Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Monday

A segment on last week's Biggest Loser was hammering home the point that Americans have lost touch with portion control. No surprise here.The show also showed some of the favorite foods ordered out, including what most of us consider healthy: a main-dish salad. We feel virtuous ordering one, but in fact, it could prove to be one of the more caloric items on the menu. Add in nuts, fruit, sugar, salad dressing and croutons, and in one big bowl you could be consuming more than 1,000 calories.

If you stick with greens, veggies and grilled fish or poultry, and dress you salad with measured amounts of oil, you should be fine. You could also get bored. The following suggestions come from, terrific for adding more interest to greens, upping the nutrients, and preventing salad burn-out. I've added a few of mine own suggestions as well.
  • Choose a darker, more nutrient-dense green, such as baby spinach, arugula, or a spring mix, rather than iceberg lettuce.
  • Opt for squash, eggplant, artichoke, and zucchini grilled with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, instead of (or in addition to) more traditional ingredients, like tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Try avocado or olives for a touch of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
  • Toss in grilled salmon, tuna, shrimp, or even tofu, rather than grilled chicken.
  • Top with measured amounts of pecans, sunflower seeds, or another more exotic nut or seed, instead of buttery white-bread croutons.
  • Chop up on apple or grapefruit. If you chose the grapefruit, add the juice to the dressing.
  • Sprinkle your salad with two chopped scallions and some freshly grated ginger.
  • Instead of celery, add chopped fennel for crunch and a hint of licorice.
  • Make your own salad dressing with a mix of extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Store-bought dressings are fine, too, as long as they don't contain more than three grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving. Or try sprinkling your salad with plain balsamic vinegar.

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