* I n g r e d i e n t s *
— Half head of Kale
— Ten little Carrots
— One Tomato
— Half head of Romain lettuce
— Half Lemon
— Half avocado
Salads are usually served at the beginning of a meal, but a salad can also make a healthy, low-calorie meal all by itself. When you use lots of fruits and vegetables, they can also be loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. The key to keeping salads interesting is to change the ingredients each time you make one. Don’t just think of the simple garden salad, but imagine adding fruits, nuts, and lean meats to your salad to make a great low-calorie, highly nutritious meal.
Most salads start with a pile of greens. Since greens are low in calories and are a good source of fiber, it’s a great way to add volume to your meal without adding a lot of calories. There are different varieties of lettuce, such as iceberg, leaf, spinach, escarole, romaine, or butter. The darker lettuces offer more vitamins than pale iceberg, for example. Spinach has iron, and all varieties are low in calories. One cup of shredded lettuce has about 5 to 10 calories.
Almost any raw vegetable can be cut up and added to a salad. Green beans, snap peas, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, avocados, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all great suggestions. We need five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, so eating a salad is a good way to meet those needs. Brightly colored vegetables have bioflavonoids, and the dark green vegetables are lowest in calories — about 20 calories per half cup serving.
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apple slices and raisins add vitamins and antioxidants. The delicious burst of flavor and sweetness they add can also help you cut back on, or eliminate, high-calories salad dressings. A half cup of apple slices has 30 calories, and a half cup of berries has about 40 calories.
Sprinkle a few nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews for a nice crunch. Just a few nuts will do, about one-eighth cup of nuts adds about 90 calories. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, and all of the nuts add protein and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids.