Greens & Beans—Give Your Meals a Veggie Boost with These Three Quick Salads

Greens & Beans—Give Your Meals a Veggie Boost with These Three Quick Salads

With the weather getting nicer, you probably want to eat well without spending as much time in the kitchen. Pair these salads with a low-fat protein, like a quick-cooked chicken breast, piece of fish or handful of shrimp, and you have a brightly-colored, easy meal to keep you fueled. Make extra of everything, keep the dressing separate on the salads with the more fragile greens, and pack leftovers for lunch the next day.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Add sugar and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil. It may appear to separate.

4 cups baby spinach
2 cups strawberries (whole if they’re small; halved or quartered if large)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Wash and dry spinach. Put into a large salad bowl with strawberries and onion. Pour warm (not hot) dressing over spinach salad. Toss and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Each serving contains about 99 calories, 4 grams fat, 0 grams cholesterol, 30 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 11 grams sugars and 2 grams protein.

Mediterranean salad with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, red onion, feta cheese and lemon served in a bowl.

Mediterranean Diced Salad

1-19-ounce can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
1 red pepper
1 cucumber
2 stalks celery
1 cup halved grape tomatoes or diced tomato
¼ cup thinly-sliced red onion
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans and put in a large mixing bowl. Core red pepper and dice into half-inch squares. Add to bowl. Peel and dice cucumber; slice celery lengthwise and dice. Add to bowl. Add sliced red onion and halved grape tomatoes.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Pour over salad ingredients. Toss well to coat all ingredients. Add parsley and mix again. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with feta cheese if you like. Serve chilled.

Serves 6

Each serving contains about 167 calories, 6 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber and 312 milligrams sodium.

Salad with oranges, arugula, pecans with vinaigrette.

Orange Pecan Salad

3 cups any combination of greens: arugula, romaine lettuce—coarsely chopped or spring greens
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed and diced
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 navel oranges, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons pecans, chopped (walnuts work well too)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Layer romaine lettuce, arugula or spring greens, cucumber, red onion, oranges, and nuts in a large salad bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle with oil and vinegar and toss. Crumble blue cheese on top.

Serves 4

Each serving contains about 152 calories, 12 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 203 milligrams sodium and 3 grams fiber.

Recipes adapted from Valley’s online health library recipe collection.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office