Salad is the Meal

Fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious food, and let’s be honest, I love salads.  Therefore, I plan lunch around a salad rather than a protein.  So, I start with choosing a leaf such as:

·      Romaine

·      Spinach

·      Cabbage

·      Kale (baby, curly, etc.)

·      Leaf lettuce (red, green)

·      Mixed greens

to name a few.


 Then I add beans, usually canned, but from a variety including:

·      Butter (current favorite-soooo good)

·      Black

·      Garbanzo

·      Cannellini

·      Lentils

just to name a few, but these are my usuals.


To that I add a fresh vegetable or fruit, such as:

·      Sweet bell pepper, any color

·      Tomatoes, any variety

·      Cucumbers

·      Apples

·      Peaches

But the list is almost endless.


If we have leftover chicken or fish or beef, I will add that and skip the beans or legumes.


Then comes the dressing.  I pick these because they add flavor and nice consistency.  They coat the leafs and other items and made everything yummy!  Here we go:

·      Olive oil

·      Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

·      Salsa, any I have on hand.  Marlo will use this instead of his favorite French.

·      Salsa Verde, we just made some from my sister and her husband’s home grown tomatillos (we will get to that later).  Marlo really likes this, too.

·      Hummus, I love Sabra of any variety but hummus is easily made at home.

·      Other homemade dressings, my recent experiments have included tahini and nutritional yeast, (more on that later).

I use one or more of these and vary the amount accordingly.


Other additions:

·      Sunflower seeds, roasted and unsalted, (Marlo loves these).

·      Granola

·      Cooked bulgur

·      Cooked quinoa

·      Cooked farro

·      Cooked rice

·      Roasted soy beans

·      Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, mixed nuts

These add significant calories, so I add one of these if I don’t use beans or hummus.  But Marlo’s salad will have one of these for added energy.


In the end, you see, our salads can look quite different day to day, but always delicious. (Ok, almost always).  By having a fruit smoothie for breakfast and a large salad for lunch, we may have met the goal of 8-10 fruits and vegetables a day on the DASH Diet and we haven’t even had dinner!


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