Salads are the perfect low-cal diet companion, but you don’t have to wait until you’re watching your waistline to enjoy all the benefits. At the base of every healthy and satisfying salad is a plethora of vegetables that make them great sources of vitamin C and folate, supplied from the leafy greens that accompany most salads. Colorful salads that include tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage, bell peppers and dried cranberries also deliver vitamin A (as beta carotene), lycopene and other key phytonutrients.
Check out these tasty salad recipes that include hearty main-dish salads that leave you full and satisfied, as well as lighter salads, perfect as a side dish or appetizer.
Mango Grilled Chicken Salad
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, halved
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 scallions, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 cups shredded romaine, rinsed and spun dry
- 1/2 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch dice
- On a large, plate drizzle the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with the scallions, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, salt and pepper to taste, turning it to coat well, and let marinate at room temperature, turning it once, for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the vinaigrette in a small bowl by whisking together the vinegar, the shallot, the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, salt and pepper to taste, add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a stream while continuing to whisk until it is emulsified.
- Grill the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. In a large bowl, toss the romaine, the watercress, the cabbage, and the mango with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad well, transfer the salad to a platter, and top it with the chicken. Serve the remaining vinaigrette separately.
Tuna Salad with Orange and Bell Pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 seedless oranges, peel and white pith removed
- 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 9-ounce can white meat tuna packed in water, drained well, separated into chunks
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- In a large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and garlic.
- Working over the bowl with dressing, cut oranges between membranes, releasing segments into bowl.
- Add onion, bell pepper, tuna and parsley; toss.
- Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)
- Divide salad greens among plates. Spoon tuna salad over, dividing equally. Garnish with almonds.
Tomato Salad and Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 large leaf lettuce, large leaves torn into smaller pieces
- 4 large or 6 small ripe Italian tomatoes, about 500 g in total, sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 16 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
- Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 1?2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pepper to taste
- To make the garlic vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, oil and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
- Divide the salad greens among plates or on a serving platter. Arrange the sliced tomatoes and then the cherry tomatoes on top. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the tomatoes.
- Scatter the basil leaves and the pumpkin and sunflower seeds over the tomatoes, and serve at immediately.
Easy Bean Salad with Spice
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can pinto beans
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 (8 ounce) jar chunky salsa
- 1 pinch dried parsley
- Drain and rinse beans well and pour into a large bowl.
- Add corn, oil, cumin, chili powder, lime juice and salsa; mix well.
- Sprinkle with parsley, cover and chill for about 1 hour before serving.
You don’t have to be on a diet to enjoy healthy and satisfying salads – bring on the green and dig into one tonight with these tasty recipes.