Nowadays it's easy to get great produce virtually anywhere and at any time of year, so there's no excuse for not getting your five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Salads are a quick and easy -- not to mention delicious -- way to get your veggies, and today personal fitness trainer Lisa Lynn shares her techniques for making tasty salads and dressings.
As soon as you get a chance when you get home from the grocery store, wash the greens you've bought, and store them in an airtight container. This way, making a salad can be as simple as placing the greens in a serving bowl and adding dressing. If you like a little more to your salads, try any combination of the following: bell peppers of various colors, tomatoes, peas, carrots, celery, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, purple cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions, and radishes. Be as creative as you like, and remember that fresh or dried fruit is also an option.
Bottled salad dressings can contain a lot of fat, sugar, and salt, but you'll always be able to whip up a healthy dressing at a moment's notice or make a larger batch to have on hand if you keep the following staples in the cupboard: assorted vinegars and oils, limes, lemons, herbs, shallots, mustard, and yogurt. The basic formula for a vinaigrette is 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil; you can leave it at that or add additional flourishes as you please. One dressing that Lisa likes to make, which kids especially love, is a blend of 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon honey, a pinch of sea salt, the grated rind of 1/4 lemon, and 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt (with active cultures). You can add chives or parsley, if desired. The dressing will keep for four or five days in the refrigerator.