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Simple Salads and Spreads

  • In a hurry? Visit the salad bar at the grocery for a ready source of fresh chopped salad or stir-fry ingredients.
  • Bags of shredded cabbage and broccoli are another time-saver for quick salads. Mix with a low fat salad dressing.
  • Dark leafy greens, such as fresh spinach or romaine lettuce, provide a more nutritious base for a salad than the paler greens, such as iceberg lettuce. Use spinach as a sandwich filler to replace lettuce.
  • Fruits such as berries, orange sections, or sliced pears make a flavorful addition to salad greens.
  • Mix 1-2 cans of drained, rinsed pinto or other beans with half a cup chopped onions (green, red, or mild white). Stir in 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional).
  • Mix fat free refried beans with salsa and a little cumin or chili powder. Top with fat free sour cream and/or green chilies if desired. Use as a spread or dip for baked tortilla chips or as a filling for a quick burrito.
  • Add 1 (10 ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach (drained and squeezed dry) to a mixture of fat free sour cream, chopped water chestnuts and dry onion or vegetable soup mix. Use this as a dip for raw vegetables.
  • Make a simple fruit dressing by combining 1/2 cup lemon or plain reduced fat yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoon fruit preserves. Serve as a fruit dip or dressing for fresh fruit salad.
  • Use low fat vanilla yogurt as a dressing for fruit salad.
  • Make a healthy variation of waldorf salad. Combine diced fresh apples, finely chopped celery, raisins or grapes, and nuts. Gently stir low fat vanilla or lemon yogurt into fruit mixture for dressing.
  • Tempt yourself with a fruit salad from an interesting mixture of your favorite textures and colors. Make this available when the snacking urge strikes.
  • Fruits and vegetables count anytime. Use as healthy snacks throughout the day.