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Salad Composition

Posted May 18 2010 6:36am

There are many means and ways to make a salad. It can either be cold hot food or raw food. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and dressing are not the solitary components of a salad anymore. Heck, a non-green items can be classified as a salad. For example, a stereotypical potato salad may not contain anything but potatoes, mayo, and bits of diced celery and peppers here and there. No green lettuce do I see there! I started eating a salad a day just to assure I get in my vegetable recommendations and that so I don’t feel bursting full either. Well those are only two reasons for there is also the concept known as volumetrics.

What are/is volumetrics? Let me tell you.

The Volumetric Eating plan was established by Dr. Barbara Rolls to help people loose weight or stay slim while also eating a lot. Face it, we all love to eat. I love to eat. I don’t like paying for eating a lot, but, I do love to eat. For example, one half cup of potato salad is considered one serving. That one serving has about, oh, depending on the ingredients, 200 calories, give or take. Two cups of lettuce (we’ll say romaine), one roasted pepper, one small tomato, one cup of broccoli, half a cup of chickpeas, maybe some onion as well, and one tbsp of sunflower seeds, coated in some balsamic vinegar equals approximately 180 calories. Heck, that’s it? For all of that, you eat less and get full because of the natural fiber in vegetables. That’s what volumetrics is about. More for less - don’t we all love that phrase? This concept does not apply to salads alone, but, I’m focusing on that for the moment.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t eat potatoes and all that jazz anymore, but, this simply means the base phrase that everyone has been writing all over television - in moderation. Yes, eat heavy starches in moderation. I’m just saying I rather eat a tub of hummus and raw celery versus a tub of dip with potato chips. That’s your call and I can’t eat cheese dip anyway, but still, I rather eat a lot for less as opposed little for more.

Now, to create a salad, there really isn’t a recipe. I simply just pile on the vegetables in a combination along with a source of protein, seasonings, and my own homemade tomato dressing. Yes tomato dressing. At least you aren’t wasting calories or money on bottles of processed unidentifiable junk that looks like something you’d find in a sewer - excuse me. Or, I use a tiny bit of good quality aged ol’ balsamic vinegar. No limitations but be wise to your choices.

I’m going to create a formula with options/suggestions that you could add in your salad. Note there will be options for those who can or can’t tolerate dairy, eat or don’t eat meat, etc.
Base + protein + extras + toppings + dressing = yum

Base
- Romaine, fresh spinach, rocket, watercress, arugala, red/green leaf lettuce, butterhead, cabbage, chard, dandelion leaves, endive, escarole, frisee, young kale (Without thick stems, it can be eaten raw; I‘ve eaten purple kale just barely steamed), mesclun, lollo rosso, tat soi, oak leaf lettuce, radicchio, red orach, various herbs, noodles, potatoes, grains, pasta

Protein
- chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans, black eyed peas, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, eggs, tofu, tempeh, edamame, quorn, chicken, turkey, lean beef, lean pork, eggs, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, portabella mushrooms, shrimp, salmon, catfish, tuna

Extras
- Steamed/roasted/raw: peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, okra, peas, carrots, celery, tomatoes, avocado, snap peas, green beans, pumpkin, squash, cucumbers, radishes, apples, mangoes, blueberries, cranberries, peaches, pears, jicama, water chestnuts, sprouts, asparagus, beets

Toppings
- gluten free bread croutons, potato croutons, various cheeses, dairy free cheeses, real/imitation bacon bits, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, olives, pickled products, crackers, candied nuts

Dressings
- Vinegar and oil, Catalina, French, Dijon, Italian, Russian, Ranch, vinaigrettes, mayo-based, yogurt base

Think of a salad plate as your canvas! Decorate as you see fit.
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