Do you like to eat salads? If you do, great! For those of you who would like to eat healthier, it’s natural to seek out a salad for lunch or dinner. How about making them bigger? Restaurants encourage us to supersize our steaks or French fry orders, but why not double up on the veggies?
Increasing the value of your salad is a great way to expand your vegetable intake. When it comes to making the most of your salad, don’t be afraid to go big.
Here are some nutrient-dense options for greens that go beyond the kale-craze:
A single cup of Swiss chard contains more than six times the recommended requirements for vitamin K. Plus, like its cousin the beet, it packs quite the nutritional punch when it comes to phytonutrients, which may help with detox, anti-inflammation and more.
Watercress is more nutrient-rich than romaine or leaf lettuce, containing vitamins A, K and C. Vitamin K creates proteins necessary for normal blood clotting and helps build stronger bones, protecting against osteoporosis.
Try starting your salad with a bed of roasted beets, shredded brussels sprouts or sliced tomatoes.
Build it up
Start with a cup and a half of your choice in greens or other base veggie. Dress it up with cucumber slices, sprinkle on some shredded carrots, and you’ll already be at four servings of vegetables! Add in a hard-boiled egg or grilled chicken to increase the protein content. Top with avocado or walnuts for a boost in healthy fats to help fight inflammation and feel full longer.
Try making a combination of a fat such as olive oil or coconut oil with an acidic taste such as balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and complete it with a touch of sea salt. If you aren’t into oils, hummus can also make a great dressing.
Summer is around the corner, a great time to visit the local farmer’s market and get the season’s best picks.
Summer Beet Salad
- 4 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed*
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 4 shallots, peeled and halved
- 2 oranges
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cup mixed greens
- 1 tbsp each chia and sunflower seeds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place beets into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, place shallots in a small frying pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook on stovetop until caramelized and soft. Transfer the shallots to a large bowl with the mixed greens and set aside.
- When the beets are cool, use a paper towel to rub off the skins. Cut the beets into wedges and add them to the bowl with the shallots.
- Trim the tops and bottoms off the oranges with a paring knife, cut away the skins, and slice the oranges.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, some salt and pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pour the dressing over the beets, shallots and greens; toss to combine.
- Add orange slices; toss again. Sprinkle with sunflower and chia seeds. Enjoy!
*Timesaver: buy pre-boiled and skinned beets