As the temperature rises, our appetite usually goes down. When lighter meals are preferred, salad becomes a popular choice during hot summer months. Let us show you how to makeover a salad into a nutritionally-balanced, yet refreshing meal.
Leafy green vegetables are the most common vegetables we choose as a base. Lettuce and spring greens are the usual choices. Be open to exploring other green vegetables that you have not tried yet; in particular, try including cruciferous vegetables as well. Cruciferous vegetables are ranked as one of the most nutritious cancer-protective vegetables. So mix in kale, red cabbage, arugula just to name a few.
In addition, salad does not necessarily mean all raw vegetables. You can always mix in lightly cooked vegetables into your summer salads; and those with a crunchy texture works well to keep their shape. Broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are some of the favorites.
And don’t forget to add colours! Yes you can still use green vegetables as salad base, but add in extra antioxidants by mixing in bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrot spirals, corn kernels and more.
Serving suggestions: 2 to 3 cups
Vegetables are full of nutrients and quite low in calories. This also means you may feel hungry sooner. Therefore, adding a source of protein is the critical step in maintaining fullness, preserving muscle mass, and supporting our organs’ functions. The following protein sources are suitable to be eaten cold:
Fats and oils should not be frowned upon. The presence of healthy fats help our bodies absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin E and D. The best source of fat comes from plants; think avocado, nuts, and olives! Adding these foods not only adds a nutrition punch to your salads, but also various the texture. You can even make your own salad dressing as well. Simply mix extra virgin olive and balsamic vinegar with Himalayan salt and black pepper to elevate your salad to the next level. Olive oil serving suggestion: 1 tablespoon.
Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred source of fuel. Since most salads are made with plenty of vegetables and already provide carbs, extra starch is not absolutely necessary. Having said that, it doesn’t hurt to add some starch if you are used to having it with every meal. Sweet potatoes and quinoa are wholesome options; pasta and noodles are also good selections as they are made with wheat ingredients which also provide some levels of protein. The following starches are good options to be served cold.
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