Healthier Ways to Top Your Salad
Smart Substitution: Salad Dressings
-- By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer
Salad. It’s the symbol for eating healthy. With piles of crisp romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, tomatoes, carrots, onions and all other kinds of veggies, what could spoil such a healthy dish? The infamous salad dressing, that's what! Although a very tasty condiment with available in countless flavors, salad dressing often hides excess fat, calories and other unhealthy ingredients. For those of you who like and want that little addition of flavor, there are several choices to make a smart substitution for your dressing.
Start with a few toppings similar to salad dressing, but with very distinct tastes. The first is olive oil. Mainly associated with cooking on a stove, olive oil is good by itself and is healthy for the heart. Mix with some vinegar for a tangy topping. Read more about cooking with olive oil. Another yummy topping is lemon juice. It makes fish taste great, why not give it a shot with your salad? Plus, it has virtually no calories. Just squeeze it over your greens.
Fruit on top of salad provides an exotic taste, along with providing the nutritional benefits from another vital food group. Almost any fruit would suffice; two of the more popular choices are pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. Many of us have seen or tasted mandarin chicken salads offered at restaurants, but pineapple may be new to some. Both give a salad a sweet taste and blend in well thanks to their small size. Again, both are very nutritious.
Lastly, we have a couple items normally reserved for side dishes at a meal – low fat cottage cheese and applesauce. They only add a few grams of fat and have fewer calories than salad dressing. So, give one or all of them a shot on your next salad. Not only will your salad be even healthier, you may find a new favorite topping. Enjoy!