If it were up to me I would fix salad for dinner every night, probably in part because salads are so easy to throw together. Although my family willing eats their greens, they usually aren’t thrilled when I try to sell it as the main entree.
Here are my top four easy salads that I can get away with as a meal.
For this salad I make a bed of salad greens on a dinner plate. Then I add some stripped slices of ham, turkey, and beef (I use Boar’s Head). I quarter or slice a hard boiled egg, add some tomatoes, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
I might occasionally add mushrooms, cucumbers, and/or beans if I have them on hand.
Super Greens Salad
On a dinner plate, I start with a bed of spinach or spinach/kale mix. I add some sunflower seeds and dried cranberries or dried cherries, sprinkle on some feta or blue cheese, and maybe add a sliced or diced egg.
This salad goes great with a piece of salmon or tilapia on top.
For this salad I usually start with a bed of romaine lettuce with some shredded carrots and shredded red cabbage mixed in or I make a bed of caesar salad. Then I add diced grilled chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, and shredded cheese.
I place a bed of lettuce on dinner plate, add chili over the center of the salad, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and add a dollop of sour cream.
Serve with tortilla chips.
However, recently I have read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD. Some of these salads need to be tweaked if they are to fit the rules of:
- No meat (including fish)
- No dairy products (bye-bye cheese and sour cream)
- No eggs.
- No oil (limits dressing options).
Dr. Esselstyn promotes attention to detail with strict rules not a moderation mindset.
He promotes patients having control over their disease simply by eliminating the ingestion of the the building blocks of atherosclerosis. When following his guidelines patients lower their cholesterol levels and repair endothelial cells thus facilitating nitric oxide production and allowing the body to resist and repair vascular disease.
This has implications beyond heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn’s study focuses on heart disease, but he believes plant powered nutrition also may help reduce the occurrence of common cancers and dementia.
It is an amazing biological approach. Many people may consider his approach radical, but when compared to coronary artery bypass surgery I’d say it is much less radical.
And oh, by the way, it is more effective long term.
Here is a little excerpt from his book to think about:
At this point, if you are like most of the patients I see in person, you are probably thinking something like this: “How on earth will I be able to give up cheeseburgers, French fries, steak, mayonnaise, cheese, olive oil, and all the other things I love?” One friend of mine, a lawyer, was so put off by the idea of giving up all those foods that he asked me whether he couldn’t keep eating his high-fat diet until he developed symptoms of coronary artery disease – and then stop eating fat. I dissuaded him from this approach by explaining that in fully one out of four patients with heart disease, the first symptom is sudden death.
Feature photo by Katie Smith