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Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to ensure your body gets the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals needed to stay active. An easy way to do this is by making salads, which can keep you on track with fiber and protein goals and provide a low calorie entrée option that can assist with weight maintenance. Add some spice to your salads with these tips and give your taste buds something to look forward to!
Punch up the flavor with fruit. Pears, berries, apples, and melon can add a sweet element to an otherwise savory dish. Use your salad as an opportunity to discover new cheeses and to try that fruit you’ve been eyeing for weeks. Pair smoky flavored cheese like Smoked Cheddar or Gouda with a mild flavored fruit like cantaloupe or watermelon for a flavor combination sure to wake up the sleepiest taste buds.
Try a breakfast salad. Who says salads are only for lunch and dinner? Salad dishes are the perfect way to get the day started. Change things up and check out these easy breakfast salad ideas: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/breakfast-salad-recipes/view-all.
Focus on a theme. Planning around a theme is one way to make a routine more interesting. Considering making salad a weekly staple? Try building them around a new country or culture each time. If you’re looking to get the kids excited about dinner, have them choose the theme or culture of the week and let them help you look for the best recipes.
Heat things up. Traditional salads may be low on the list when thinking of winter comfort foods. Change that by opting for a warm salad or warm salad dressing. Here are some recipes to get you started: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/healthy/slideshow/warm-salads , http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251701/spinach-salad-with-warm-maple-dressing/ .
Do away with the greens. Salads don’t have to remind you of rabbit food. Lose the greens and fill up on other fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Here are some ideas on where to start: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/healthy-eating/photos/dinner-salads-without-lettuce/#!Grilled-Seafood-Salad .
Whether you enjoy a leafy green salad at breakfast or a fruit salad at night, you can get more bang for your nutrition bucks utilizing this easy menu item. What are some ways you like to enjoy salads? Share your salad stories in the “Comments” section below.
Written by Angela Stancil MS, RD, LDN