one with a good tight lid.
  • Dressing can be placed at the bottom of your container or in a separate one for the road. That way, the lettuce won't get soggy. If you put at the bottom, just shake the closed container when you're ready to eat!
  • No one says you have to put the lettuce/greens in first. Placing some chunky veggies like tomatoes or broccoli at the bottom is 1) a great surprise at the end and 2) if dressing is at the very bottom, the greens really won't get soggy.
  • Add 1-2 proteins to keep your tummy full: grilled meat, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, beans, tofu, etc.
  • Add different vegetables and/or fruit: avocado, carrots, onions, cucumber, oranges, apples, pears - whatever you have on hand that might taste good together!
  • Add texture: toasted nuts, dried fruit (raisins or cranberries), sunflower seeds, crispy apples, creamy cheese all add variety to your palate.
  • Don't forget your canned goods! Beans, corn, peas, mushrooms, olives, mandarin oranges...lots of salad goodies can be found right in your pantry.
Get creative and get healthy!

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