Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is that Salad Healthy?

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I <3 salads, especially homemade ones. 

Salads are good no matter what season it is. It also provides much of the fruit and vegetable portions you need for a day. It gets amp'ed up when you add your own protein as well. It provides Vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that we all can benefit from.

Homemade salads gives you the chance to know what goes into what you're eating...particularly in the *dressing*. Because we all know how we've managed to "super-size" and fatten up the honorable salad, we all need to be careful especially when you order from a restaurant. 

Some tips:
  • If a salad comes with cheese, meat and nuts, select just one and cut the serving in half.
  • If you're not making your own dressing, ask for it on the side and dip or drizzle it on with a fork.
  • Mix your greens. Try spring mix, arugula, spinach and romaine.
  • Try using beans and whole grains like quinoa and couscous instead of meat or cheese.
  • Use zest fruits, colorful veggies and nuts for texture (Just be careful 'cuz nuts are high in fat).
  • Ditch the dough if you're trying to lose a few pounds. If having bread or rolls with your salad, remember that these add calories overall.
Caribbean Chicken Salad
In the mix:

1 lb. boneless chicken breast halves
Rub in:
1 Tbs jerk seasoning 
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
Let stand for 15 minutes then grill or cook chicken on grill pan (medium high heat) turning once for 10-12 minutes.
Whisk together:
1 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
Add and toss to coat well.
1/4 small sweet white onion sliced thinly
6 cups mixed greens
Cut the chicken 1/4 thick diagonal slices. 
Add to the salad and toss gently again:
1 mango pitted and sliced
1avocado sliced

Spinach Salad
In the mix:

1/2 cup pecans (toasted)
Whisk together:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp chopped red onion
Add and toss together:
1 green pear sliced thinly
2 Tbsp raisins
Baby spinach - about 4-6 cups
3 oz. reduced fat goat cheese

Dig into one tonight!
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