The Secret to Eating More Salads

Most of us know we should be eating more salads but it can be SO BORING  to look at the same old lettuce and carrot blend out of a bag with a bottle of dressing poured on it. Besides, those bottled salad dressings often contain a lot of ingredients I can’t pronounce in addition to being loaded with fat and calories.

That said, I always encourage people who are trying to eat healthier to have a salad for lunch and dinner either AS their meal or WITH their meal. It’s a simple way to get all the health benefits out of the nutrients in that rainbow of vegetables. But there are two keys to making this a way of life. I shared these on Fox19 this morning so if you want to see the clip, here it is! (Note: These clips don’t always like to play on mobile devices.)

1 – Get some VARIETY in those salads! Turn your fridge into a salad bar by buying and prechopping a variety of vegetables each week, draining and rinsing cans of beans, and making sure some high flavor additions (like olives or small amounts of feta) are on hand. Consider changing the variety of greens (spinach, arugula, romaine, butter lettuce, kale) and the vegetable toppings, as well as the beans and high flavor additions from day to day.

2 – Top it all off with a HOMEMADE dressing. I promise you that this is the single most effective way to transform a salad into something memorable. Homemade dressings last a week or more in the fridge and can be stored in mason jars, recycled lidded glass jars (from mustard, or jelly, or whatever), or those glass cruets that come with some salad dressing mixes. Make one or two when you have a few minutes to do so and then replenish them as they get used up. With any luck you’ll be eating so many salads that they won’t last very long!

Here are recipes for two of my favorites. When you try them out, why not post a photo of your results on our Facebook page?

Simple Vinaigrette

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
¼ c.  fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp. chopped shallots
1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
½ tsp each salt and pepper
1 Tbsp honey
1. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake until thoroughly combined. Store in refrigerator.

Healthier Barbecue Ranch

1/2 c. lowfat mayonnaise
1/4 c. lowfat buttermilk
2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp. dried ranch dressing mix (recipe below or use store bought if you prefer)

Dried Ranch Dressing Mix:
1/4 c. dried parsley
3 Tbsp. onion flakes
2 tsp. dried chives
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk until combined. Transfer to glass jar or lidded container and store in refrigerator.

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