Salads: Healthy Summer Salads, Tips & Tricks (cont.)
5. Try some new salad recipes instead of the traditional, mayo-drenched coleslaw and potato salad. Pesto sauce blended with condensed chicken broth, fat-free sour cream, or fat free half-and-half makes a fun and different dressing. Bottled or homemade vinaigrettes can be used as dressing for pasta and potato salads and coleslaw.
6. When you DO make a mayonnaise-based salad, lighten it up by mixing regular or light mayonnaise with your favorite fat-free or light sour cream. I like to use about 1 tablespoon of regular mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream, or 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream.
7. Perk up pasta and rice salads by tossing in crunchy veggies. They'll add fiber and nutrients without a lot of calories. Snow peas, cherry tomato halves, broccoli or cauliflower florets, green onions, bell peppers ... they all work great.
8. Try the new whole-wheat pasta blends for your pasta-salad recipes, and brown rice for your rice-salad recipes. You'll increase the fiber, vitamins, and minerals and phytochemicals just by making this adjustment.
9. Use dark green lettuce for your green salad. The darker green the lettuce, generally the more vitamins and phytochemicals it contains. Two of the best choices are spinach and romaine lettuce. And while it isn't dark green, cabbage is also a good choice. As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, it contributes important protective phytochemicals such as indole-3-carbinol.
10. Kick the flavor up a notch with high-flavor (but lower calorie) ingredients like dill pickle relish, fresh herbs and spices, spicy mustard, flavored vinegars (such as balsamic vinegar), green onions, or a handful of toasted nuts or a tablespoon or two of chopped green olives (a little goes a long way).
And now for the recipes:
Quick and Light Greek Salad
Here's a little something different to bring to barbecues and picnics for a taste of the Mediterranean.
3 cucumbers, halved, seeds removed, and sliced (remove peel if desired)
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 80 calories, 4 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0.3 g polyunsaturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 2.1 g fiber, 205 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 41%.
Seafood Pasta Salad
A recipe posted on "The Recipe Doctor" message board by one of our own wonderful Weight Loss Clinic members ("evlw") inspired this light recipe. If you want four servings, double the ingredients.
Yield: 2 servings
Per serving: 316 calories, 27 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 5.4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0.6 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 170 mg cholesterol, 6.1 g fiber, 409 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 15%.
Mediterranean Chicken Salad
1/2 cup dried orzo (rice-shaped pasta), about 3 ounces
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 365 calories, 38 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (2.3 g saturated fat, 8 g monounsaturated fat, 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 4.3 g fiber, 700 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 33%.
*Toast the pine nuts in a toaster oven until golden brown, or put in a nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown.
Originally published August 6, 2004.
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