If you’re dieting, you’re probably eating a lot of salads — lots of bland, boring salads — so you’re probably wondering if there are ways to make salad taste better. Oh gosh, yes! There are lots of ways to make salad taste better, and most of them are really easy! Here are my picks for what to add to take your salad from dull to delightful! Let’s rock that salad!
1. Skip the Iceberg
I don’t know why, but we tend to make salads with the most bland, tasteless, nutritionally-deficient green ever: iceberg lettuce. One of the best ways to make salad taste better is to start with greens that taste better than iceberg lettuce. Try spinach or romaine or Bibb, or buy a bag of those mixed greens… they’re more nutrient-rich and much more flavorful, too!
2. Add Some Fruit
I love the flavor boost — and the extra antioxidants — from adding a little fresh fruit to my salad. Try sliced strawberries, diced Granny Smith apples, fresh raspberries, juicy Mandarin oranges — anything that strikes your fancy. Avoid candied fruits, and if you’re using dried fruits, like raisins, make sure they’re not coated with extra sugar.
3. Add Some Veggies
Adding veggies is another great way to make salad taste better. Start with something simple, like carrot coins and cucumber slices, then work your way up to something more exotic, like purple cabbage, artichoke hearts, and the like.
4. Add Some Nuts
Walnuts and almonds are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3s, and they can also add a lot of flavor and texture to an otherwise bland salad. Again, avoid adding nuts that have candy or salty coatings. Yum!
5. Add Lean Protein
Adding grilled salmon or tuna or chicken to your salad will definitely add flavor, and it will also turn your salad from a side item to a main dish. Another way to add lean protein and flavor is by adding beans, like dark red kidney beans or garbanzo beans or black beans.
6. Crumble Some (low-fat) Cheese
I absolutely adore cheese, and will add it to almost anything… including salads! If you’re a cheeseaholic too, try adding some low-fat cheese crumbles to add flavor to your salad. I like cheddar, pepper jack, and feta… which cheese will you add to your salad?
7. Top with Low-cal Dressing
Last but certainly not least, another way to add flavor and flair to a salad, without adding a lot of calories, is to top it all with a tasty low-cal, low-fat dressing. Make your own, or buy a good one. Here’s a recipe for my own favorite dressing, a low-fat raspberry vinaigrette.
¼ cup Smucker's simply fruit red raspberry spreadable fruit
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
¾ to 1 cup water
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon table salt
It’s easy to prepare… just warm the fruit a little to make it thinner, then use a fork to whisk in the other ingredients. It’s so good… and it only contains 5 calories per serving. Sweet!
Salads don’t have to be boring and bland — they can be delicious! Which of these tips will you use to create a salad you crave? Or is there something else you add to make your salads diet-friendly but so delicious? Do tell!