Some favorite low fat salads

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just as I admit to being a soup freak, I also admit that I love all kinds of salads.  That wasn’t always the case.  It wasn’t until I switched to a lowfat diet in 2004 that I cultivated my taste for fresh produce and healthy dressings.  I have learned a few important things:

1.  I rinse everything.  I squirt it with some veggie wash spray, then rinse it in my reverse osmosis water.

2.  I must eat some oil or fat with my salads and vegetables because some of the vitamins are oil soluble.  That means if I eat  a nonfat or lowfat salad dressing, I will not be getting enough oil from it to activate the vitamins to fuel my body.

3.  The more pure, natural foods I eat, and the less processed foods I eat (processed = anything with a label), the more attuned my palate becomes to subtle taste differences.

4.  Having to cook my own food and chop my own salads is a good dietary move, since it increases my prep time and lessens my ingesting time *smile*

Here are some of my favorite salads.

First, the most simple is sometimes the best,  Fresh romaine, chopped fresh tomato right off the vine, some slivers of red onion, about 20 fresh basil leaves, a teaspoon of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, sea salt and coarse ground pepper.

Last week I made this really good salad.  I didn’t want to have any meat, but I wanted substance, since the salad would be my entire dinner.  So I opened a package of chopped romaine and rinsed it and chopped it even further, then I added some sliced red onion and chopped black olives, tomato and capers.

Then I chopped a giant Golden Yukon potato and cooked it in a nonstick frypan until the pieces were almost crisp.  Halfway through, I added a bunch of drained, cooked garbanzo beans and kept tossing them all together.

At the same time, I sauteed a sliced onion in another pan until it carmelized and that went on top of the potatoes.  If you cook the onion with the potato, the potato will steam instead of sautee, and I wanted to trick myself into thinking the potato pieces were meat, so I kept them crisp.

Then just dump the potatoes on top of the salad, then the onions on top of the potatoes, then mix with your favorite dressing.  I’ve learned to like simple dressings of olive oil and vinegar or fresh lemon, and I always top with fresh basil and dried oregano.

This week I made a really good tuna salad.  I added chopped onions, radishes, celery, carrot sticks.  I first put in a glass bowl 2 tsp rice wine vinegar and threw in some raisins and craisins to hydrate in it.  Then the chopped veggies, then some albacore tuna and then 2-3 giant tablespoons of lowfat mayo, some pepper, garlic powder and tarragon.

Variation: add chopped, sun dried tomatoes that have been hydrated in a tablespoon of pineapple juice.
Variation: add one chopped apple, or a half dozen chopped green olives
Variation: add a half dozen chopped Greek calamata olives and ½ cup low fat feta cheese crumbles
Variation: substitute chopped turkey or chicken for the tuna, add a chopped slice of lowfat Jarlsberg Light swiss cheese


Chopped apples, onions, radishes, celery, carrot sticks.

I first put in a glass bowl 2 tsp wine vinegar and threw in some raisins and craisins to hydrate in it.

Then the veggies and then 2-3 giant tablespoons of lowfat mayo or Veganaise, some pepper, garlic powder and tarragon.

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