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Lighten Up with Salads

With the weather getting warmer, I naturally turn to eating lighter foods, such as salads.  Salads have come a long way from the days of iceberg lettuce with sliced tomato.  Just about anything from your fridge and pantry can be tossed into a salad, so you’ll never get bored. 


Below is a chart for creating salads; simply choose from the Greens, Veggies, Protein, and Fat categories and add to a bowl or plate. The Grains/Starches category is optional, so omit if you’d like.  Add a Dressing ingredient, or you can mix several of the ingredients together.  (I’ve provided a recipe below).   Top with Herbs & Spices, or you can blend them into your salad dressing.


Salad Creator Chart

Greens – Choose 1 or more:

Mixed Greens                                           

Romaine lettuce                                       

Green or red leaf lettuce                        

Butter Lettuce                                          

Boston Lettuce                                         

Arugula

Radicchio

Spinach

Kale

Beet Greens

 

Veggies – Choose 2 or more:

Cucumbers

Tomatoes – fresh or sundried

Celery

Bell pepper

Hot pepper

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Corn

Carrot

Scallions

Red onion

Sprouts

Radishes

Artichoke hearts

Zucchini

Yellow Squash

Protein – Choose 1 or 2:

Chickpeas

Black beans

White beans

Tofu/Seitan

Chicken

Turkey

Salmon

Shrimp

White fish

Steak

Hard-boiled egg

Fat – Choose 1:

Avocado

Olives

Feta Cheese

Goat’s Cheese

Mozzarella

Parmesan cheese

Pine nuts

Walnuts

Toasted Sunflower Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds

 

Dressing

Olive Oil

Avocado Oil

Sesame Oil

Dijon Mustard

Lemon Juice

Lime Juice

Red Wine Vinegar

Rice Wine Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar

Tahini

Soy Sauce

Miso

Yogurt

 

Herbs & Spices – as much as you’d like:

Basil

Cilantro

Oregano

Thyme

Mint

Dill

Parsley

Chives

Tarragon

Rosemary

Chili Pepper

Dandelion Leaves

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Garlic

Ginger

Capers

Grains/Starches, Optional:

Potato

Sweet Potato

Whole Grain Pasta

Brown Rice

Quinoa

Tabouleh

Millet

Barley

Farro

Buckwheat

Bulgur

 

 

 

I often use oil and vinegar on my salads, but this Mediterranean-inspired salad dressing is tasty and easy to make.


Mediterranean Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil (if you have it) and/or oregano

  • 1 garlic clove minced or a pinch of garlic powder

  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper


Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Taste and adjust flavor if you’d like.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Enjoy!

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