Three Tips for Summer Salads to Keep You Slim and Satisfied

by in Healthy Tips, June 25, 2013

As the temperature heats up, salads become a quick and easy way to keep you cool and hydrated – most fruits and veggies are more than 90% water by weight. Many different fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer, so flavor is at its peak as well (find what’s best in your region here). Unfortunately, three of the most popular summer picnic salads are calorie-bomb side dishes: macaroni salad, potato salad and coleslaw. Here are a few tips (and recipes) to ensure your seasonal salads leave you feeling light, yet satisfied for hours:

1. Make it a Meal

When some people hear the word salad, they think “I’ll be starving in an hour.” But there are many ways to beef up a salad to make it filling for the heartiest of appetites. Add a source of protein like meat, eggs or beans. Use some heartier vegetables like corn, beets and carrots. Add a healthy fat like avocado or a handful of nuts. Then just add in a ton of your favorite veggies – different colors represent different nutrients, so go for a rainbow.

2. Watch the Dressings

When doused in heavy dressing, even the lightest salads can leave you feeling like there’s a rock in your gut. Healthier options like olive oil can add up too  — each tablespoon has at about 120 calories. So minimize the mayo, go easy on the oil and consider using a few of these options to flavor your salads: a scoop of hummus, salsa, flavored vinegars, lemon or orange juice, garlic or minced fresh ginger. Some oil is fine, just be aware of how much you’re adding — try to keep it to around a teaspoon. Or consider a small palmful of shredded strong-flavored cheese, like goat or blue cheese, in place of the oil.

Another quick tip, and maybe you’ve heard this one before: don’t get the dressing poured directly on the salad. Instead get your dressing on the side and dip your fork into the dressing before spearing a bite of salad. You’ll get a taste of dressing in each bite while eating much less in total.

3. Variety is the Spice of Life

People tend to get bored with salads when it’s the same lettuce-carrot-tomato-cucumber combination. But check back up to tip #1: you can fix up lettuce in many different ways. First, try different lettuces as each have their own unique flavor and texture: romaine, spinach, arugula, watercress, radicchio, butter lettuce, bibb or kale.

Sometimes you don’t even need lettuce. Try adding a fruit or two to the mix: orange segments, apple slices or some fresh berries. Finally, consider using fresh spices and dressings that complement the flavors in the salad such as dill and lemon juice with salmon, sage with orange segments and chicken or ginger with apple, fennel and avocado.

Here are some recipes to get you started:
Curried Chicken Salad with Almonds and Grapes
Watermelon and Jicama Salad
Arugula, Avocado and Fennel Salad
Greek Meatball Salad

Through his book and blog, Death of the Diet, Jason Machowsky, MS, RD, CSCS, empowers people to live the life they want by integrating healthy eating and physical activity habits into their daily routines. You can follow him on Twitter @JMachowskyRDFit.


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Comments (11)

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  3. Becca says:

    love the hummus-as-dressing idea.

  4. [...] View Original Article Filed Under: Articles · [...]

  5. LadyMaypop says:

    Sorry to say good-bye to Food Network, but the way Paula Deen was treated, this is good-bye Food Network for me. I was a very faithful follower and I will miss it. But, cannot condone how you have treated Paula, my favorite of all time.

  6. Dorethia Mills says:

    Thank you food Network for knowing that America should move forward. We should not reward anyone who has a platform like Paula Deen, who knows what she might do, say or think. Don't a let her continue to go on as usual like because some people think shat she said in the past is ok because she said she was sorry. Thank you for giving her something to be sorry about…….I believe there are a lot of Paula Deens out there saying to themselves " I use that word many times before in past," I'm not a racist neither is Paula". I say prove it! Do what this Food Network did. You may need to let some old friends go, dont keep living " business as usual".

  7. Teri Smoak says:

    Just wanted you to know, I WILL NOT WATCH FOOD NETWORK, obviously you did not grow up in the south, obviously you not respect people who are honest under oath even when it cost financially and emotionally. You just gave the law suit what Ms. Jackson threatened…SHAME ON YOU!

  8. Another Former Fan says:

    I will never watch food network again!!

  9. Diana Freeman says:

    I am very disappointed in Food Network's decision to drop Paula Deen! Having been raised in the South, she was taught that the N word was acceptable. My Mother-in-law and her family were from the South and they used that word all the time when talking of blacks. It was very difficult for me to hear, because I lived in Illinois and had been taught it was a slur. However my husband's family used it constantly (not realizing it was a slur) until I finally told them what they were doing. Please consider the fact that where a person is raised greatly influences their life and mannerisms (even their speech). I do believe Paula has learned the importance of the word and it is tragic that Food Network execs did not try to find out the real reason for her past behavior. Please reconsider this devastating decision. Thank you.

  10. GPB says:

    Since you canceled Paula Deen's contract, I have lost all interest and faith in Food network and your sponsors. I suggest you reconsider your decision and move on. Why not ask all your employees the same question Paula Deen responded to and see if you receive honest responses based on their age and a 66 year life span. More importantly, are all your employees honest and truthful?? If not, why not discharge them.

    • ronda says:

      I'm soooo Disappointed food Network's decision to remove Paula Deen I have No use for the show or Emails No Longer!! Passed is passed, and it should stay there Paula is a Damn Great person! I'd rather have some one be honest with me than Lie so Please Bring Paula Back, this was Just wrong of you to pull her From Food Net work!!!! I'm Sad about the whole thing!!! Grow up people until she does come back I won't be watching your show's.

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