Food & Drink
The Art of Salad Tossing (WINK)
March 10, 2019
GEEZ….GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER! WE’RE TALKIN GREEN SALADS! Salads are a staple in my diet. I eat salad 4 to 5 times a week as my main meal. I get asked, “Do you get bored of eating salads all the time? Do you feel full?” The answer is, “duh and duh”. I’ve made an art of creating salads that are both satisfying and healthy. Keep reading to see how you can too.
ALL SALADS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL Countless times, while out to dinner, I’ve watched someone dive into a salad that I knew was as caloric as a cheese burger. I like a good cheeseburger every once and awhile. However when I eat a cheese burger, usually made by my husband, I like it medium rare and juicy. I like the bun toasted and I DO NOT SHARE. When I want a burger, I want a burger NOT a burger disguised as a salad.
A quarter pound cheese burger is approximately 600 calories. With just a few wrong choices, you can easily create a 600-1000 calories salad. Let’s not do that.
THE ART OF SALAD TOSSING
Here are a few general mistakes people make when making or buying a salad:
Number 1. CARB COMA A well designed salad should be FILLING not HEAVY. Don’t weigh down your salad with too many starchy, carb heavy items like;
- Dried fruit,
My salad always include at least one of the above, but always in measured moderation. The good news is that you don’t have to measure the amount of green veggies (except peas) you add to your salad. The more the merrier.
Number 2. PROTEIN OVERLOAD Yes, your salad can include an animal protein, but this doesn’t mean topping your salad with a 9oz steak or an entire rotisserie chicken is ok. Choose lean proteins like eggs, wild salmon, cod, quality canned tuna, grilled chicken, turkey, or shrimp. Size DOES matter. Depending on your physical sizes, 4-6 oz should do it.
WILL I FEEL FULL YOU ASK? There are those who are convinced that it’s the protein that fills them up and keeps them satiated. I promise that if you pack your salad with fibrous green veggies that are full of vitamin and nutrients, you will feel full. Ever eat a bowl of roasted brussels sprouts? Veggies always hit the spot without making me feel weighed down and lethargic.
Number 3. DRESSING SABOTAGE Don’t do it!! Don’t make a beautiful salad full of nutrient rich veggies, lean proteins and then kill it with a 1/2 cup of a heavy or sugary dressing!! Just two tablespoons of Ranch dressing is 145 calories and 15 grams of fat (more than a chocolate chip cookie). Two tablespoons of Caesar dressing is is 163 calories and 17 grams of fat. Be careful your salad is quickly starting to look like a NOT so juicy burger! Look for low sugar dressings rich in healthy fats and stick to the recommended single serving size for your entire salad. Click here for 4 of my favorite homemade dressings.
Number 4. TIP THE SCALE WITH GOOD FATS Including cheese like feta, mozzarella, goat cheese, ricotta salata adds tons of flavor and some calcium. Healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocados are full of nutrients and help you feel satiated. However I recommend adding only a serving size portion of one or two of the above. A salad with mozzarella, walnuts, an entire avocados and sesame seeds will require and afternoon nap.
Here are a few tips:
- Try swapping sunflower seeds (1/4cup, 204 cal) for pepitas (1/4 cup 71.25 cal)
- chopping your nuts will spread the wealth and crunch to the entire salad.
- Puree your avocado (about 1/3) into your favorite vinaigrette to create a silky smooth dressing that is so satisfying.
- If you’re adding nuts and seeds for crunch, try swapping them with crispy radishes or jicama.
- Take a look at the diagram below to help you make smart cheese choices. Feta and goat cheese are always good choices.
Number 5. NEVER NEVERS- THE 2 THINGS I NEVER PUT ON MY SALAD
- DRIED FRUIT (1/3 cup of dried cranberries =130 calories, 1/3 cup of raisins are 143 calories). If your looking for something sweet to add to your salad try the following:
- sliced grapes
- sliced apples
- sliced pears
- Sliced figs
- CANDIED NUTS (1/4 cup of candied walnuts are 200 calories). Just don’t.
Below you’ll find the recipe to one of my favorite dinner salads.
Serving Size: 2 SALADS
- 4 cups of shaved brussel sprouts
- 4 cups of arugula
- 8 ounces of boneless wild salmon
- 1/2 cup of planko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of fresh raw corn
- 1 apple cored and diced
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Combine the bread crumbs, honey, mustard and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel then sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper over salmon. Place the fish on a parchment paper lined baking pan
- Top the salmon with the bread crumb mixture. Allow any extra bread crumbs to spill on to the pan.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sized pan and saute the brussel sprouts over medium/high heat. Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of pepper and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the brussel sprouts are crispy. Remove the sprouts from the heat and allow to cool for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix together the arugula, brussels sprouts, corn, diced apple and diced red onion
- Once the salmon is done and has cooled for 5 minutes, break it it to pieces and add to salad mixture. Top with 4 tablespoons of a light vinaigrette.
- Click here for the recipes of my favorite homemade dressings