Salad has evolved from the days of traditional: mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers.
Although, many people still see salads as bland and not-filling “diet foods.” So The List’s Donna Ruko met with the co-founders of fast-food salad chain Mad Greens to get the Breakdown on how to make a salad you’ll crave that isn’t packed with bad-fats or excessive calories.
5 Ingredients that Will Make Your Salad Hearty and Healthy
Get your pickle on: with pickled vegetables
Pickled vegetables add an immense flavor punch without the calories. They also add vibrant color to make your salad look like edible art. Try pickled radishes, beets or onions.
Add the right fats, in moderation
Make your ingredients count by opting for nuts like almonds, peanuts or pecans. Even though they add calories, they add important nutrients while adding depth of flavor and a satisfying crunch to help you feel fuller, faster. Remember: a little goes a long way.
Use an oil-based salad dressing
Nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, which means your body can’t absorb and use them without some fat present. This means using fat-free dressing can actually have the opposite effect. Research shows unsaturated fatty acids can also help melt belly fat and make salads more filling.
Dress your salad with herbs
Herbs pack a punch of flavor and disease-fighting antioxidants. Plus, the more flavorful your salad naturally is, the fewer high-calorie ingredients you’ll need to add to amp up the taste.
Salads don’t have to be just leafy greens
Experiment with grains to add texture, nutrients and flavor. Quinoa for example gives you a nutritious, protein-packed boost to keep you fuller, longer.