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Quick Healthy Salad
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on Oct 05, 2010
One dietary goal that I've long had for myself is to eat a head of dark green lettuce every day. I find that regular intake of lettuce (being sure to chew it thoroughly before swallowing) helps keep my teeth feeling strong, and of course, I like knowing that my body is getting steady inflow of chlorophyll and plenty of minerals that it can use to keep all of my organ systems healthy.
For me, the key to staying regular with lettuce intake is having a wide variety of salad ingredients in the kitchen. If there are other vegetables, avocados, nuts, raisins, and fruits readily available, I actually enjoy the "work" of putting together a beautiful, healthy, and filling salad.
Here's a look at one that I threw together for yesterday's lunch:
Lying at the bottom are about six large leaves of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces.
To the bed of lettuce, I added shredded carrots, celery, and creamy avocado chunks.
To boost healthy protein content, I threw in some unsalted pecans and cashews.
For natural sweetness, I sprinkled in a small handful of organic raisins.
And as a special treat, I topped everything off with a few spicy peanuts. :)
If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, try their Lime and Chili Peanuts or Cashews.
A salad with this many players is good enough to devour without a dressing, but on this particular day, I was feeling honey-mustard-y, so I whisked together a quick dressing with raw honey, dijon mustard, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and touches of garlic and sea salt.
Again, the key to making lettuce-rich salads a regular part of your life is to have a bunch of appealing vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds readily available to toss together.
Be creative and include any other healthy sides that you have on hand. Legumes like chickpeas or green peas, corn, sardines, leftover chicken, soft boiled egg - all of these widely available foods make for excellent additions to healthy salads.
One added bonus to making filling, lettuce-based salads is that you can enjoy them with little or no bread. A little bread now and then is fine for most, but there's no question that over the long haul, all of us can benefit from reducing intake of breads made with refined flours.
If you have any favorite healthy salad ingredient ideas to share, please consider using the comments section below.
In my next post, I'll show you how I make a honey mustard salad dressing that always earns me a few points with the family.
Happy salad making and eating. :)
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