Monday, July 1, 2013

Salad, It's What's For Dinner

Salads aren't just for dieters anymore, I personally love salads. When done right a salad can be  packed with nutrition, taste and texture. I was once asked by a co-worker if there was something I ate with every dinner, he was from a traditional Hispanic household and said at ever meal his wife served beans and rice. I thought for a couple minutes and said that at most meals we have a salad. Then I thought more and more and realized though it sounded healthy; iceberg, carrots and Ranch dressing, while delicious, probably isn't as healthy as it seems. Over the years I have experimented with many different salads and have a few favorites. When I found out iceberg has almost no nutritional value I decided to change it up, first I started using romaine (a little better) and now I use a baby kale/spinach mix or baby springs mix. First of my favorites is the Steak and Grape Salad; I use about 3oz of left over steak, red grapes, white cheddar or Havarti cheese and of course the usual salad fixings: cucumbers, chives and such. Second is the Creamy Cherry Walnut Salad; I use 3oz chicken breast, 1-2 laughing cow soft cheese triangles, dried cherries and 2Tbs chopped walnuts, on this salad I use Newman's Own Lite Raspberry & Walnut Vinaigrette. Next is the Mango & Avo salad; I use 1/3 of a mango, 1/3 of an avocado with cucumbers, chives and Newman's Own Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette. The Buffalo Chicken salad is definitely one of my favs;  I toss the cooked chicken breast in Frank's Red Hot Sauce,  half an ounce of Blue Cheese crumbles, celery and carrots and Bob's Big Boy Lite Blue Cheese dressing. Last of my favorites is what I call the Not So Basic Salad; chicken breast, hard boiled egg whites, avocado, tomato, carrots, cucumber, chives and my secret ingredient (found by accident when I was out of regular cheese) string cheese.  Salads are great in the summer; they are light and delicious and there is tons of fresh produce out there to experiment with during the summer months. There are so many combos to try, maybe beets with feta and arugula or tomato and mozzarella with basil vinaigrette the options are endless. So here is to summer and all her bounties!
Till Next Blog,

P.S. Did you know dried cherries are an excellent source of Melatonin which is known to promote natural sleep patterns? Well now you do!

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