Don't Get Stuck In The Same Old-salad Rut

Don't get stuck in a same-old-salad rut. A colorful mix of greens topped with low-calorie salad dressing is a dieters dream meal: flavorful, fun, and figure-friendly.

If you're serious about managing your weight, you can't afford to skip salads. If you write off salad as a heap of iceberg lettuce swimming in a sea of high-fat mayo-based dressing, you're wasting a lot of calories and missing an opportunity to enjoy some exciting tastes and textures that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Start with the foundation

Lettuce is the foundation of most salads, and with good reason: it's nutritious, delicious, affordable, and available everywhere. Most people are most familiar with the iceberg variety, but why stop there? Try using a mixture of several lettuce types tossed together. The contrasting colors and textures add interest, variety, and flavor. Here are some types that are readily available in most supermarkets:

Add a variety of greens for taste and texture

There are endless varieties of small greens that add to both the taste and visual appeal of salads.

Toss-Ins Make It Flavorful And Filling

The sky's the limit when it comes to what vegetables to add to a salad. The perennial favorites like tomato, onion, green pepper rings and carrot curls are great, but they're just the beginning. Sliced mushrooms, thawed frozen green peas, broccoli and cauliflower florets, sliced olives, zucchini cubes, cucumber rounds, celery slices, radishes, and sprouts are all excellent in salads.

Try thinking beyond the vegetable counter. Orange or grapefruit segments, halved grapes, walnuts, toasted almond slivers, and even golden raisins mix very well with all sorts of greens.

Enhance With Low Calorie Salad Dressing

The worst thing you can do with a colorful, tasty mix of greens and add-ins is to swamp their tastes and textures in a sea of high-fat, high-calorie mayo-based dressing. A light and flavorful dressing will enhance tastes and textures instead of burying them. Here's an easy and adaptable basic vinaigrette that you can tweak to make the most of any salad combo.

Basic Vinaigrette Low Calorie Salad Dressing

- 1 teaspoon olive oil

- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

- 1 teaspoon water

- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

- salt, pepper, and sugar substitute to taste

- 1 teaspoon chopped herbs (basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, or your personal favorite)

Combine all ingredients and whisk vigorously.