Tired of eating the same salad, day after day? Hit up your supermarket, food co-op, or the nearest farmers’ market for some fresh seasonal ingredients. Getting creative with toppings like olives, nuts, and seeds is also a great way to sneak extra nutrients into your salad bowl. Here are a few healthy alternatives to typical salad fixings that you can use to revamp your next salad:
the iceberg lettuce and choose more nutrient-dense greens, such as baby
spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, or a spring mix like mesclun. Toss one or a
combination of these greens with some lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil,
salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and then shave Parmesan over the top. If
you’re on Phase 2, try a Sicilian citrus and olive salad, using navel or blood
orange slices and sliced kalamata olives on a bed of baby spinach. Use the same
vinaigrette as above or one made with a little orange juice. Add chopped fresh
herbs of your choice.
- Grill asparagus,
eggplant, zucchini, fennel, or shiitake mushrooms (use a grill topper), basting
of lemon- and herb-infused extra-virgin olive oil, or simply roast them in the
- Add sliced
avocado to your salad for a touch of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (keeping
in mind that they count toward your fat allowance for the day). You can also
slice up a hard-boiled egg and use some capers or anchovies as an alternative
to the olives.
- Toss in grilled salmon,
shrimp, or tofu, rather than the usual sliced chicken or turkey breast.
- Garnish your
salad with some chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds, or a sprinkling of
sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Make your own healthy balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped garlic, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh herbs of your choice. Drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil, to taste. Trying a new store-bought dressing is fine, too, as long as it doesn’t contain more than 3 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving.