How to Prepare a Really Healthy and Filling Salad?

 

How to Prepare a Really Healthy and Filling Salad? The best ingredient choices for preparing a healthy and filling salad
Click HERE To Discover the Healthiest Way to Make You Feel Full

 

Nearly half of Americans say they want restaurants to offer healthier items like salad, but only 23 percent actually order the healthy options. Why aren’t we more drawn in to salads?

 

Many people complain that salad is like “rabbit food.” If you order a salad at a restaurant or make one at home, you probably consider it the “light” option … not the one that is going to make you feel full and satisfied.

 

But it is possible to make you feel full after a salad, and not just full but satiated. The trick lies in choosing the right ingredients, starting with the right kind of lettuce.

 

A base of romaine lettuce or spinach will give you nearly twice the fiber as iceberg, along with significantly higher levels of vitamins A, C, K and folate.

 

High-fiber foods help slow your digestion, keeping you feeling full longer. Plus, they provide extra volume without a lot of extra calories, another “trick” for filling up. Beyond the lettuce, it’s the toppings that will make or break your salad.

 

You need to consider not only fiber but also protein and healthy fats. Together, this satiating trio of fiber, protein and healthy fats will make you feel like you’re eating a real meal and not “just” a salad. As noted in the Harvard Health Letter:

 

“The fiber makes you feel full right away, the protein helps you stay full for longer, and the fat works with the hormones in your body to tell you to stop eating.”

 

Add This to Your Healthy and Filling Salad

 

Protein

 

In a study of 38 foods, participants ate an equal number of calories but reported that foods high in protein, fiber and water had the greatest satiating power.

 

A salad, with fiber- and water-rich veggies as its foundation, automatically meets two of these criteria, but you need to add protein to take it to the next level.

 

When you eat protein, it is broken down into peptides, which block your body’s mu-opioid receptors (MORs) and, in so doing, your desire to eat more. This is how protein helps to make you feel full. As explained by Science Daily:

 

“The peptides send signals to the brain that are then transmitted back to the gut to stimulate the intestine to release glucose, suppressing the desire to eat.”

 

There are many options to add healthy protein to your salad … try:

 

  • Organic, free-range chicken breast
  • Strips of grass-fed beef steak
  • Wild-caught salmon filet
  • Organic hard-boiled egg
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds

 

Fiber

 

Dark leafy greens, the hallmark of a healthy salad, are full of fiber, but you needn’t stop there. Remember, high-fiber foods make you feel full and keep you feeling full longer. Virtually all fruits and vegetables fall into the fiber-rich category, but some particularly good options for your salad include:

 

  • Garbanzo beans
  • Peas
  • Raspberries
  • Pears
  • Mushrooms
  • Chia seeds
  • Black beans
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Apples

 

Healthy Fats

 

Healthy fats are satiating and may help regulate hunger. There is some evidence that different types of fats affect satiety differently, with saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats possibly playing a bigger role in feelings of fullness than monounsaturated fat.

 

Having said so, it is therefore wise to include a variety of healthy fats in your salads due to their additional health benefits (for your heart health, for instance).

 

Take avocados, for instance, which are rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber. One study found women who ate half an avocado with their lunch reported increased feelings of satisfaction and a significantly decreased desire to eat hours later.

 

In addition, one of the easiest ways to add healthy fats to your diet is via the dressing, olive oil being one of them. In a study of different fats and oils, olive oil had the greatest satiating effect, and those who ate olive oil had a higher concentration of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood.

 

One other reason to eat fats with your salad is that they make nutrients, including antioxidant carotenoids, easier for your body to absorb. Examples of healthy fats to include in your salad include:

 

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wild-caught salmon filet (omega-3s)
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Tahini

 

A Crave-Worthy Dinner Salad

 

To get an idea of what salad can be, check out the recipe below. From Half Baked Harvest, this is the epitome of making a salad a meal. It takes longer than a typical salad to prepare (about 40 minutes from start to finish), but it’s still quick enough to put together on a weeknight. Enjoy!

 

Thai Steak Salad w/Sweet + Spicy Tahini Dressing and Sesame Chili-Lime Cashews

 

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes

 

Serving Size: 4-6

 

Ingredients

 

  • Cashews
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/3 cups raw cashews
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 lime, zested

 

Dressing

 

  • 2 limes, juiced + the zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons sweet thai chili sauce
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste) (may substitute peanut butter)

 

Salad

 

  • 4 cups baby kale or other dark leafy green
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen shelled edamame, defrosted and cooked for 3-5 min. in boiling water
  • 3 carrots, shredded or chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow and or orange), sliced thin
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mango, chopped into chunks
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cups of fresh basil, cilantro and mint (only use 1/3 cup mint)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup black and/or white sesame seeds, toasted
  • Steak, such as grass-fed ribeye

 

Instructions

 

Cashews

 

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the sesame oil, cashews and chili powder, toss well. Cook over medium heat until lightly toasted and browned, about five minutes.

 

During the last minute of cooking add in the honey. Remove from the heat and add the lime zest and 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds. Toss well and set aside.

 

The Rest

 

Add the steak to a glass dish or gallon-size plastic bag.

 

In a glass measuring cup or bowl whisk together the lime juice + zest, fish sauce, ponzu sauce, sweet thai chili sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour about 1/4 -1/3 of the dressing over the steak, cover or seal the bag and place in the fridge while you prep the rest of the salad, at least 15 minutes (the longer the better).

 

Meanwhile add the tahini to a small bowl and heat until melted and smooth. Add the melted tahini to the dressing, whisk until smooth. Taste and add more tahini or sweet thai chili sauce to your liking, set aside.

 

In a large bowl add the kale, edamame, carrots, bell peppers, mango chunks, lemon grass and green onions. Give it all a good toss.

Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat.

 

Once it is hot, sear the steak for 5-8 minutes, flip and sear another 5 minutes or until your desired doneness is reached. Remove the steak and allow to rest 5 minutes. Slice steak thinly against the grain and add to the salad.

 

Add the dressing and remaining sesame seeds. Toss to coat and massage the dressing into the veggies for 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and cashews. Serve warm or cover and place in the fridge until ready to eat. You can add the dressing just before serving or add it and let the salad sit in the fridge a few hours.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to learn about these recipes ideas to prepare a healthy and filling salad

 

Click HERE To Read about the 10 Healthiest Foods that Can Make You Feel Full

 

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