8 Dinner Salads You Can Eat Guilt Free
Posted on September 25 2016
Salads are well-known as one of the healthiest and most unique meals to have or make on the go. Guilt, on the other hand, is neither healthy nor unique. We sign up for a guilt trip after giving in to the impulse of eating our favorite calorie packed foods, mainly cupcakes or pastries. Why do we not choose to eat salads instead?
A salad has the ability to be sweet, nutty, or even spicy if we so choose. Beds of lettuce and spring greens offer ultimate flexibility when it comes to eating well, we just have to wrap our heads around a few ideas on simple ways to prepare it. In order to eat healthy for weight loss, it is most likely that you are piling on the same toppings every day—is it any wonder that your taste buds are bored to death with it?
The solution is a simple one – find new toppings to add to your pantry. Your salad dinners can be nutrient-dense, healthy, fresh, and tasty.
Why Eat Salad?
A salad is often made of your favorite leafy green. For example, spinach is a superfood and an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamins, and other nutrients that support bone health. Romaine lettuce is reportedly packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that fight cancers. Similar leafy greens such as kale, arugula, radicchio, and endive are good sources of fiber and other vitamins that are important for supporting your body’s everyday functions.
Salad is hypoallergenic, available all year around, and prepared according to your individual taste preferences. The vegetables and additives we often add to our salad are abundant sources for insoluble fiber which supports digestive health and lower in cholesterol to improve and balance your blood sugar - which reduces mood swings and energy drops.
Here are a few excellent dinner salad ideas to satisfy your leafy green appetite and to help you ward off boredom with your dinner salad, by keeping your taste buds entertained.
Kumai’s Apple and Cabbage Salad
Former model, American author and chef, Candice Kumai is also known as “The Stiletto Chef and Green Goddess”. Frustrated with the amount of fat and calories packed in coleslaw, Kumai set out to develop an alternative. The yummy salad she came up with replaces coleslaw, and also stands as a tasty and healthy dinner salad in its own right.
Reach for apples and red savoy cabbage. Slice them thin; add some fennel seeds, and a dash of cayenne. Each of these ingredients adds a powerful weight-loss punch to your meal. Apples, cabbage, and fennel contain fiber that you need for better digestion, while cayenne gives your metabolism a dramatic kick start. The sweetness of the apples is the perfect companion to the subtly flavored cabbage. Eat a healthy meal that tastes great too.
Grilled Lamb Salad
Who says you need to stick to vegetable salads? Lamb is a lean meat that is chock full of nutrients, niacin, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, and proteins. It also counts for just 175 calories for every 3-ounce of lean lamb serving. Marinate the lamb for about 3 hours in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, herbs, and salt. Grill it till cooked, let it rest for about 10 minutes, and slice it thin.
Serve it with mixed greens, low-fat Tzatziki sauce or Greek yogurt, and some tomato slices. This delectable salad gives you the energy you need, and also helps reduce stress levels (no more stress-eating, thanks to the zinc content)—it’s an ideal dinner salad to eat guilt-free, and is definitely packed with oodles of taste.
Jennifer Aniston’s Quinoa Dinner
The fact that it is a healthy and nutrient-dense dinner option is just one of the reasons why this quinoa and avocado salad is Jennifer Aniston’s favorite meal. This quinoa meal packs a veritable punch when it comes to taste and texture. With high concentrations of iron, vitamin C, and fiber, this quasi-tabbouleh also offers more than 60 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber.
All you need to do is cook some super-nutritious quinoa, add it to a base of parsley and other greens you like, mix in some avocado cubes, and finally, spritz some fresh lime or lemon juice. The added lemon juice lends it a bright citrus flavor and helps detoxify your body at the same time. Is it any wonder that the ageless Jennifer Aniston loves this easy-peasy dinner salad?
Smoked Turkey and Edamame Salad
Whipping up a meal with fresh ingredients day after day is not the most convenient option, even if it is just a salad. Freezer staples can be your best friend when you are hard-pressed for time. Smoked turkey breasts and other parts are easily available in the deli or meat sections of your local supermarket, while soybeans or edamame can be frozen for use as a quick snack or salad addition.
In a bowl, mix in some edamame, rinsed and drained black beans, smoked turkey meat, corn, bell peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and salt. Make a dressing out of some oil, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Toss the salad mix and dressing, and season. Add this turkey and edamame salad to a lettuce leaf, roll it up, and enjoy.
Thai Citrus Chicken Salad
When you are looking for an affordable on the go option, Trader Joe’s salads are the way to go. However, takeout means that you will be consuming ingredients that are not quite as fresh, flavorful, nor nutritious as the real deal. Fret not, here’s a low calorie version of the citrus chicken salad at Trader Joe’s.
Season cubed chicken breasts with garlic, salt, and pepper. Sauté the chicken in olive oil till done, and season with some lime juice. Now combine the salad—mix some julienned cabbage, papaya, carrots, onions, daikon, and cilantro in a bowl, and add the chicken to it. Blend the salad dressing ingredients—lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil, chopped jalapenos and garlic—till emulsified. This dinner salad constitutes just 223 calories per serving. The ingredients used are rich in antioxidants and proteins, while being low in carbohydrates, fats, and calories.
Sesame Chicken and Baby Kale Salad
Yes, every fitness fanatic has only the best things to say about kale. However, truth be told, kale leaves do have a very strong taste that may or may not appeal to your palate. If you are not a fan of the taste of kale, reach out for baby kale leaves instead—all the nutrition minus the strong taste.
To make this delicious and power-packed weight loss salad, add soy sauce, lemon juice, water, red pepper flakes, and maple syrup or honey to a bowl. Season chicken breast cubes, and cook till done. Add sliced apples and cucumbers, baby kale leaves, and sesame seeds to the pan. Toss the salad with some lemon juice and season to taste. Each serving (about 500gms) packs just under 400 calories.
Chipotle Mango Chicken Salad
What could be healthier than combining a serving of your favorite fruit with your chicken dinner salad? Mango offers a healthy and tasty way to add some sweetness to your meal to satisfy your sugar craving. What is more is that mango also keeps the flu at bay as well as the seasons change.
Begin by slicing chicken breast, and adding them to a mix of oil, chopped chipotle peppers from a can packed in adobo sauce, garlic, lime juice and salt. Marinate the chicken in the sauce, and dump it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Discard the liquid, and cook the marinated chicken pieces. Toss the chicken in a mix of mangoes, black beans, bell peppers, onions, and crumbled feta (if you like it). Make or buy some green goddess dressing (add some mayonnaise and sour cream to chives, chervil, tarragon, anchovies, pepper, and lemon juice), and you have a yummy dinner salad that you can eat guilt-free.
This dinner salad provides you with 131 percent of your required daily dose of vitamin C which reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your body. Furthermore, the chicken packs a powerful protein punch. This salad packs in about 550 calories, so go easy on the dressing if that does not work for you.
Orange-Pomegranate Shrimp Salad
Winter fruits like orange and pomegranate pack in plenty of nutrients, and make for a tasty yet light salad. You do not have to sign off on non-vegetarian meals just because you are on a weight-loss mission. Shrimp and other fish allow you to savor non-vegetarian cuisine while your body gets a protein fix minus the fat.
Toss some cooked shrimp with oranges and pomegranate seeds, some mixed greens, and pomegranate balsamic dressing and soft goat cheese (if needed). Loaded with vitamin B (riboflavin), this salad boosts your metabolism. Along with regular workouts, this meal can accelerate your weight loss and make the journey a more enjoyable one.
After a hard day’s work, many of us tend to make dinners the largest meal of the day. However, if you want to eat guilt-free and protect your waistline, then dinner salads are a better bet. The energy boost they provide is enough to get you through to breakfast, while making sure you get a tasty nutritional fix. Remember to add some fruits and vegetables, low-fat proteins (fish or chicken), and carbs like quinoa while whipping up your dinner salad.
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