Mix up your salads
Salads are the perfect summer meal solution. Salads are delicious, easy to make and won’t heat your up kitchen when temperatures soar. They are a great addition to a backyard barbecue, a family picnic or a quick weeknight supper.
Stock your kitchen with a variety of salad ingredients so you can toss one together in a hurry. The possibilities are endless! Serve as a side dish, or turn your salad into a full meal by including foods from at least 3 of the 4 food groups from Canada’s Food Guide.
Get a Boost from Veggies and Fruit
Salads are an easy way to get more vegetables and fruit. Experiment with different combinations for a new flavour. Try some of these healthy additions:
– Leafy greens, such as spinach, baby kale, romaine lettuce or spring mix.
– Broccoli and cauliflower florets.
– Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers or mushrooms.
– Red, green, orange or yellow peppers.
– Apple, orange or grapefruit pieces.
– Fresh berries or grapes.
– Pineapple or melon chunks.
– Unsweetened dried fruit.
Adding protein will help keep you full. Try topping your salad with:
– Cooked chicken, pork or beef.
– Cooked salmon, cooked shrimp or canned tuna.
– Cubed or grated cheddar, mozzarella, feta or goat cheese.
– Unsalted almonds, walnuts or sunflowers seeds.
– Canned kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas or lentils (drain and rinse before adding to your salad).
– Hardboiled egg slices.
Include whole grains to get more fibre. Your salad will also be more filling.
– Add cooked and cooled grains to your salad. Try whole grain pasta, brown rice, bulgur or quinoa.
– Wrap your salad in a whole grain tortilla or stuff into half a whole wheat pita.
Dress it up
Add extra flavour to your salad with a splash of salad dressing. Salad dressings (homemade or store bought) contain healthy fat, but calories can still add up quickly. Use just the amount you need to enjoy your salad.
Use fresh herbs to add a burst of flavour to your salad. Try mixing your salad greens with chopped fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro or mint. If you are new to using herbs, start with small amounts until you discover which flavours you enjoy the most.
Jazz up your meals with one of these flavourful salad combinations:
– Spring mix, fresh berries and slivered almonds tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette.
– Cooked pasta, grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, baby spinach and feta cheese mixed with Greek salad dressing.
– Sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and bocconcini cheese drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
– Baby arugula or romaine lettuce, canned mandarin oranges, pecans and fresh mint leaves. Mix olive oil with some of the juice from the mandarin oranges for a tasty dressing.
To learn more about healthy eating or for information on the FREE classes Emily offers at Sobeys Aberdeen and Westside, New Glasgow. Call 755-3645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Try this recipe!
Spinach Berry Salad
¼ cup 60 ml Pecans, chopped
4 cups 1000 ml Baby spinach
1 cup 250 ml Strawberries, sliced
1 cup 250 ml Blueberries
½ cup 125 ml Red onion, sliced
2 tbsp 30 ml Olive oil
2 tbsp 30 ml Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp 30 ml Honey
2 tsp 10 ml Dijon mustard
¼ tsp 1 ml Pepper
1. Toast pecans in a dry frying pan over low heat until they start to become
fragrant. Keep moving the pan so the pecans don’t burn.
2. Toss spinach, berries, onion, and pecans in a large salad bowl.
3. Make dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Fat 13 grams
Carbohydrate 23 grams
Fibre 4 grams
Protein 3 grams
Sodium 59 milligrams
Tip: Try this salad with other seasonal fruit such as strawberries, peaches
or apples. Add goat cheese or smoked salmon for a twist.
Source: Sobeys Dietitians
Emily Harnish is a Sobeys dietitian.