Let’s face it – we all struggle to eat healthy, fresh food. Studies shows that 90% of Americans eat too much salt and 90% don’t eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. We must do better!
In discussing low-salt diets with my patients, I find that most people aren’t over-salting their foods with a shaker. In fact, research shows that 10% or less of the salt we eat every day comes from a shaker and the overwhelming majority comes from the fact that we eat too many processed foods that already have salt in them.
In discussing plant-based diets with my patients, I find that many people under-appreciate the nutritional value and taste that integrating nuts, beans and seeds into our diets can afford.
With this in mind, this month I’d like to share with you a simple salad idea that has become a staple for my family. I started this many years ago and struggled to find a suitable name. In the end, I called it just what it is…The Best Salad Ever.
The nutrition content of this salad is through the roof, and there are so many combinations of fruits, beans, seeds and other components to keep your palate happy year-round.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 3-4 handfuls of greens (baby spinach, mixed greens)
- Low fat balsamic dressing ( ¼ to ½ cup total)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, divided 1 cup cooked quinoa, divided
- 1/2 cup low-fat cheese, divided (shredded cheddar, feta crumbles)
- 1 cup low-sodium beans, divided (garbanzo, red kidney, navy, great northern)
- 1 cup fresh fruit, divided (apples, blueberries, strawberries, seedless grapes)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium nuts, divided (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts)
- 4 tablespoons seeds, divided (chia, roasted pumpkin, sesame, hemp)
- 1 avocado, chopped and divided
- Place greens in a large bowl. Toss with enough balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Serve greens onto dinner plates.
- Add the remaining ingredients in order:
Quinoa. Seeds. Beans, Cheese, Fruit, Nuts, Avocado
- Top with additional balsamic dressing, if desired
I hope this recipe gives you and yours a healthy option for lunch and dinner any night of the week.
As you enjoy it, remember that people who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables tend to live longer and have fewer diseases! Eat as many different colors as you can. This will make meals more exciting, appealing and nutritious.
Where can I get more information?
The family of Pacific Medical Group clinics is here to help you! Talk with your provider, who can direct you to additional resources. I personally show my patients www.whfoods.org, which has recipes, a list of the 100 healthiest foods to focus your diet on, and a wealth of nutrition information.