Eating healthier is good fuel for your mind. We brought you all the facts on how eating healthy affects your mood because we firmly believe that a healthy body and a healthy mind work hand in hand. We are continuing to share our tips for healthy living by providing you with five ways to beat the salad blues!
Keep in mind your health goals when selecting your salad enhancements. Going vegan? Choose beans instead of meat for your protein, or toss in a bit of cooked quinoa. Looking to lose a few pounds? Look for fat-free and sugar-free dressings, such as “G. Hughes” brands available at Wal-Mart, and stay away from meats, cheese, nuts, oil, and olives. And, for everyone, choose healthier, greener greens, such as kale and spinach rather than iceberg lettuce more often than not.
Best in the summer when you can get the fruit fresh, summer salads will quickly become your favorite meal. These salads are often light and airy, but full of nutrition. Romaine lettuce and spinach are combined for your bed of greens.
A simple 4-ingredient salad that is packed with flavor. Start your salad with a bed of romaine lettuce. Add shredded parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing! Caesar salad is also delicious when you top it with chicken. If you have the time, try your hand at making homemade Caesar dressing (you might be surprised it calls for anchovy paste, but that’s what gives it that zing!).
Grill or pan sear a steak for a filling salad at home. Sirloins, prime ribs, and flat iron steaks are most commonly chosen for steak salads. Garnish your steak with salt and pepper before cooking. After cooking your steak, cube it or slice it for your salad. Two common choices for steak salad greens are to use a lettuce wedge or a bed of romaine lettuce. This flavor-packed salad is amazing with shredded cheddar cheese and ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
You can buy rotisserie chicken to shred, or grill your own. If you decide to grill your own chicken, then consider marinating it in Italian dressing for several hours before cooking. Marinating the chicken helps prevent the chicken from drying out while cooking. Combine your shredded chicken with your favorite greens, toppings, and salad dressing.
Experiment with different greens, such as slightly-spicy arugula. Try it tossed with plain or candied walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, and a sliced pear, with a simple dressing made from the juice of one lemon, 3 tablespoons olive oil, a splash of rice vinegar, a dash of sugar or Splenda, salt, and pepper.
Salad topping ideas
Fruit – strawberries, mandarin oranges, cranberries, watermelon, grapes, apples, raisins
Vegetables – raw peppers, cucumber, spinach, kale, tomatoes, olives, raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, avocado
Bread – croutons, tortilla strips, pita strips
Dairy – parmesan cheese, feta cheese, cheddar cheese
Extras – walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, bacon bits, black beans, pinto beans, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, spicy pepitas
What types of salad toppings sound the best to you? Let us know in the comments! Check back regularly on the blog for more resources on improving your mental health!