The summer is about to end and most of us want to lose the extra pounds we gained during vacation.
So, lets leave behind the fried kalamari and shrimp-pasta and replace it with a healthy , and nutritious salad which will fuel your body with all the nutrients needed, will help you get back in schedule and to your desired body weight.
Most people consider salads to be boring, maybe even untasty, but with the right combinations, a salad can be a full-bodied meal that provides essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
So let's see how we can achieve that!.
I'll propose you one of my favorite salads that I often do at home!
The main ingredient of the salad is green seasonal vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and rocket. You may also add cherry tomatoes, which I personally love, and cucumber. Then add the sweet potato, cut into cubes (boiled in salted water), red beans, avocado and grated low-fat white cheese (in Greece it is known as "anthotyro").
Sweet potato is an excellent tasting vegetable, rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium, and an excellent vitamin A source . Vitamin A is related to eye health, anti-aging and also prevention of various forms of cancer. It's also a natural antioxidant and our sweet potato offers it in abundance. Despite all their sweet taste, it has a lower glycemic index than white potatoes and are a great accompaniment to our meals.
Low-fat white cheese, such as ricotta, goat cheese or anthotyro, provides high biological value proteins and is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A and B complex. Besides its great mild taste, it also contains less amount of salt, compared to other types of cheese.
Avocados are widely known for their beneficial properties and are also suitable for sweets (because of their creamy texture) and salad combinations, since their flavor is relatively neutral. Avocado is rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A and E and is a very good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium and monounsaturated fatty acids. Various scientific studies have correlated avocado consumption with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol. Despite all the advantages of avocados, we should keep in mind that it's a fatty fruit, rich in calories. One medium avocado gives about 300-330 calories, so we should be careful on the amount we consume.
Here we go!
- Green seasonal vegetables
- 7-8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber cut into cubes
- 1 small sweet potato cut into cubes (boiled or roasted)
- ½ ripped avocado
- 2-3 tbsp red beans
- 90gr low fat white cheese
- 1 tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
- 1 tbsp of mustard
- Mix all the ingredients into a large salad bowl
- Make a dressing with the extra virgin olive oil, the lemon juice, the vinegar and the mustard. As for the olive oil, stick to 1 tbsp per salad.
- Use your imagination and add your favourite ingredients to your salad dressing depending on your personal taste and preferences. Just be careful with the calories you might be adding!
Enjoy your amazing salad!
Molecular biologist - nutritionist