Salad greens piled high on your plate is always a welcome dish. A mix of iceberg lettuce with cucumber and tomato can be revolutionized so that your salad becomes a super healthy meal or accompaniment. Try adding some tasty and healthy extras like:
- First, start with a variety of greens. Choose from spinach, peppery arugula (also known as rocket), endive, mustardy watercress, chicory, and radicchio and super healthy greens of kale, chard and beet greens. Herbs of basil, cilantro, parsley or dill also can be torn and thrown in the mix.
- A handful of nuts add some crunch, minerals and essential fats. Try almonds—whole or bashed, walnuts, pecans, brazil or pine nuts.
- A staple to any veggie dish or salad are seeds. Toasted or plain, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, are the high in essential fats too. Try poppy seeds for a nice change too.
- For a sweetened bite, dried fruit adds minerals including iron. Choose from raisins, dried apricots, cranberries (look out for ones that are coated in sugar though) blueberries or cherries.
- Summertime is all about berries and soft fruits. Fresh from the market or your back yard, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or blackberries are all a powerhouse in antioxidants and vitamin C. Other lovely additions of pear, apricot, plum, watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew.
- A salad needn’t have leaves in it. Fresh vegetables can make up the bulk of any salad, mixed with rice, quinoa or noodles. Create a rainbow on your plate of red, yellow, orange or green peppers, green beans, peas, avocado, asparagus, red or spring onions, tomato, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumber, corn, cauliflower or carrots with or with out green salad leaves.
- Make your own croutons from whole grain Mary’s Sticks and Twigs crackers. Packed full of seeds and taste, they add a nice crunch to the mix.
- A sprinkling of your favourite cheese can make a salad. Try blue, Stilton, feta, grilled halloumi, herb crusted goats cheese, fresh buffalo mozzarella or bocconcini.
- Protein to round off and balance your meal of chicken, fish, quinoa, beans, hardboiled egg or cheese above.
- And to top it all off, a lovely light dressing that compliments your creation. Here’s one that’s fast and easy to make, and stores well.
Simple Salad Dressing
3/4 cup (175 mL) olive oil
1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) agave syrup or honey
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients in a jar, shake well before using.
This article originally appeared on iVillage.
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