Salad is always a smart go-to. On average, most Americans are only getting 1-2 fruit/vegetable servings per day. I couldn’t even believe it when I read it. Obviously, the fruit and vegetable consumption for my family and those around me are on the high end. Therefore, if you even know a teeny tiny bit of statistics, you can deduce that if my 8 servings a day are added into that, there are way too many people who don’t eat any fruits/vegetables daily. This fact just makes me sad.
One of the biggest tools that a dietitian can use to help boost fruit/vegetable servings is the salad. Those salad opponents will argue that the dressing used for the salad can have as much fat/calories as a cheeseburger. You would be correct. Salad dressing must be chosen wisely. And even when making smart choices about dressing, it’s important not to overdue it. Even an oil based dressing can set you back with fat/calories if you use too much.
So, what do you do? Always ask for dressing on the side if you go out to eat at a restaurant. If you are bringing a salad from home, get some little single serving dressing cups. I’m not endorsing anything, but I have some reusable containers from Tupperware that work great. Want another trick? Use salsa or pico de gallo for part of your dressing. That’s exactly what I did here.
This is one of my favorite salads, because I get to use this amazing pico de gallo on top of my salad and only a little dressing.
Making a salad is not rocket science, so I will not waste your time by telling you how to wash lettuce. However, it’s worth the mention on how I get amazing pico de gallo with minimal ingredients.
Use super fresh ingredients – that’s the secret behind a perfect pico de gallo. Tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and salt! Add some cilantro if you have it on hand.
Then complete the salad assembly and mix the dressing. It’s completely vegan the way it is, but it’s so versatile, you could add just about anything you’d like to it!
- 4 small ripe tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon of salt (depending on the size of your tomatoes)
- ¼ cup diced white onion
- 1 small jalapeno, membranes and seeds removed and diced fine
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups salad greens, washed and chopped
- 1.5 cups cooked black beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
- 1 cup corn (frozen or the corn off of one ear)
- ½ cup black olives, halved
- 2-3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, diced
- Dice tomatoes, Chop onion and jalapeño and add to small bowl; add lime juice
- Add salt and stir
- Place all ingredients in a small jar or container and shake. Dressing is done
- If using frozen corn, thaw and heat; for fresh corn: cut corn off of ear and either heat on stovetop or in microwave oven
- Arrange salad on large plate or bowl
- Add washed lettuce, beans, corn, and avocado
- Top with black olives and scallions
- Place pico de gallo and dressing on the side to dress as you please