Fit Tip – Savage Salads

ImageSalads are a great food to eat, especially if you are on a calorie restricted diet to lose weight, and contrary to popular belief they don’t all taste like rabbit food. There is however a couple of things to bear in mind when making or buying a salad:

1. Just because it has the word salad in it doesn’t make it low calorie or good for yuo. Pasta salad for example are often very high in calories, don’t have particularly great nutritional values and like to pass themselves off as being the healthier option, they aren’t.

2. Lettuce as a base isn’t always the best. Lettuce is the typical ingredient we think of when thinking about salads, but not only does it taste pretty bland, it’s also a nutritionally week vegetable. Try a different base such as spinach (my fave), peppers, mixed leaves or even branching into quinoa based salads (although make sure to weigh out your quinoa as the calories can build up).

3. You may have picked out a lovely low calorie salad, but don’t forget that the calories shown are often just for the salad and doesn’t include for the calories of the dressing you are drowning your food in. Lots of salad dressings are oil or cream based which can add the calories onto a meal quickly, if you are in a restaurant I always recommend asking for the dressing on the side so you can control how much is put on, or if you can skip the dressing altogether.

4. Be wary of certain ingredients, I’ve seen salads with croutons, tacos and fried chicken in them. Adding anything fried to a salad that you have probably chosen as the healthy option is making that healthy option a bit redundant.

5. Fruit goes great in salad. I haven’t experimented much myself, but Pret in the summer had a fantastic hoisin duck salad that was served on mixed leaves, red onion, cucumber, red peppers and pomegranate, it was delicious. My friend also says she makes a mean peach and rocket salad and I’ve heard strawberries go great with balsamic vinegar. Get creative and make beautiful colourful salads, I find the more colourful and fun your food looks, the more you will enjoy it.

To try and round off this rambley post, here are a couple of my go to salad recipes that are very quick and easy:

Chicken Salad

½ a poached chicken breast
Chopped raw mushroom
About 5 olives
Reduced fat mozzarella (Tesco and Sainsbury’s both sell small bags of this, I normally have 1/3 a pack)
Teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for dressing

Tuna Salad

½ tin of tuna (I really like using the sachets of the John West pre seasoned tuna)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
A boiled Egg

Load up on as much veg as you want, but I would recommend not being too generous on the olives!

What’s your favourite salad?