Thursday, April 8, 2010

Truly, healthy salads!

You enter the restaurant with a group. You smugly order the salad, as others around you order entrees. You congratulate yourself on your supreme willpower. Then, someone kindly points out that your salad has the same or more fat & calories than their meal. How can this be?

In its basic state—a bed of salad leaves with chopped vegetables, a salad is indeed low fat and healthy. It’s what is added to our salads that gets us into trouble. Salads prepared at restaurants or fast-food joints are not always the healthiest dishes on the menu. With the addition of dressings, meats and cheeses, calories can soar. For example, one popular restaurant that is well-known for their “healthier offerings,” offers a Caesar side salad that has 658 calories, while another of their salads had 916 calories! You could get a Pastrami Melt at the same restaurant for only 715 calories!

This doesn’t mean to stop eating salads; The health benefits are well-worth tackling the greens. But it is important to be mindful of what you are adding. You want great flavor, but without the high calories.
Here are a couple great salad recipes that are tasty & truly healthy:

Three Bean Salad
1-15 ounce can (or fresh, cooked ) green beans
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup minced shallots
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Combine cooked green beans with cannellini beans, kidney beans and shallots in a large bowl. Whisk vinegar, oil and mustard and drizzle over bean mixture. Toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Spinach & Grapefruit
6 cups baby spinach leaves
1 small pink grapefruit, peeled, pith removed, segmented, and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tbsp walnut pieces, chopped
Rinse, drain and dry baby spinach leaves; Arrange grapefruit pieces, onion slivers and mushroom slices on top. Scatter raspberries and walnut pieces on top. Drizzle with your

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