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Celebrate Salads

August 5, 2007
by Janice Baker, M.B.A., R.D., CDE, Registered Dietitian

     As the weather warms up, we tend to want to spend less time over a hot stove for our meals.  And many of us are also trying to lighten up our meals to get in shape for the summer season.  Salads are a great way to do both, as well as fit in generous servings of nutrient packed produce.  Here are some tips and a recipe to help get you started!

  1. The best way to make tossed salad is to fill your clean kitchen sink or a large bowl with cold water.  Chop lettuce and add to the water.  Stir well and allow all of the dirt to fall to the bottom. Remove lettuce and drain in a colander.  Store lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator; it keeps for about a week.
  2. Use a variety of dark greens including romaine, red leaf, spinach or watercress.
  3. Add a little red cabbage or grated carrots for color and texture.  Be generous with fresh seasonal vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.
  4. Dress your salad with vinegar and a little oil.  Add fresh or dried herbs and black pepper.  Commercial salad dressings are usually high in sodium.


Taco Chip Salad


6 cups romaine lettuce

1 ripe tomato, chopped

1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

green pepper, cored, seeded and diced

2 green onions, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and grated



1 Tbsp. Olive oil

3 Tbsp.  Red wine vinegar

Black pepper to taste


Garnish:  1 ounce baked corn tortilla chips, crunched into small pieces


Directions:  Place the salad ingredients into a large salad bowl in the order they appear. Chill until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing ingredients and top with the garnish of tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.  Each 2 cup serving: 156 calories, 6 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 58 mg sodium, 22 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 6 grams protein.  Diabetic exchange: 1   starch, 1 veg., 1 fat.


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