Salads can be a good way to get your important vitamins and minerals.. Salads also supply fiber. However, not all salads are healthy or nutritious. It depends on what is in the salad. It is OK to add small amounts of dressing and toppings, however, if you overdo it with high-fat add-ins, your salad may cause you to exceed your daily calorie needs and contribute to weight gain.
Prepare salads with colorful vegetables. If you have plenty of fresh vegetables in the salad, then you are getting healthy, disease-fighting nutrients.
Be mindful of the extra items you add to your vegetable salads, which may be high in saturated fat or sodium.
You want to include some fat in your salad. Mixing vinegar with olive oil or other vegetable oil is a good base for homemade dressings. You can also add nuts and avocado to include healthy fats. This will help your body to make the most of the fat soluble vitamins (A,D, E, and K).
Use salad dressing or added fats in moderation. Large amounts of prepared salad dressing or toppings such as cheese, dried fruits, and croutons can turn a healthy salad into a very high-calorie meal.
Chunks of cheese, croutons, bacon bits, nuts, and seeds can increase the amount of sodium, fat, and calories in a salad. Try to choose only one or two of these items to add to your colorful, veggies.
At the salad bar, avoid add-ons such as coleslaw, potato salad, and creamy fruit salads which can increase calories and fat.
Try to use a darker lettuce. Light green Iceberg has fiber but not as many nutrients as dark greens such as romaine, kale, or spinach.
Add variety to your salad with high-fiber items such as legumes (beans), raw vegetables, fresh and dried fruit.
Include a protein in your salads to help make them a filling meal, for example beans, grilled chicken breast, canned salmon, or hard-boiled eggs.
Healthy Salads – Greek Salad
The authentic Greek salad or what Greek call it as ‘Horiatiki’, which means village or peasant salad – basically a combination of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, olives and feta cheese, dressed in olive oil and sprinkled with oregano. Other common ingredients include bell peppers, berries, or capers, which are especially popular in the Dodecanese Islands.
Rules of the Greek Salad
There is no lettuce or any other leafy greens.
Feta cheese is not cut into cubes but rather one large piece or a few smaller pieces are placed on top of the salad.
The tomato and cucumber should be cut in fairly large pieces, not small cubes.
There is no red pepper in the traditional Greek salad.
The salad is served with bread, not pita.
The salad is served in a shallow bowl; do not serve it in a deep bowl.
Healthy Salads – Caprese Salad
The Italian classic is thought to originate from the Island of Capri, but there has been no way to officially determine where it came from. It is however credited to the southern Italian region of Campania. Caprese is considered a summer dish, in part to the ingredients being in season at that time, specifically the tomatoes. What makes caprese so amazing is its simplicity, traditionally using only 4 ingredients of buffalo mozzarella (Mozzarella di bufala), basil, tomato and extra virgin olive oil. It did not gain world fame until the 1950s, when it was discovered by Egyptian King Farouk while on vacation. He is also credited to inventing the caprese sandwich.
Healthy Salads – Watermelon Salad With Feta & Mint
Watermelon salad is a summer salad made with watermelon, and usually mint, feta and a simple vinaigrette dressing, with other ingredients like cucumber and red onion. Olives or baby arugala can be added. There are many variations, with some adding tomatoes and parsley together with the mint. Some versions omit the vinaigrette and serve it simply with olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. Goat cheese can be substituted for the feta, and additionally satsuma fruits and chopped pecans can be added to the basic salad.
A patriotic version of the salad can be made for the 4th of July by arranging watermelon and white cheese in alternating rows and placing blueberries at the top left corner of the serving plate.
Healthy Salads – Sesame Soba Noodles
Asian soba noodle salad with soy dressing is a flavor-packed dish. Bold soy citrus flavors infuse into crunchy vegetables and nutty buckwheat noodles. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour that gives a more nutty flavor, a good alternative to egg-based pasta noodles.
This noodle side dish is delicious alongside meats and seafood, but it makes a great noodle bowl or light lunch with avocado, shredded cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts and more. And even better, you can serve it hot or cold.
Healthy Salads Cobb Salad
Legend has it that this tasty blend was created by accident. In 1937, Robert H. Cobb (er, Bob Cobb), owner of L.A. eatery The Brown Derby, was scrounging around for a nighttime meal when he came upon an avocado. He chopped it up and threw in some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, chicken, hard-boiled egg, cheese, some leftover bacon and tossed with the Derby’s famous French dressing. As the story goes, word spread of his delicious invention after he fed it to Hollywood promoter Sid Grauman, who fell in love at first bite. Soon it was added to the restaurant’s menu.
Healthy Salads Caesar Salad
Two different Italian chefs are credited for creating this Parmesan cheese-laced favorite. Most historians point to Caesar Cardini, a San Diego-based cook who ran a restaurant just over the Mexican border in Tijuana to avoid the United States’ prohibition laws. Over a busy Fourth of July weekend in 1924, Cardini was running low on supplies, so he threw together a salad with the ingredients he could find in his kitchen: romaine lettuce, garlic, croutons, Parmesan cheese, boiled eggs, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce.
Healthy Salads – Chef Salad
Food historians trace the roots of this dish—a mix of julienned lettuce, meats, cheese and hard-boiled egg—to Salmagundi, a popular meat-and-veggie mix that originated in 17th century England. But they’re unclear on who created the first American Chef Salad. In his 1975 tome American Food: The Gastronomic Story, food historian Evan Jones speculates, “It may have been made first in the kitchen of the Ritz-Carlton where a recipe used by Louis Diat called for smoked ox tongues as one of the meats and watercress as the only green leaf.”
Healthy Salads – Quinoa Salad
This quinoa salad is refreshing, crisp and delicious. It’s made simply with fresh cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, chickpeas, fresh parsley and a garlicky olive oil and lemon dressing. The salad sort of reminds me of tabouleh, and herbed Lebanese salad with tomatoes and bulgur.
Healthy Salads – Crab Louie Salad
What’s certain about this so-called “King of Salads” (made with crab meat, avocado, tomatoes, and asparagus) is it debuted on the West Coast. Exactly when and where, however, is up for debate. Some say it was born at Seattle’s Olympic Club in 1904 when Metropolitan Opera Company tenor Enrico Caruso ordered the dish again and again until there was none left. But other theories abound. In her West Coast Cook Book, Helen Evans Brown asserts it was first served at San Francisco spot Solari’s in 1914. And representatives from The Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington insist it was their founder and owner, Louis Davenport, who invented the dish for the hotel’s restaurant.
Healthy Salad – Waldorf Salad
Waldorf Astoria Hotel maître d’ Oscar Michel Tschirky is credited for preparing the apple, celery, walnut, and mayonnaise mix for the NYC spot’s pre-opening fête in March of 1893. Later dubbed “Oscar of the Waldorf,” he continued working at the swanky establishment for another 50 years.
Ranch Dressing or Coffee Creamer
Foods, like ranch dressing or coffee creamer, can contain titanium dioxide, which can also be found in paint, plastic, and sunscreen.