TGIF! This Friday I’m hoping to get my weekend off to a FRESH start and I thought I would share one of my go-to fresh-to-death dinners with you. This salad is great anytime, especially in the summer when you are looking for a quick, light meal. And as an added bonus, since these are ingredients we snack on often, my husband and I usually have some combination of them in the fridge.
The key to a good salad is keeping it interesting. It’s easy to find reasons to pass up the healthy salad option for dinner, so don’t make it any harder on yourself by making it boring or too labor intensive. Check out my list below of must-haves for a great salad.
1- Greens- we prefer the crunch of freshly cut romaine
2- Protein- chicken and turkey are my go-to lean meats
3- Veggies/Fruit- whatever is in season, right now we are loving berries!
4- Cheese- gorgonzola, bleu cheese and parmesan are regular acts in our kitchen
5- Nuts – we usually go for slivered almonds or pecans
6- Dressing- keep it light and let the ingredients shine!
In this salad we used grilled chicken, green apples, strawberries, gorgonzola cheese, pecans and a homemade vinaigrette dressing. By choosing a stronger cheese like blue cheese or gorgonzola, a little goes a long way and you don’t find yourself piling on needless calories.
Another great tip is to ditch the croutons! There are so many other healthy ways to add crunch and texture to your salad. I personally chose nuts, but other great options include baked corn tortillas (cut into strips), sunflower seeds or even baked quinoa clusters!
And last, but certainly not the least calories, is the dressing. This is where most people get in trouble. These days I try to stick to homemade dressings so I know exactly what ingredients are in them. Our favorite mixture includes olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Try mixing it up by using flavored balsamic vinegars; we use pineapple and strawberry balsamic vinegars all the time!
Whatever ingredient combination you choose, have fun with it. Make sure to mix it up so you don’t get bored and don’t be afraid to try whatever is in season at the market, that’s how we end up coming up with some of our favorite combinations!
I hope you enjoy my healthy salad tips, let me know your favorite ways to keep salads interesting and yummy and enjoy your weekend!