Subscribe to RSS

4 tips to build an energy-boosting power salad

By Carolyn Malcoun, July 21, 2011 - 11:34am

  • Share

Between my community-supported agriculture share and my small container-gardening project, I have enough salad greens to feed a small army. Luckily, my husband and I love digging into salads for dinner. And not just as a starter or a side dish, but as our main meal. The trick is building a satisfying salad that won’t have us searching for a snack an hour after we eat dinner. Here are 4 tricks to building a salad packed with staying power.

Recipes to Try: Loaded Spinach Salad, Chopped Greek Salad & More Satisfying Dinner Salad Recipes
Salads and Soups to Help You Lose Weight

Step 1: Build Your Base.
Pile your plate with 1 to 2 cups of lettuce per serving. (Greens are full of fiber, which helps digestion.) Combine different types to balance textures and flavors. Try tender, mild Boston lettuce with crisp romaine and bold escarole.
Don’t Miss: 9 Great Greens to Toss in Your Salad Bowl

Step 2: Load It Up with Veggies.
Add plenty of vegetables for crunch, flavor and color. The more colors of vegetables you add, the more disease-fighting nutrients you get. For example, foods in the blue/purple/deep red range, such as radishes and eggplant, provide anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which are associated with keeping the heart and brain functioning well.
Don't Miss: No-Fail Tips for Picking the Best Summer Vegetables

Step 3: Give It Staying Power.
Studies show eating protein helps you feel full longer to get you through the afternoon, so add lean chicken, ham, turkey, fish or beans. Also include starches, such as potatoes, brown rice, whole-wheat croutons or whole-wheat pasta, all of which add nutrients and staying power.

Step 4: Don’t Forget the Dressing!
Fats in the dressing make it easier for you to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like lycopene in tomatoes and lutein and zeaxanthin in yellow and green veggies, including corn and zucchini. Plus, when you make your own vinaigrette you can opt for olive or canola oil.

Don’t Miss: Avoid These Oils When You're Buying Bottled Salad Dressing
Recipes to Try: Easy Buttermilk Ranch & 16 More Healthy Salad Dressings

5 Satisfying Dinner Salad Menus

What do you put in your power salad?

Related Links from EatingWell:

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food Blog

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, young daughter and dog.

Tell us what you think:

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner