Last year I brought a serving bowl to college and ate salads out of it regularly. I’m not talking a bowl to eat salsa from, but a full blown salad serving bowl. My roommates made fun of me, their friends made fun of me, even my parents made fun of me because no one needs that much salad right?
According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people should consume 2 ½ – 6 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day. And my salads? They account for over five cups of delicious fresh fruits and veggies each day. I want to share with you guys what I put in my salads, and why. (**Disclaimer: I am in no way a nutritionist. This is merely my routine that I know and love.)
The first thing I do is throw in a whopping amount of spinach. I'm talking about three cups worth. This means there's about 21 calories packed with three grams of protein, three grams of fiber (24% of your DV), calcium, iron, magnesium, and much more!
I'm then going to add my healthy toppings:
A cup of bell peppers is about 30 calories and contains 157% of you Vitamin C DV. There's only 8 calories in 1/2 a cup of cucumbers. They contain healthy antioxidants, improve brain health, and reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes is around 18 calories and holds around 16% of you Vitamin C DV. The red onion doesn't add a whole lot, since I don't use a large amount, but I love the taste!
This next step is possibly my favorite part of the salad. I learned it from Fido's Mediterranean Salad. I add about two tablespoons (one serving) of Sabra Classic Hummus on top the salad. I'm not going to lie to you, this step is not the healthiest one, but I love the taste!
When I first began making salads, I used Balsamic Vinaigrette. I then read an article one day about the worst things you could put on your salad and I was shocked to see that even oil-based dressings were terrible for you. When I put two servings on my salad (because come on who only uses one??) I was adding 120 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 6 grams of sugar. The Light dressing wasn't much better, with 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, and still 6 grams of sugar. That's when I discovered the difference between Balsamic Vinaigrette and Balsamic Vinegar. With the same serving size, Balsamic Vinegar only has 20 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 8 grams of sugar. It also has no sodium, while Vinaigrettes can have over 25% of your DV in just two servings!
To state things simply, I LOVE giant salads. They are full of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and pretty much every healthy thing out there! The salad that I made only has 167 calories and 6 grams of fat. That's about half a slice of Domino's Pizza (which I am a sucker for, by the way) or 4 oz of pasta. And thanks to the hummus and sheer size of the salad, it leaves me full for hours!
My name's Vikka. I'm a Nashville fashion and lifestyle blogger. I post a lot of fashion, recipes, and home tips and tricks!
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