Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Summer = Salads

Summer time is a great time to fill up on healthy, delicious salads. I don't believe salads should be the accompaniment to a meal. I believe they should be the meal.
When creating nutritionally balanced salads, remember to include these 4 key components:

1. Vegetables/ salad
2. Protein source
3. Low GI carbohydrate
4. Healthy fat

  • Left: Mixed lettuce, beetroot, zucchini, turkey & fetta salad
  • Right: Green beans, bok choy, lean pork, lentil, fetta & pinenut salad
  • Left: Spinach, tomato, capsicum, zucchini, chickpea, fetta & walnut salad
  • Right: Spinach, cucumber, tomato, chickpea, fetta & pepita seed salad

1. Vegetables/ salad

  • Green - spinach , rocket, lettuce, broccoli, beans, celery, cucumber
  • Orange - pumpkin, carrots
  • Red - capsicum, tomato
  • Yellow - yellow capsicum
  • Purple - beetroot

2. Protein sources

  • Lean chicken
  • Tinned tuna
  • Smoked salmon
  • Boiled eggs
  • Chickpeas (also provide low GI carbohydrate)
  • 4-bean mix (also provide low GI carbohydrate)
  • Fetta

3. Low GI carbohydrates

  • Fruits -  mango, pomegranate, pear, cranberries
  • Quinoa
  • Pearl cous cous
  • Corn
  • Sweet potato
  • Chickpeas (also provide protein)
  • 4-bean mix (also provide protein)

4. Healthy fats

  • Nuts - roasted walnuts, pinenuts, pistachios
  • Avocado
  • Oils - olive oil, rice bran oil
  • Olives

Build your Salad

Now that you've chosen each of the components, it's time to build your salad.

To serve 4, I recommend:
  • 8 cups of salad/ vegetables
  • 2 large chicken breasts/ 3 x 95g tin tuna/ 200g smoked salmon/ 3 boiled eggs/ 1 x 400g tin chickpeas or 4-bean mix/ 180g reduced fat fetta (or mix and match more than one protein source)
  • 2 cups of low GI carbohydrates
  • 1/4 cup nuts/ 1 whole avocado, 1/4 cup oils/ 15 olives
For extra flavour add herbs such as fresh basil or parsley, wholegrain mustard, lemon/ lime juice or balsamic vinegar.

One of my favourite summer salad dressings is balsamic vinegar, olive oil (3 parts balsamic vinegar: 1 part olive oil) and wholegrain mustard.

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