Salad Days: Eating Green to Get Lean

Blueberries in Salad

Add Blueberries to Salads: They make everything better!

Whether you’re in your salad days now, or would like to remember what they feel like, eating food that will nourish and delight you is part of feeling your best.

In this post, I hope to inspire you to literally put a few more salad days in your future. And as its Earth Month, it seems appropriate to note that eating more plants is one of the most environmentally-friendly choices you can make at the table.

So there you have it: eating greens is good for eating green and getting lean.

Here are a few of my favorite salads that are simple enough for a weeknight, but interesting enough to keep boredom at bay.

1. Berry Good Brussels Sprouts Salad

Start with raw, shaved Brussels sprouts, generously add handfuls of beautiful blueberries, top with toasted almond slices

Tip: add blueberries. They make everything better.

2. Raw Kale-Citrus Salad

Start with raw kale and chiffonade into thin strips. Peel grapefruit pieces and add fleshy sections to the salad. Add thinly slice red onions. “Cold-cook” your salad by marinating in red wine vinaigrette to desired doneness. Optional: sprinkle with baby pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or add a few thin slices of avocado on top.

Tip: bigger is better when it comes to salads. Fill you plate and your stomach, without all the calories. Note: this does not, sorry to say, apply to the fatty add-ons like creamy dressing, bacon, croutons etc. It does however apply to fruits and vegetables.

3. Nutty Baby Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Start with freshly washed (and dried) baby spinach. Add sliced strawberries and raw pistachios on top. Try a balsamic dressing.

Tip: start all your meals with salads. Or, better yet, make the salad your meal!

4. Kitchen Sink Salad Starts with Romaine

Start with romaine hearts – chop or hand-tear into hearty pieces. Add a bit of everything from the crisper:  carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, apple, onion, bell pepper, broccoli, and beyond!

Tip: add some plant-based protein and fat for a meal-sized salad. Almonds, chickpeas, and tofu are good choices.

5. Fine Fennel Salad

Start with a crisp fennel bulb and hand-shave or use a mandolin or food-processor to get thin slices of fennel. Add cross sections of raw cauliflower. Toss in shelled sugar snap peas (in the pod is OK, too). Mix in a generous helping of chopped fresh parsley. Use your favorite Italian dressing.

Tip: add lean meat or seafood as a seasoning rather than center of plate. On top of salads add bite-size pieces of grilled chicken, fish, lean steak, or even deli turkey.

For more healthy eating tips, and savings on delicious, healthful foods, check out my Healthy Living for Less page.

What are your favorite salad combinations? Let us know on the FreshDirect Facebook page or via Twitter (@FreshDirect)