Don’t we all crave for the mouthwatering dishes that entice us whenever we set our eyes on them? For the foodies, isn’t a restaurant serving pasta, quesadillas, bruschetta, tacos, cheese burgers, grilled sandwiches and the heavy malt shakes next to heaven? Aren’t we all bakery addicts going crazy over red velvets and cheesecakes? Hell, we are. But the simultaneous tension of our deteriorating health due to the consumption of the above mentioned food items lands us in a dilemma. Everybody wants good food without having to risk their health for the same. Let’s start by vanquishing the common myth that states calories and taste go hand in hand… no calories = no taste. Literally everybody today has started associating both terms with each other over exceedingly, more than required. Of course calorie foods are tasty but that doesn’t mean healthy stuff like fruits and salads are not.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a lawyer who wrote one of the most celebrated works on food, The Physiology of Taste wrote “A salad freshens without enfeebling and fortifies” and so it does. Many people find salads unappealing, probably because they think it comprises of boring veggies and fruits but still prefer them when in a diet phase. Women especially, go to any extent possible to lose weight and include salads in their diet even if they detest doing so when it isn’t all that bad.
To break another myth that salads are boring and tasteless, following are 10 delicious, yet healthy salads to get you through the diet phase happily.
Antipasto refers to “before the meal” and is the traditional first course of an Italian meal. It mainly consists of cured meats, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, cheese, pickled meats and vegetables in either oil or vinegar. Originating from Italy, this salad has a plethora of health benefits. It reduces risk of prostate and breast cancer, beefs up bones, prevents heart diseases and averts cataract. It can be cooked without any oil at all therefore making it a fat-free salad but excluding oil will reduce the overall health benefits of the Antipasto salad. In spite of the health benefits, Antipasto tastes great if cooked in olive oil and the red wine vinegar dressing saturates the vegetables for an enjoyable meal.
9. Cobb Salad
Cobb salad is a main-dish American garden salad which is widely consumed by all. It consists of Salad greens (iceberg lettuce, watercress, endive, Romaine lettuce), tomatoes, bacon, chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese and red-wine vinaigrette. It is a well-loved American dish but is often made with manifold creamy dressings and ingredients therefore losing its nutritional value. Choosing low-fat or non-fat dairy products and light mayonnaise can yield the lost nutrition. One does not need to compromise with the taste and can utilize Ranch and Blue cheese dressings.
Coleslaw is a widely accepted salad which consists primarily of shredded raw cabbage, mayonnaise and buttermilk. It can also include vinegar and seasonings and cream, sour cream and shredded carrots are popular dressing additions. Raw cabbage is a proven cure for stomach ulcers, and it also helps in preventing or altogether reversing many types of cancer as cabbage is one of the most medicinal foods ever consumed. Apart from the benefits of cabbage, Coleslaw if served with the appropriate dressings and seasonings turns out to be really very delicious.
Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes most popular in the summer. It includes chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. It is also widely consumed in other parts of central Italy. It is generally made of stale bread soaked in water and squeezed dry, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Onions and basil are often added. One can also prepare it with grilled tomatoes, taking full advantage of their health benefits which are unlocked only by cooking. Overall this salad is loaded with vitamins and minerals and tastes amazing too!
6. Tuna Salad
Tuna salad is mainly a blend of two ingredients: tuna and mayonnaise or a substitute for it. Chopped hard-boiled egg, celery or relish, and onion are ingredients that are often added and it is served on top of lettuce, tomato, avocado or a concoction of these. The tuna is pre-cooked, canned and packaged in water or oil for a healthy meal. Tuna is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is a rich source of vitamins B-12, B-6 and niacin. Niacin metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy. Apart from all this, it is also very tasty and is often served as a sandwich.
5. Bean Salad
Bean salad is a common salad dish that mainly comprises of beans (green beans, yellow wax beans), garbanzo beans, kidney beans, onions, peppers or other vegetables. Some bean salads contain barley, pasta noodles or rice. It is also called the “Three Bean Salad” or the “Four Bean Salad” because of the number of beans that are used in this salad. Consuming beans adds significant amounts of fiber and soluble fiber to a diet, with one cup of cooked beans providing between nine to thirteen grams of fiber. Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol. Beans are also high in protein, complex carbohydrates and iron.
4. Greek Salad
Greek salad is a very common part of the Greek cuisine. It originated in Greece and mainly consists of Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, olives (usually Kalamata olives), salt, oregano, and olive oil. Common additions include the pickled leaves and the buds or berries of capers. These are low-calorie and nutrient-dense foods to include in your daily diet. A crumble of feta cheese adds a bold flavor to a Greek salad, and it is also a nutritious topping. The Greek salad is the start of a Greek meal. While healthy, it is also very tasty and it commonly accepted worldwide.
3. Garden Salad
A garden salad is a salad consisting mostly of fresh vegetables. The bases for the salad are greens such as lettuce or mesclun. The proper garden salad is served with a dressing, such as vinaigrette, French dressing, ranch dressing, honey mustard, Italian dressing, Thousand Island dressing, or blue cheese dressing. Other possible ingredients include tomato, carrot, onion, cucumber, mushroom, bell pepper, olive, broccoli, avocado, cheese, etc. It is basically the hub of all the ingredients and is also called the “green salad” or the “tossed salad”. It is a mixture of all the salads and their health benefits and is therefore the most common and the most consumed salad among the others.
Ambrosia is a variation on the traditional fruit salad. The main ingredients are pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows and coconuts. Other ingredients can include maraschino cherries, bananas, strawberries, peeled grapes, or crushed pecans. Ambrosia can also include whipped cream (or whipped topping), sour cream, cream cheese, pudding, yogurt, or cottage cheese. It originated in the United States in the early 19th century and is widely consumed ever since. Though fattening, it still consists of a lot of health benefits and is extremely yummy.
1. Caesar Salad
Here’s the best of the contenders, the Caesar salad. It originated in Mexico and was created by Caesar Cardin, hence the name. It is a salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper. It is often prepared table-side. The health benefit of this salad is that it provides numerous vegetables and proteins. The garlic utilized in the production of Caesar salad does more than provide a rich aroma. It also assists in lowering both LDL cholesterol as well as blood pressure. Garlic may also possess some beneficial antiseptic effects. If topped with chicken, this salad is tastier than anything else and is therefore a top favorite among individuals.