From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and recipes from Sound Dietitians at www.sounddietitians.com/sd-blog/making-an-entree-salad.
Summer is the perfect season to make salad your main entrée. With the abundance of great produce you can create enjoyable meals that are fresh, local and seasonal. A salad as your lunch or dinner entrée is a perfect way to follow My Plate’s guidelines and make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Here are some tips on how to make your main dish filling and delicious.
1. Choose a protein
Since your salad will be the main course, it is important to make sure you include a good source of protein. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. We need protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in our body. Main course salads may include protein in the form of meat, like chicken, thinly sliced beef or pork. Or the salad may contain seafood like salmon, shrimp, or tuna.
For those of us who do not eat meat, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan protein options. Tofu, eggs and legumes will provide ample protein for your meat-free salad. Not only do beans and legumes boost protein and fiber in your salad but they also provide potassium, folate, and zinc. In fact, ½ cup of rinsed and drained cooked chickpeas has almost 20% of your daily fiber needs and 10% of your protein needs. Lentils are a perfect protein source as well, especially in Mediterranean, North African, and Middle Eastern inspired dishes. Lentils are not only a great source of protein, they are also high in fiber, folate, and thiamin. Try a combo of beans and corn for a delicious Southwest inspired salad that is both vegan and high fiber.
View the rest of the blog post from Sara, a Dietetic Intern with Sound Dietitians, on the Sound Dietitians blog: www.sounddietitians.com/sd-blog/making-an-entree-salad