What better place to have one, or even several, than on a picnic and if the weather isn't co-operating you can always have a romantic picnic right in your living room.
For inspiration and other great picnic ideas, " The Picnic Site" helps you plan, prepare and pack for your perfect picnic.
As man of our friends know, we are super greens aficionados.
We love 'em all!
They're low fat, nutritious and super healthy.
We've usually got a big bowl that we've plucked from our rain garden in the refrigerator.
But what to do when you're out and about and get that urge to graze?
Well, we know those green leaf bars may seem like a super smart nutritious, low fat choice if you're watching your waistline and are looking for a healthy lunch or dinner option.
But...if your veggie menagerie consists of a mouthful of lettuce buried under layers of croutons, cheese and dressings, neither your waist nor your health, are going to benefit a whole heck of a lot.
Perhaps we need to refine our veggie bar skills and become more familiar with the slimming, low fat tricks of the trade.
Anyone can become a green leaf contractor if they know the ins and outs of the nutritious trade.
Continue reading and you'll learn the super simple steps of building a low fat, healthy, yet filling veggie plate.
Most people know that iceberg lettuce is one of the most common choices for laying the foundation, but it's not the best.
This pale green vegetable is neither overly nutritious, nor is it filling.
If you're going to have a solid foundation for your low fat, nutritious masterpiece you're better off to choose darker kinds of lettuce such as romaine, radicchio, red leaf (mizuma, tango, and lolla rosa, too, for the connoisseurs, lol).
Greens like arugula, spinach, kale, watercress, endive, bok choy, and bean or alfalfa sprouts will also power up your low fat plate, fill you up, and provide excellent nutrients.
If you're building your super nutritious menagerie into a full meal deal, you need some low fat protein to satisfy your appetite.
Good protein additions can include:
White chunk tuna (in un-salted water, no dressing), 1/2 cup 13 g. protein and 1 g. fat.
Chicken breast (skinless), 4 oz. 21 g. protein and 4 g. fat.
Turkey breast (skinless), 4 oz. 20 g. protein and 4 g. fat.
Lean roast beef 4 oz. 21 g. protein and 3 g. fat.
1 ave. whole 6 g. protein, 5 g. fat.
White only 6 g. protein and 0 g. fat.
Tofu 4 oz 9 g. protein, 5 g. of fat.
Cottage cheese (low-fat), 1/2 cup 14 g. protein, 2 g. fat.
Yogurt (plain, non-fat), 1/2 cup 6 g. protein and 0 g. fat.
Black, 1/2 cup 10 g. protein, 5 g. fat.
Garbanzo, 1/2 cup 10 g. protein, 4 g. fat.
Edamame (soy), 1/2 cup 9 g. protein and 8 g. fat.
Kidney, 1/2 cup 9.5 g. protein, 6 g. fat.
Red, 1/2 cup 5 g. protein, 4 g. fat.
Beans in particular are filling and fiber-rich.
Per half cup, black beans have 10 g. fiber, kidney beans have 7.5 g. and red beans have 4.5 g.
Generally, as with greens, the darker the bean, the more nutrient packed it is.
However as the list shows, the garbanzo bean (or chick pea) is an exception to this rule with 10g. of protein.
It also has 8.5 g. of fiber.
Every nutritious construction job needs splashes of color!
By coloring up your masterpiece with some of these nutritious basics you'll also add some satisfying crunch and healthy vitamins and minerals to your low fat meal:
Cherry or Grape tomatoes.
These are high in vitamins A & C, and are a good source of potassium and lycopene (the prostate protector).
Get your B-complex vitamins as well as potassium, zinc, phosphorus, folic acid, and antioxidants.
Mushrooms also have 3 g. of fiber per ounce.
If you're turned off by the distinctive taste of green bell peppers, try the milder colored (red, orange and yellow) bell peppers which are much sweeter.
We like to cut these into strips with carrots, etc. and have them in the evening with a low fat dipping sauce.
They contain three times as much vitamin-C as citrus fruits, and are an excellent source of vitamin B6, as well as fiber.
They're also high in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin-A.
Beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant and boosts the immune system.
This flowering green gem is packed with vitamin-C, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus.
All good anti-cancer material!
Include these for a big boost of potassium and folic acid, and to add vitamins A & C, calcium, iron and fiber to your diet.
These are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins A & C.
They're dense with folic acid and minerals including potassium, magnesium, chromium, calcium, and iron.
Cucumbers, radishes, cauliflower, celery, carrots, and onions are among other nutritious goodies to add crunch and color to your low fat, nutritious veggie creation.
Add a second story to your super greens construction with some healthy fats.
Combined with protein and carbohydrates, a small amount of healthy fat will turn your dish into a satisfying meal that won't leave you hungry.
**** Avoid full fat and cream based dressings and mayo based potato and macaroni salads, which are essentially unhealthy fat.
Instead look for sunflower seeds and nuts, such as almonds and walnuts.
These contribute to a nutritious and satisfying meal, are excellent sources of mono-unsaturated fats, as well as protein, fiber and vitamins.
If your veggie and fruit bar offers it, a serving size of about half an avocado is another rich source of "healthy" fat.
And if you want to add a small amount of cheese for flavor, make sure you opt for grated favorites like Parmesan or Romano, where a little goes a long way on taste.
By now you've put together a low fat, nutritious meal that should entice any appetite, but of course at the end of the bar come those corrupting crunchies and dressings to kill.
Don't let a heavy roof collapse a healthy, calorie controlled super salad!
When it comes to salad dressings and other add-ons, follow these fundamental super salad building codes:
Choose low fat and non fat dressings only.
Choose fat free croutons or none at all.
In a perfect world choose soy bacon bits, not real bacon bits.
Avoid the following roof cave-in activators:
Seasoned croutons, 10 pieces 80-200-Calories 6-15 g. Fat.
Chow mien noodles, 1 c. 237-Cals. 14 g. Fat.
Blue cheese, 1 oz. 100-Cals. 8 g. Fat.
Shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 c. 227-Cals. 19 g. Fat.
Ranch dressing, 2 Tbs. 148-Cals. 16 g. Fat.
Thousand Island dressing, 2 Tbs. 118-Cals. 11 g. Fat.
And since you're as serious about your nutrition as we are, we recommend an informative and interesting site, because ocean vegetables are the "secret" to super nutrition!
Now, with the blue-prints in hand you're ready to put on your hard hat and start building a low fat, nutritious, super salad masterpiece.
Most healthy salad dressings are pretty much the same, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.
Many people aren't even aware that there other low fat, delicious and healthy options.
Of course we like using the above ingredients as a "basis" for our salad dressings.
From there though, you can get creative and add other ingredients for variety.
We like to experiment, and basically make a salad dressing that suits our tastes at the moment, mixing and matching oftentimes from ingredients we have in the kitchen.
For example, if we want a dressing with a creamy texture, we'll add a little low-fat yogurt and some water.
Or we'll blend a little avocado with some water and add that to the basic recipe as this not only gives it an good texture but a rich flavor.
These ingredients will give you a creamy dressing without the added fat of traditional regular creamy dressings.
We'll also sometimes add herbs and spices.
Fresh herbs are best when we have them on hand.
Depending upon the flavor profile we want, we'll add ones like oregano, thyme or marjoram (for Italian) or cilantro (for Asian).
Other ingredients we like to add to some of our dressings include lemon juice, cranberry juice concentrate, Dijon mustard, and ground pumpkin, sunflower or flax seeds.
As you can see, you can really be creative when it comes to making delicious salad dressing that are low in calories and really good for you.
Below are just a few of our healthy faves, we hope you enjoy these as much as we do year round!Tweet
Super Salad Recipes
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