How to make a salad as a meal?
- September 4, 2022
This is a contribution post by Dr Surbhi Prapanna
We all know the amazing health benefits of eating salads. Including salad in your everyday meal is a great way to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. It also helps in adding more fruits and vegetables in your diet and fulfill your daily nutritional requirements too.
If you want to lose weight or maintain an ideal weight, salads can offer a great help. Salads are low in calories and keeps you full for longer period. In fact, scientific study suggests that eating salad can be an effective strategy for enhancing nutritional adequacy and increasing vegetable consumption in your routine diet.
In many Indian households, salad is eaten as a side dish. Kachumber or sliced veggies with lemon juice, salt and pepper seasoning is a common recipe for making routine salads.
Though eating salad as a side dish add an extra crunch to your meal however, you have to make some variations, if you want to eat salad as a meal. With some pre-planning and efforts, you can make salad as a satisfying meal. A power-packed salad can be a great option for light dinner or lunch.
If you want to enjoy salad as a meal, then this post can be a great help for you. In this post, I am sharing some easy steps to make salad as a nutritious meal. Read the post to know more!
How to make salad as a meal
For making salad as a meal, we will create different layers and add various nutritional elements one by one. You can chop or cut veggies or fruits in any shape, as per your personal preference.
Add a layer of green as a base
First take a large bowl and add a layer of green as a base. You can take any type of greens like spinach, collard leaves, spring mix or kale as per your taste preference. Greens are high in nutrition and large in volume. They create a perfect base for your salad. Adding green in your diet is best way to boost fiber intake which helps in keeping you full for longer and at the same time help in improving your digestion process.
Add second layer of veggies of your choice
As a second layer, we will add varieties of veggies in salad. Avoid adding starchy or high carb veggies (like potato) in your salad, especially if you want to lose weight. Add plenty of colorful veggies like cucumber, carrot, radish, or any other veggies of your choice. Try to add veggies that are available in you region and appropriate for season. Adding plenty of veggies not only make your salad visually appealing but also enhance the nutritional value too.
Next third layer of fruits of your choice
Next to veggies, it is time to add fruits in your salad. While adding fruits, avoid using sour and sweet fruits altogether. Also use firm and fresh fruits. Using over juicy or overripe fruits can make your salad soggy. You can keep an experimental approach and can try various fruits combination to know what work best for your taste buds.
Fourth layer of complex carb
If you want to make a low-calorie salad, then you can avoid adding a layer of carbohydrate. For others, adding a layer of any good source of complex carbohydrate is a great way to make salad a complete meal. You can use brown rice, roasted oats, broken wheat (Daliya) or Quiona as a layer of complex carb. Just boiled and seasoned the complex carb source and add this to your salad for adding a good source of carbohydrate.
Next add layer of protein
Next, it is important to add a good source of protein in your salad bowl to make it a complete meal. Protein is one of the most important nutritional elements of our diet and we should try to include a good source of protein in our salad bowl. If you are a vegetarian, then you can add lightly sauté cottage cheese (panner) or tofu. You can also add any of sprouts (like chana, moong or moth) in your salad. Even some of the lentils (like masoor) can be used as a great source of protein in salad. If you non-vegetarians, you can add any good source of lean meat in your salad to make it a complete meal.
Add crunch as a layer of seeds and nuts toppings
After adding all layers of essential nutrients one by one, it is time to add some crunch in your salad. Seeds and nuts are great options to enhance the nutritional value of your salad and also help in adding a crunchy taste. Almonds, cashew and walnut are some of the best nuts that taste great in salad. For seeds, you can use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds or any other seeds as per your taste preference. Avoid using nuts and seeds in large quantity as they increase the calorie value of your salad and may put an obstacle in your weight loss process.
Last add the dressings of your choice (use herbs, spices etc.)
At last, it is time to enhance the flavor of your salad. Adding dressings is best way to add an amazing flavor to your salad. You can use herbs like rosemary, basil or dill to enhance the flavor of your salad. You can also prepare a simple dressing by mixing lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Garlic and coriander leaves also give great results, when used in a lemon juice-based dressing. Avoid using market bought dressings in your salad, as they may contain unhealthy ingredients which are high in calories.
After adding all layers one by one give a gentle toss to mix all the ingredients well. Your tasty and healthy salad as a meal is ready to enjoy.
Did you have tried salad as a meal? What was your experience? Please share with us!
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Dr. Surbhi Prapanna is a homeopathic therapist by profession and a writer and blogger by passion. She is the founder of India’s leading lifestyle blog surbhiprapanna.com.
She has more than 5 years of professional writing experience and her work has been published on various prestigious online platforms like Momspresso.com, kidstoppress.com, cureJoy.com and shivanaspirit.com.
Health, parenting and creative activities for kids (art, crafts, DIYs etc.) are her niche. She has won so many awards for her academic and professional excellence but winning the “Best parent award” is the most precious and satisfying experience of her life. Connect with her here.