Healthy Salad Making Tips

Tossed salad is a favorite around here…and I’m known for “lawn-mower” chopped-fine veggies in mine. My first tip: Don’t rely on iceburg lettuce for any nutrients, it has none. If you’re going to make salad, go for Romaine (I get Romaine hearts at Aldi’s and they are so delicious, I usually eat a leaf or two in the washing process!). Did you know that Romaine is one of the highest vegetable sources of beta-carotene? I also add Red Leaf lettuce and some fresh spinach (powerful antioxidant-rich source) if I have it…mmm!

Next thing to know: wash your vegetables! Yes, we all do this, but I recently learned that tap water is not enough! To really get the potentially harmful bacterias and pesticides, I use Grape Seed Extract (GSE)–25-30 drops in a sinkful of cold water. You can probably buy this at your local health food store, it’s pretty popular stuff.

Here is what makes up my favorite salad:

For color:

  • shredded carrots
  • minutely diced radishes (most people love this taste when it’s not overpowering)
  • just enough red onion for “zing”, again “lawn-mower” fine…
  • occasionally, I also dice raw summer squash…such a pretty yellow, and surprisingly tasty when mixed with greens!
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • cauliflower florets (me and oldest dd’s favorite veggie!)

For added taste:

  • cucumbers–I dice mine in fourths
  • green onion (I prefer this over red onion and never use both)
  • avacado (MY FAVORITE addition to salad!)
  • celery, diced fine (I mean diced, not thinly sliced…my family is not big on celery unless it’s slathered with peanut butter!)
  • broccoli florets

Then, in separate dishes for toppers:

  • grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • sliced black olives
  • salted peanuts

Adding salted peanuts to salad was my Grandma’s great idea…it’s a sad day when we don’t have peanuts on hand in this house!

My favorite dressing? Lemon juice sprinkled on my serving! My mouth is watering…now if I could just wean my family off of Catalina and Ranch!

Of course, thanks goes to my mom, the queen of all salad tossers who taught me well!

19 thoughts on “Healthy Salad Making Tips”

  1. I eat salads everyday, and yes, it is iceberg. The one time I brought home romaine, there was a huge gigantic slug!! I screamed to high heaven and tossed thing! Do I look like a Fear Factor contestant?

  2. Ugh, Leticia, I’m so glad we don’t have slugs where I live…we had huge ones in Oregon. And you had me laughing at your Fear Factor comment…if you ever get on, let me know, I’d love to watch. Ha.

    Jen, I’d probably still be using iceberg lettuce too, thankfully a few years back I was planning a ladies luncheon and one of the women “went off” about what a rip off–nutrient wise–iceberg lettuce was. I checked it out and she was right! Now I only use it as filler if I’m making a really big salad.

    Amy, I hear you! I love fruits and veggies! I’m married to a carnivore though… Honestly, I do like meat, but gotta have my veggies…

  3. The yellow squash was so pretty in little triangular chunks and very mild flavored…I was surprised the first time I did it. Go for the peanuts, they really add flavor…and protein! If I have those and lemon juice, I don’t even miss the dressing. Thanks for coming by! I’m glad you’re feeling better these days, missed you in the loops! πŸ˜‰

  4. I love eating salad, just hate making it. I think because it was my job to make the salad as a teen and I hated it! As we speak I have several heads of romaine growing old in the frig. I’ll see if I can salvage any of them…or better yet, delegate the salad making to my kids who love to cook!

  5. I’m the same way, love eating it, don’t enjoy making it. It’s all the washing and chopping I think. My daughter is much better at it than I… πŸ˜‰

  6. Mmmm…just reading this makes my mouth water! That is so neat about the grape seed extract! I will have to look for some.

  7. I know I’ve been bad lately…during the summer I was getting good and would eat salad everyday for lunch (the best is when you make a salad and put a can of tuna on top of it then put the dressing…my old piano teacher taught me that) but lately I haven’t been as much. But today after reading this I went and looked in the fridge. We had cucumbers and tomatoes so I made a cuke’n’tomato salad with oil and vinegar dressing and salt and pepper…my MIL’s specialty. It was yummy!

  8. Mmm, sounds yummy! I love cuke ‘n’ onion salads…and we’re going shopping later this morning, so I’ll stock up on romaine and toppings!

    By the way, I just want to say I’m so impressed by you, Geri! In my mind, you excel at these homemaking endeavors. To be so young and enthusiastic, unafraid to tackle “special diets” for your dh, or long recipes…etc. Way to go! I wish more young marrieds put as much effort into making their home a haven for their family. You are an inspiration! And your dh is blessed!

  9. Thank you! That’s so nice of you to say and reading this first thing in the morning just made my day! I think alot of it is to do with how I was raised; my Mom was alot like this and (even though at the time I wished she was “cooler” now I see how much love it took for her to be so into her family. I was so happy to come across your site and comforted to know there were more Mother’s/Wife’s out there like me because nowadays people are so much more career- and money-driven that family takes the back seat.

    LOL-and I wouldn’t say I excel at them…I do have many mishaps along the way!

  10. Well, and don’t we all? πŸ˜‰ My mom is much the same way as yours…so sacrificial and always giving her all to make our lives more special. I’d love to be like her when I grow up! πŸ˜‰

    And we didn’t get to go shopping today, went out to start our Suburban and it wouldn’t turn over. Dh took his truck to town and bought a starter, came home and installed it, still wouldn’t start. So he replaced the fuel filter and some other stuff and has given up. So much fun for his one day off! :( And bad timing as my back up vehicle has a leak in the gas line. Thank God there’s a perfectly good reason for all of this, even if I don’t know what it is just yet!

  11. Aww I’m sorry to hear that…I hope it all starts working soon! (and with as little cost as possible!).

    And as for you being like your Mom when you grow up-from what I’ve read on here about what she’s like I would say you’ve learned alot from her. You give alot to make your children, dh, and all of our lives more special!

  12. He got it running! And just as you hoped, for minimal cost! Thank God…

    And thank you for your compliment both to me and my mom!

  13. Mmmm…I had opened a can of olives (that’s all I could find-no fresh) last night for dinner and since DH doesn’t like them I had a bunch left over. So today I sprinkled some on my salad because I saw on your list that you like it. Wow!! I love them! I’ve had them on Greek Salad before but never a garden salad. Thanks for the tip!

  14. You’re welcome, they are yummy on Sub sandwiches too! πŸ˜‰

    Yes, I’m a black olive fanatic! We rarely have them for anything else, but when we have Christmas and Thanksgiving get-togethers, there is always a split dish with half black olives and half green. Yum. Family tradition!

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