Follow this simple step-by-step guide to create a healthful, balanced and delicious salad every time! Please note: People with metabolic concerns like diabetes, other medical conditions like kidney disease or who are on certain medications (such as blood thinners) should be mindful of the total nutrient content of each meal. If you are unsure, seek advice from a registered dietitian or physician.

Step 1: Choose your base

Start with a generous portion of one or more of these greens to create the foundation of your salad (about 1 to 2 cups).

  • Arugula
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Cabbage (green, red or napa)
  • Collard greens
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Mesclun (baby greens mix)
  • Radicchio
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

Step 2: Choose your non-starchy vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and water, filling you up and keeping your tastebuds and appetite satisfied. Get creative and try different combinations to add a variety of flavors and textures (1/2 cup chopped = 1 serving).

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beets
  • Bell pepper
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherry (or grape) tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Radishes
  • Snap peas
  • Sprouts
  • Water chestnuts

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Step 3: Choose your protein source

The goal is to aim for about 3 to 5 ounces of lean protein. Suggested serving sizes marked below are equivalent to 1 ounce of protein.

  • Almonds (12 each)
  • Beans (black, white, garbanzo or kidney) (¼ cup)
  • Edamame (¼ cup)
  • Chicken breast (1 ounce)
  • Feta cheese (1 ounce)
  • Hard-boiled egg (1 large)
  • Mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)
  • Salmon (1 ounce)
  • Shrimp (1 ounce)
  • Sliced turkey (1 ounce)
  • Steak (1 ounce)
  • Tempeh (1 ounce)
  • Tofu (¼ cup or 2 ounces)
  • Tuna (1 ounce)
  • Walnuts (7 halves)

Step 4: If desired, add some carbohydrates from fruit, whole grains or starchy vegetables (about ⅓ to ½ cup)

  • Apple
  • Berries
  • Brown rice
  • Corn
  • Lentils
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Peas
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potato
  • Whole wheat rotini pasta

Step 5: Choose your dressing

Deciding on the right dressing is one of the most important steps in creating your salad. Here are some simple, healthy dressing recipes:

Greek yogurt ranch dressing

Makes 8 servings
Prep: 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dill
  • Dash of cayenne pepper and salt

Preparation

  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Whisk together until smooth.

Nutrition

(1 serving = 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 23; total fat: 1 g; saturated fat: 0 g; sodium: 18 mg; cholesterol: 4 mg; total carbs: 2 g; fiber: 0 g; sugars: 1 g; protein: 3 g; potassium: 4 mg

Balsamic dressing

Makes 8 servings
Prep: 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Preparation

  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Whisk together until smooth.

Nutrition

(1 serving = 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 84; total fat: 9 g; saturated fat: 1 g; sodium: 47 mg; cholesterol: 0 mg; total carbs: 1 g; fiber: 0 g; sugars: 0 g; protein: 0 g; potassium: 1 mg

Avocado lime dressing

Makes 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth.

Nutrition

(1 serving = 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 112; total fat: 10 g; saturated fat: 2 g; sodium: 11 mg; cholesterol: 2 mg; total carbs: 4 g; fiber: 2 g; sugars: 1 g; protein: 2 g; potassium: 122 mg

Sesame ginger dressing

Makes 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

Preparation

  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Whisk together until smooth.

Nutrition

(1 serving = 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 34; total fat: 3 g; saturated fat: 1 g; sodium: 72 mg; cholesterol: 0 mg; total carbs: 1 g; fiber: 0 g; sugars: 0 g; protein: 0 g; potassium: 4 mg

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Salads are a great way to eat a healthy lunch or dinner at home. But what about when you’re dining out? Try these dietitian-approved tips to healthfully enjoy parties and restaurants.

Published November 29, 2022

SOURCE
https://library.teladochealth.com/hc/en-us/articles/360051656634-How-to-Build-a-Balanced-Satisfying-Salad

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