Most people trying to follow a weight loss program instantly opt for salads, especially when eating out. Think twice! Salads can sometimes contain more calories and fat than you think; to avoid over consuming unwanted calories:
First, you need to avoid bacon, whole eggs, blue cheese, and creamy dressing. A serving of such salads can cost you more than 1,000 calories!
Always start with dark, leafy greens like spinach and romaine lettuce rich in B vitamin folate. Add some tomatoes for the juicy flavor and to reduce risk of cancer. Beans (black, white, and kidney) and chicken will also fortify your salad with protein and some tasty texture.
You can choose from the following 10 mouthwatering salads and enjoy a healthier, low-calorie meal:
1. Mango chicken salad
– garlic clove, crushed | 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger| 1 tablespoon reduced-salt soy sauce | 2 teaspoons sunflower oil | 300 g chicken breasts | fresh mint | 1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced | 150 g mixed baby salad greens: spinach and romaine lettuce
– 1⁄2 teaspoon finely grated orange | 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice | 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard | 2 tablespoons sunflower oil | pepper to taste
1. Whisk the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sunflower oil in a bowl. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat both sides, then leave for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat the broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Broil, brushing frequently with the marinade and turning until cooked. Leave to rest for 3–4 minutes, then slice.
3. Orange dressing: orange juice, mustard, and sunflower oil in a bowl, and whisk all the ingredients. Season with pepper.
4. Transfer the chicken to the serving bowl and add with the dressing, the mango and salad greens
2. Tuna and Bell Pepper Salad
– 4 medium potatoes | 50 g green beans | mixed salad greens | 1 tablespoon chopped parsley | 1 small red onion, thinly sliced | 1 tablespoon black olive paste | 2 garlic cloves, chopped | 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil | 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar | 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar | pepper to taste | 10–15 radishes, thinly sliced | 1 can (170 g) tuna in water | 100 g cherry tomatoes | 1 each of red, yellow and green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced | 8 black olives | fresh basil leaves to garnish
1. Cook the potatoes in a saucepan with boiling water, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until the potatoes are tender and the beans are just cooked. Drain well.
2. Toss the salad greens with the parsley, chives and red onion in a large shallow bowl.
3. Dressing: mix garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, and season with pepper. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the salad greens and toss well to mix.
4. Halve the potatoes and arrange them on top of the salad greens with the green beans, radishes, tuna, tomatoes, bell peppers and olives. Pour over the remaining dressing, garnish with basil leaves and serve.
3. Herbed Greek Chicken Salad
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano | ½ teaspoon garlic, ¾ teaspoon black pepper | ½ teaspoon salt | Skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes | 5 teaspoons lemon juice | 1 cup fat-free yogurt | 2 teaspoons tahini | 1 teaspoon garlic | Chopped romaine lettuce | 1 cup peeled cucumber | 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved | 6 olives, halved | ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Add oregano, garlic, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl.
2.Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and spice mixture; sauté until chicken is done. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon juice; stir.
2. Combine 2 teaspoons juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, yogurt, tahini, and garlic in a small bowl; stir well.
3. Combine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and olives. Divide for 4 plates.
4. Top each serving with ½ cup chicken and 1 tablespoon cheese. Drizzle each serving with 3 tablespoons yogurt mixture.
4. Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta
– 3L water | 240g uncooked spaghetti | 0.4 kg peeled large shrimp | ¼ cup chopped fresh basil | 2 tablespoons olive oil | 2 tablespoons lemon juice | 1/2 teaspoon salt | 2 cups baby spinach
1. Boil water. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes
2. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done and pasta is al dente. Drain.
3. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Stir in basil and rest of ingredients (through salt).
4. Place ½ cup spinach on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 ½ cups pasta mixture.
5. Mediterranean Pasta Salad
– Salt | 0.4 kg tricolor pasta (bow tie or fusilli) | 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar | 2 to 3 teaspoons dijon mustard | Ground pepper | 2/3 to 3/4 cup olive oil | 1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes | 1/4 cup fresh basil | 1/4 cup diced onion | 3 tablespoons halved black olives | 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano | 45g feta cheese, crumbled | 1 ½ tablespoons grated cheese
1. Bring to Boil salted water . Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain, then rinse with cold water to cool.
2. For the vinaigrette: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in enough of the oil to make a smooth dressing; season with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, onion, olives and oregano in a bowl. Add the cooked pasta, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the vinaigrette and both cheeses and toss.
6. Mediterranean Tuna Salad
– 1 cup tomatoes, halves | Lettuce | 1 small red onion, halved, sliced | 1 cucumber, cut into cubes | 1 green pepper, cut cubes | 2/3 cup marinated feta cheese | 2/3 cup olives | 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano | 2 x 185g cans Tuna in Olive Oil | 1/4 cup red wine vinegar | Crusty bread, to serve
7. Mediterranean Detox Salad
– 1 cucumber | 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice | 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil | Black pepper, to taste |1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered | 2 large celery stalks, sliced | ½ cup sliced red onion | ½ cup feta cheese
8. Spinach Strawberry Salad
– 2 teaspoons Sugar Free Strawberry Jam | 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar | 3 Tablespoons virgin olive oil | Salt, to taste | black pepper, to taste | ½ small red onion, sliced | Strawberries, washed, caps removed and sliced | 4 cups chopped baby spinach | Blue Cheese or Feta Cheese Crumbles for topping | Chopped Pecans, Almonds or Walnuts for topping
1. 2 teaspoons strawberry jam. Whisk in vinegar until smooth then in extra-virgin olive oil.
2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the spinach with strawberries and onions
4. Pour on dressing
5. Toss again thoroughly to coat the salad
6. Top with crumbled feta or bleu cheese and nuts
9. Chicken-Garbanzo Salad
– 1 large cooked chopped chicken breast |1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained | 1 cup chopped cucumber (about 1 small) | 1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 4 small) | 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or basil | 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt | 2 garlic cloves, minced | 1/4 teaspoon salt | 2 cups prepackaged baby spinach leaves | 1/3 cup feta cheese with pepper, crumbled + corn | 4 lemon wedges
10- Cherry tomato, cucumber and green bean salad
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved | 1 cucumber, sliced | green beans | 1/4 cup olive oil | 1 tablespoon lemon juice | 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill | 1 avocado, peeled, sliced | salt and pepper
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– Place the tomato and cucumber in a large bowl
– Cook beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain again and refresh in iced water.
– Combine olive oil, lemon juice and dill..
– Add beans and avocado to tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper.