You Can Build A Better Salad

Putting together your own recipe for a delicious and healthy salad is easy and even fun. Try to have salads most nights, at least during the weekdays. Salads are better than cooked veggies because they maintain more nutrients. Combine as many varieties of the following ingredients as possible: lettuce; vegetables; fruits; cheese/olives; seeds/nuts; , beans; and dressing/herbs. If some is left over, take it to lunch the next day.

Organic Lettuce. Have at least two of the following three: Romaine, Baby Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Mixed Lettuce, and many other choices of greens. Forget Iceberg lettuce: its nutritional value is much lower than Romaine, Spinach and other greens. You can find packages of all three types at Trader Joe’s, Dominick’s or Whole Foods. For the mixed, look for “spring mix”, “mixed greens” or any type with ingredients like arugula, parsley, cilantro, dill, etc. You’ll get a variety of tastes, textures and colors/nutrients. Don’t bother cutting the lettuce, just tear it with your hands.
Organic Vegetables.Fresh, organic vegetables such as: tomatoes, cucumbers (with peel on), sugar peas, green beans, bell peppers, onions of all varieties, spinach, kale, carrots, broccoli, and many other vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They also add fiber to your meal which is important for digestive health.
Organic Fruits. Try strawberry or apple pieces, grapes, mangos, pears, oranges, or kiwi. Fruits are loaded with nutrition, taste, and fiber. You’re limited only by your imagination, so get creative!
Cheese/Olives. Try a lower fat cheese, like feta or skim mozzarella. If you add olives, try to avoid canned olives (and cans generally) since most have harmful phthalates. Try kalamata olives, which come in glass containers.
Seeds/Nuts. Since organics are usually almost double the price, you may be tempted to cut corners here. Try adding sunflower kernels, whole or slivered almonds or cashews. How about Flaxseeds, which is like a wonder food. Or try a trail mix with nuts and dried fruit pieces if you’re really daring. Any or all of these will add great texture to your salad!
Dressing. Extra virgin olive oil and organic lemon juice are an excellent dressing. Or substitute any type of vinegar for the lemon juice. Add oregano, pepper or a touch of organic Agave Syrup for flavor if you mix your dressing separately.

If you don’t usually eat salads very often, maybe it’s because they seem so blah. Try some of the above ingredients and you may be surprised how often you begin to crave them. The more tastes, textures, and colors you add to your salads, the better. Bon apetit!

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