…But you can make a decent meal with one. When you’re trying to watch what you’re eating, a salad is a nice way to get a meal in that’s not gonna break the calorific bank. It’s hard to mess up lettuce and a few other veg. In fact, the simpler the better – lettuce, peppers, grated carrots, thinly sliced red onion. Throw in some cold meat and a bit of cheese and you have a very well balanced meal.
The key to flavour in the salad is getting the balance right between the different ingredients. You don’t want one flavour to completely overwhelm the rest. A nice mix is key. And a good dressing. In the past I would have said that a good dressing couldn’t taste great and still taste good. But you pick up a trick or two here and there when you absolutely have to make sure your dressings are not going to kill you nutritionally.
One of the basic principles of a dressing, I’ve learned, is a mix of acid and “fat”, for want of a better word. You can still achieve this with low fat ingredients though. Low fat natural yoghurt is a surprisingly effective replacement for mayonnaise or olive oil. A splash or two of a nice white wine vineger, some garlic powder, some pepper and a small scoop of dijon mustard and you have yourself a tasty dressing. Or you can use balsamic and English mustard instead if you want a stronger flavour. You have to shake it up well though to emulsify the ingredients.
For the “carb” a nice wholemeal bread (not too much) works a treat. Satisfying and low cal. Well reasonably so. It will of course depend on some of your other ingredients. Like the cheese. And the bread. Those are the two biggest calorie culprits in the salad above. And of course, healthy is not just about calories but also about sugars, salts, fats and the other nutrients you put into your body.