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Simple Ways to Spruce Up Your Salad

Herbs (fresh). Basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme

Prepare fresh herbs for eating by thoroughly rinsing off dirt and grit under running water, then pat dry with paper towels. Chop herbs coarsely, removing any hard stems. Remember to buy fresh herbs in small quantities and refrigerate or freeze any leftovers in plastic bags or airtight containers.

Fruits. Apples, currants, dried cranberries, grapefruit, kiwis, mandarin oranges, mango, papaya, peaches, pineapple, raisins, raspberries, seedless grapes, strawberries

You can prepare fruit salads without veggies, or add any of the fruits listed to your green salad to boost the nutrient and antioxidant levels and supply more zest and flavor.

Veggies. Alfalfa or bean sprouts, asparagus, avocado, beets, bell peppers (red, orange, yellow), broccoli, carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, fennel, jalapenos, jicama, peas (frozen or fresh), radishes, mushrooms, scallions, vine-ripened tomatoes, zucchini

Packing salads with fruits and veggies ensures you're on your way to getting those five recommended daily servings. Opt for mixing different colored veggies to get more phytochemical benefits.

Legumes. Black beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, lentils, pinto beans, snow peas, white beans

Typically neglected in Western diets, legumes are popular traditional dishes in the rest of the world. They provide protein (without the saturated fat found in animal protein), and essential vitamins and minerals. Low on the glycemic index scale, they also improve blood glucose levels and give you the sensation of feeling full, so you'll eat less (and lose weight!).

Cheeses. Blue, cottage cheese (low-fat), feta (reduced fat), goat, parmesan, ricotta
Crumble a little feta or blue cheese over your salad--or add my personal favorite, nonfat cottage cheese--to increase the calcium and protein content of your meal and help fulfill your recommended three to four daily servings of dairy products.

  • Even More Ways to spruce up your Salads


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