There are many ways to satisfy your appetite, but not all of them are healthy. The best way to fulfill your culinary desire for tasty food while also remaining healthy is to consider eating a salad.
Many people cringe when they hear the word ‘salad.’ Why? Salads are known to be boring. However, there’s more to them than what meets the eye.
It’s relatively easy to disregard salads as bland or assume they can only be flavorless. But when you take the time to be creative, they can be absolutely brilliant. With that said, HueTrition will dig into a few creative salad ideas to spice up your culinary palate and get the most out of your greens.
Related: 6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Veggies
Benefits of Eating A Salad
When it comes to eating a salad, there are several benefits that you and your family can enjoy.
The most obvious and perhaps the biggest benefit of eating salads is that they facilitate weight loss. Various studies show that starting a meal with a salad that’s 150 calories or less not only promotes satiety but also helps keep the overall calorie intake low.
Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
For people that consume a meat-heavy diet, there are fewer opportunities to include fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. Salads are a great side dish that you can easily add to your meal. Fruits and vegetables make up an essential part of a healthy diet. Even for picky eaters, salads are an excellent way to experiment with flavors and sneak in tricky food items every now and then.
Welcome the Good Fats
There’s a particularly harmful myth that finds its way into the health industry. The myth is that fats are bad for the human body. Although it is valid to some extent, there is also a category for the right kind of fat. In scientific terms, it is called monounsaturated fat that is found in avocados and olive oil. Salads often incorporate good fats that help with nutrient absorption and retention.
Check out HueTrition for some healthy recipes with vegetables and other healthy foods.
Tips To Make A Good Salad
There’s not a lot of culinary know-how that goes into making a salad. This is a big reason why it’s such a good option. Most families don’t have the time to put in the extra effort for a meal. However, with a salad, all you have to do is follow some necessary steps, techniques, and voila!
The most significant upside of eating a salad is that it’s highly customizable. If one has kids at home that are picky eaters or allergic to something, the ingredients are easy to omit or replace.
Get Dressed To Impress
When it comes to making a salad, the devil is in the dressing. A dressing is any sauce or base that adds to the salad. This is the primary source of flavor, since some vegetables, meat, and fruits have a fairly neutral taste. Vinaigrette, olive oil, honey, etc. are good dressing options that can enhance the natural flavors of your healthy ingredients. Creamier dressings tend to be less healthy.
Play With Texture and Flavor
Salads aren’t just about leafy green vegetables. Chewing those for the entire meal is a dull experience. Make sure to spice it up with different textures and flavor profiles to keep your brain and palate interested. A good option is to have a protein element, some vegetables, and even nuts to bring that extra crunch.
Check out HueTrition for Some Healthy Recipes
As mentioned earlier, there are healthy types of fats. These include olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Incorporating them into any salad not only makes the dish tastier but has various health and dietary benefits as well.
Layer It Up
Salad isn’t a one-dimensional dish, and it shouldn’t be. While making a salad, remember that having layers makes it much more delicious. Start with a base layer of green veggies, move on to the protein, and finally, add the dressing and other ingredients.
It’s Not Just A Side Dish
It’s easy to dismiss a salad as a side-dish. However, with the right ingredients, it is incredibly filling, but also provides the necessary nutrition for the body to function efficiently.
Related: Vitamin ABCs: How to Get Your Daily Nutrients and Vitamins Through Food
Creative Salad Ideas
Salads are incredibly versatile and you can easily make them at home with your family. All the ingredients can be replaced, added, or removed based on taste, allergies, or dietary requirements.
Here are some creative salad ideas that are both unique and healthy.
Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad
Even though it may seem like a rather unusual combination, chicken and strawberry taste exquisite together. They provide a refreshing taste and a great balance between salty and sweet.
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. lime zest
3 tbsp. lime juice
1 1/2 Honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head Romaine Lettuce, torn
2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
2 c. Sliced strawberries
4 oz. Crumbled feta
1 c. cooked peas
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 c. sliced red onion
This salad brings the best of all flavors and textures to give a combination that makes for a truly great salad. The combination of honey, lime, and onion proves to be the ultimate sweet and sour experience and can offer a satisfying feeling after the meal is over. With the sweetness and tanginess of strawberry along with the flavorful dressing of honey and feta, the taste of the grilled chicken helps enhance the salad.
Fresh Tuna and Avocado Salad
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
One 3/4-pound tuna steak cut 1 inch thick
Salt 1/2 cup plus
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 anchovy fillets, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 celery ribs, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup pitted oil-cured black olives,
chopped 4 Hass avocados, halved and pitted
This salad is not like a regular salad. It’s creamier and full of contrasting textures. Use the halved avocados for the base/bowl for this recipe. Combine all other ingredients to create something filling and satisfying. With that in mind, you can indulge in this protein-rich salad to enjoy the right flavors, textures, and a unique presentation that is easy to make and quick to devour.
Chimichurri Chicken Salad With Avocados
One batch Authentic Chimichurri
4 skinless chicken thigh fillets, (no bone) or chicken breasts
One teaspoon of olive oil
5 cups Romaine (or cos) lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Three ripe tomatoes, sliced
½ a red onion, sliced
Two avocados, sliced
Fresh parsley leaves, to garnish
This salad recipe taps into the robust flavor of authentic Chimichurri as a dressing for the salad and as a marinade for the chicken. This is the type of salad that is a meal in itself. It is the perfect example of what a balanced meal looks like and how to incorporate a 5-star tasting profile into a delicious salad recipe.
Check out HueTrition for Some Healthy Recipes
Mizuna with Pan-Seared Duck and Mango
1 duck breast
1 1/2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
3/4 tsp. thinly sliced Thai chile or another hot chile
3/4 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/2 lb. mizuna or other peppery greens
4 tsp. scallions (white and green parts)
1 c. mixed herbs, such as mint, cilantro, and basil
1 lb. lime
Flaky coarse sea salt
1/2 c. roughly chopped salted roasted peanuts
The recipe is perfect for families, as it serves up to 4 people. This recipe combines the exotic flavor of Thai chile with the peppery taste of Mizuna greens. Combine this with the texture of duck breast, grapeseed oil, and scallions, and you will get a delicious meal that everyone will love.
Asian Chicken and Wasabi Salad
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 pounds)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons wasabi powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons water Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Two heads Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
One large Asian pear—halved, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the bias
Two scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup roasted wasabi peas, coarsely chopped
This salad recipe brings together poached-chicken with the fruity flavor of Asian pear. With this recipe, you can experience the nutritional benefits of cucumber and bean sprouts. Don’t forget that this dish packs a punch with its robust wasabi dressing.
Check out HueTrition for Some Healthy Recipes
For families that want to incorporate a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste, salads are the single best option. They’re incredibly versatile and have proven to be a healthy alternative for people of all ages, including picky eaters like kids. It can easily be incorporated into individuals with a busy lifestyle.
If you want to get more creative, check out HueTrition for more insights and tips to create healthy meals for your family.
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