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Recipe corner: build your own salad

Salads are a delicious way to increase your consumption of vegetables. By adding a protein source and healthy dressing, salads can easily become a main course. Due to an endless list of topping possibilities, it is hard to tire of this versatile dish!

As summer approaches, the availability of fresh produce increases, allowing salads to be a cost-effective meal option. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers are a great way build your salad base. From there, add in a protein source, like cheese, hard-boiled eggs, shredded chicken or beans. Nuts and fish are also wonderful salad toppings! Berries, apples or mandarin orange slices can add a hint of sweet. To round out the meal, add in a grain, like quinoa or whole wheat pasta. Top with a vinaigrette dressing and you have a healthy lunch or dinner!6

Use our salad guide below to make your own salad recipe:

Pick at least one option from each category below to turn your salad into a well-rounded meal!

Choose Your Base: Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Spring Mix

Add Your Veggies: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Pepper, Radish, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas

Pick Your Protein: Fish, Chicken, Canned Tuna, Hard-boiled Eggs, Pecans, Walnuts, Beans, Cheese

Throw in a fruit: Berries, Mandarin Oranges, Apple Slices, Dried Frit

Find a Carbohydrate Source: Quinoa, Whole Wheat Pasta, Whole Wheat Croutons, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Whole Wheat Toast

The last step is to make a healthy vinaigrette!

Mix the following ingredients together:

  • 3 tablespoons of oil (we recommend olive oil!)
  • Two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Feel free to experiment with different types of vinegar!
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Fresh (1-2 tablespoons) or dried herbs (1-2 teaspoons) based on your preference!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Courtesy of Kathleen Bell, VCU Healh dietetic intern. Visit our Diet and Nutrition blog for more recipes and information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship. 

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: May 12, 2020

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