I really enjoy a fresh and tasty garden salad. Actually most salads I enjoy I try to make different combinations of dressings and Lettuce types.
It's important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, in as many different colors as possible. Combining them in a salad is both easy and delicious! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eating a salad a day will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in your blood.
Eating salads is a super-convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Green salads are on the menu of almost every restaurant. You can even buy a side salad (with Romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes, available with fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressing) for a buck at many fast food chains these days. And you can make a green salad at home in 5 minutes, armed with a bag of pre-washed salad greens, a few carrots or other veggies, and a bottle of light salad dressing.
The findings of this study are consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that recommend increasing vegetable and fruit intake and eating a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas. Salads are a great way to meet your daily recommendation for fruits and vegetables.
According to the study:
- Eating a salad a day is directly correlated with higher nutrient levels.
- Adding salad dressing to a salad increases the absorption of certain nutrients being consumed.
- The fat in salad dressing helps absorb key nutrients such as lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene.
- People who eat salads, salad dressing, and raw vegetables are more likely to meet recommended intakes for vitamins C, E and folic acid.
- High fruit and vegetable consumption has also been associated with lower rates of pre-menopausal bone loss in women.
- Consumption of as little as one serving of salad or raw vegetables per day is significantly associated with the likelihood of meeting the recommended nutrient intakes of each of vitamins A, E, B6, and folic acid.
*The American Dietetic Association is now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Below are some recipes that I truly enjoy.
COPY CAT OLIVE GARDEN SALAD
Do you love Olive Garden’s Salad? Learn how simple it is to make it at home so you can enjoy your favorite flavors without the cost of eating out!
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup white vinegar
- 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2/3 cup parmesan romano cheese blend
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 bag salad blend of your choice
- sliced red onion
- black olives
- sliced Roma tomato
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Mix all of the salad dressing ingredients well in a blender or food processor.
- Chill for at least two hours before serving.
- Assemble salad and toppings in a large bowl.
- Pour on desired amount of dressing and toss right before serving.
- Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- This makes enough dressing for about four large bowls of salad and will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Croutons are really easy to make and it is a great way to use up leftover bread that has maybe gone slightly stale.
Click HERE to save this recipe for How to Make a Copy Cat Olive Garden Salad to Pinterest!
- 1 large cucumber diced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives halved
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- salt and pepper
- Greek Salad Dressing
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. Drizzle with my homemade Greek Salad Dressing.
- Once made, this salad will last for up to two days in the fridge. Just store in a sealed container.
Healthy Chicken Cobb Salad Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts 12 oz
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 large avocado
- 10 grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup corn, canned
- 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 4 cups lettuce or greens of choice
Grill the chicken breasts on the stove top for about 10-15 minutes on each side in your choice of oil.
While the chicken is cooking, hard boil the eggs by placing them in 1 inch of water and bringing to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes.
Remove the egg shells and cut the eggs into small pieces.
Slice the avocado and cut the tomatoes into halves.
Top each plate of lettuce with sliced or cubed cooked chicken, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, corn, and blue cheese crumbles.
Serve and enjoy!
Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
- 1 lb Roma tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 medium red onion sliced
- 2 avocados diced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
- 1/4 cup 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt or 3/4 tsp table salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Place chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro into a large salad bowl.
Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Toss gently to combine. Just before serving, toss with 1 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper.
*Note: if you aren't keen on cilantro, fresh dill is a good substitute
- 8 cups lettuce, romaine or iceberg
- 2 cups radicchio
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup seasoned croutons
- 1/2 cup black olives pitted
- 6 pepperoncini peppers
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheeseor to taste
- 1/2 cup Italian dressinghomemade or store bought
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs parsley or basil
Wash and dry lettuce and radicchio.
Add remaining ingredients along with dressing to taste.
Top with freshly shredded parmesan cheese.
Homemade salad dressing is easily customizable to your own tastes. A few dressing tips:
- Use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil versus vinegar
- For the acid, you can substitute balsamic, red wine, apple cider, or sherry vinegar, OR lemon, lime, or orange juice (play with quantities to taste)
- Feel free to add in chopped herbs, minced garlic, minced shallot, fancy salts, you name it
- Store in a glass jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature and stir before serving. (This dressing is likely shelf stable but we keep it in the refrigerator just in case.)
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