What's In A Salad?

Most people hear the word "salad" and shudder. We've had bland, boring, tasteless salads forced on us for so long in the name of being healthy that now it's difficult to enjoy them.

But there's so much more to a salad than some lettuce and veggies. There's taste-a-plenty out there, we just need to find it!

We have to start with a firm foundation of greens under everything else or a salad is pretty worthless. The more green (the darker and prettier the green) you have, the better it is for you. So skip the almost-white iceberg lettuce. We usually use a romaine mix or spinach. They're so much tastier.

Before we start adding fun toppings, we need something substantial in the bowl. We often turn to chicken because that's very traditional and very fundamental. But what about some steak meat or shrimp? They both come in pre-prepared packages, making them easy and handy. Or try crab meat or tuna, both of which can be found in cans and pouches, too. Mix it up and add some variety to your life.

Also look at adding some protein in your toppings. Diced hard-boiled egg or tofu can provide both texture and filling food. There are many different kinds of beans to choose from - chickpeas and kidney beans are favorites.

This is the fun part, but it's also the part where we get carried away.
* Veggies: add all you want! Carrots, peas, peppers...if God grows them, add them to your bowl!
* Fruits: diced apples, pears, grapes and oranges can all be added to a salad for texture and different flavors.
* Cheese: in moderation! Add no more than 2 tsp of cheese or you're defeating the purpose of eating healthy.
* Crunchy stuff: we all love the crunch of croutons and sesame sticks, but they're often full of carbs, salt and calories. Try water chestnuts, trail mix, apple slivers or crumbled up crackers if you want that crunch.
* Just for fun: a little salsa, drained a little, can spice up your salad!

What are your favorite salad fixin's?


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