Tuesday, April 05, 2011
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers a recipe for full-meal salads that are low in calories, yet are filling and high in flavor and nutrition.
To start, pile a plate with 2 cups or more of leafy green vegetables. While lettuce (iceberg, bibb, red or green) may be the typical salad foundation, there are many other choices. Consider arugula, watercress, cabbage, Belgian or red endive, escarole, collards, bok choy, cabbage, chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, mache or spinach.
Vegetables and fruit: Choose two or more, totaling 2 cups. Choices that add crunch, texture and flavor include artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, green onions, jicama, pea pods, peppers, radishes, squash, apples, apricots, berries, citrus sections, grapes, mango, melon, peaches, pears, pineapple, pomegranate or watermelon.
Protein: Add one lean or low-fat protein to the salad. Meatless choices include lentils, peas, tofu, tempeh or beans (1/2 cup serving). Or, opt for up to 2 ounces of beef, lamb, pork, poultry, tuna, salmon, trout, shrimp or clams. Limit low-fat cheeses to a 1-ounce serving.
Carbohydrates and whole grains: Include one whole grain or carbohydrate. Choices include barley, bulgur, couscous, kasha, millet, quinoa, pasta, brown rice or wild rice (1/2 cup serving). Or, complement the salad with a small bagel, a slice of bread, naan or pita. Other options to consider are one serving of whole wheat crackers, Melba toast, pretzels, rice cakes or 1/2 cup of croutons.
Herbs: There's no limit. Tasty additions include basil, chives, dill, fennel, mint, oregano, parsley, cilantro or tarragon.
Extras: Choose no more than two high-salt or high-calorie extras for the salad. Extra toppings might be nuts (serving size — 6); olives (serving size — 8); dried fruit (1/4 cup); salsa (1/4 cup); fat-free or low-calorie mayonnaise (1 tablespoon [T]); or fat-free or low-calorie salad dressing (2 T). Or perhaps skip the creamy dressings and squeeze lemon juice, a little red wine vinegar or olive oil over the salad.
With a variety of toppings and nutritious additions, this salad recipe produces a tasty, low-calorie meal that also increases daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
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