Why healthy salad recipes are important to your weight loss diet
Considering the varieties of food we consume on a daily basis, there’s none more important than old friend fruits and vegetables. And yes, we’re talking about building a healthy salad!
The salad is considered the Prince of the Menu, if not the King. Dinner may be perfect in every other detail but if you mess up the salad, people will remember it as an unfavorable salad recipe.
The importance of using quality ingredients must not be overlooked, for a perfect salad cannot be made with inferior ingredients. Garnishing or decorating salads presents an opportunity for displaying artistic taste and judgment. The most deliciously blended salad will not be appreciated unless it is attractive in appearance.
There are no exact rules as to what can be laid down for garnishing; much depends on the judgment and good taste of the salad maker. Original ideas are commendable. Wildflowers neatly arranged with alternate tufts of green are very pretty during warm weather. During cold weather garnish with pretty designs cut from beets, turnips, radishes, celery, etc. are to be duly noted.
Below are some excellent healthy salad recipes along with some great tips and ideas for building your next salad masterpiece!
Your salad has greens, veggies, even fruits %u2014 so why not go further into the garden and add flowers too? Edible flowers, which include marigolds, violets, roses, nasturtiums, chive blossoms, and pansies, can add color and flavor to your salad. Just be sure to use flowers that are labeled as edible, like the ones you can find in the produce section at the grocery store. Other blooms, which are sold at nurseries and florists may be toxic or grown with dangerous pesticides, or grow your own.
Herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme whether fresh or dried, are great ways to add flavor to salads. Many supermarkets offer fresh herbs already packaged or as plants. Both fresh and dried herbs can be sprinkled on top as garnishes or used to make flavorful salad dressings. Try experimenting with different combinations, but start out small. It%u2019s also important to know that if a recipe calls for dried herbs, and you want to substitute fresh %u2013 one teaspoon of dried is equal to one tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of freshly snipped herbs.
Fruits and Berries
We all know that berries, apples, oranges, and pears taste great on their own, but paired with salad greens, the combination of flavors can be extraordinary, and they add a touch of sweetness. Dried fruits, like cherries, cranberries, apricots or raisins can also liven up a salad and may be more convenient to use at certain times of the year.
Add Some Texture
Nuts and seeds not only add interesting flavors to foods, but the crunch they provide can be just what a salad needs to give it some texture. Sprinkle small amounts of nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or even pine nuts. They will provide unique flavors (especially when toasted) and textures when used as salad toppings.
Croutons typically get a bad rap, but if you make your own and use whole grain loaves of bread they can help you meet your daily goal for dietary fiber. Another option is to serve a scoop of cooked whole grains, like quinoa or bulgur, over a mixture of salad greens. It’s a great way to get the best of both food groups at one meal.
Another ingredient that can really make a salad more satisfying are beans. There are so many varieties to experiment with, but more common types used in salads include black beans, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), and edamame. Cooked beans whether they are purchased frozen, dried, or canned are all good options and a convenient way to get a plant-based source of lean protein.
Avocados not only taste great, but they are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and contain several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and potassium. They also provide a decent amount of dietary fiber, which most Americans don%u2019t get enough of. Avocados are also very versatile. For example, they can be chopped up and added as a salad ingredient or pureed into a dressing. It%u2019s best to prepare them right before serving because once an avocado is sliced, it will start to oxidize (discolor). A little squeeze of lemon or lime juice can help prevent it from browning.
Looking for ways to get more calcium and vitamin D in your diet? A sprinkle of shredded cheese, such as mozzarella or Parmesan, or crumbled feta can add a lot of flavor with just a small amount. Plus, they are good sources of calcium. Eggs provide vitamin D and when hard-boiled, make a great topping for salads.
It’s hard to imagine a salad without dressing, especially with so many options. Just be careful when it comes to dressing up your salad because the majority of the fats and calories will have come from the salad dressing.
Oils, which are considered a healthier form of fat, are needed on a regular basis but only in small amounts. They provide important nutrients and help with the absorption of others, like vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats also help promote a feeling of fullness. Depending on which type of salad dressing you choose, the recommended serving size is just one to two tablespoons %u2013 one for mayonnaise-based dressings and two for oil-based ones.
Variety is Key and the Spice of Life
Try experimenting with different recipes and an assortment of different colored vegetables to keep the salad combinations exciting and healthful. Being mindful of portions and choosing ingredients that pack a lot of flavor and texture but in small amounts will also help. To prevent your taste buds from becoming bored, why not kick it up a notch with some spicy peppers!