Build a Smarter Salad

Mix and match ingredients to bring an array of nutrients, fresh tastes, and new textures to your plate.

While the quintessential pairing of ripe tomatoes and lettuce is certainly enjoyable, a good salad can be so much more. Adding fruits, nuts, and other well-chosen ingredients offers a welcome change. More importantly, incorporating a few more nutritious ingredients is an easy way to serve a more healthful dish.

Make sure to see our gallery for power ingredients you can add to boost the nutritional benefits―not to mention the flavor, texture, and variety―of your salads. Then try these recipes for robust salads that will satisfy your palate as well as your dietary needs.

Sesame Shrimp Salad
Benefits: More adventurous greens, such as napa cabbage and watercress, add crunch. Shrimp boosts levels of lean, low–saturated-fat protein and omega-3s, while sesame seeds offer the minerals iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Power Ingredients: vegetable oils, seafood, nuts and seeds, greens
Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 239 (27% from fat); FAT 7.3g (sat 1.2g, mono 2.4g, poly 3g); PROTEIN 26.3g; CARB 17.9g; FIBER 3.4g; CHOL 172mg; IRON 3.4mg; SODIUM 726mg; CALC 179mg

Sautéed Tuna and Green Onion Stalks on Romaine
Benefits: Carrot contributes the antioxidant beta-carotene, while bok choy, a unique and hearty choice for a salad, is rich in potential cancer-fighting indoles. And tuna is a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
Power Ingredients: tomatoes, vegetable oils, seafood, nuts and seeds, onions, greens
Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 314 (29% from fat); FAT 10.1g (sat 1.4g, mono 4.2g, poly 3.6g); PROTEIN 43.3g; CARB 12.9g; FIBER 4.9g; CHOL 77mg; IRON 3.4mg; SODIUM 731mg; CALC 143mg
Wine Note: What to pour with these diverse flavors? Dry rosé’s bold fruitiness stands up to the richness of the sesame oil, the impact of chili sauce, and the density of tuna. I love Côtes-du-Rhône rosés from France. In particular, the 2006 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Rosé is fantastic with this dish ($14).

Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds
Benefits: Raspberries add bright color and several good-for-you nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Chives, members of the onion family, add phenols and flavonoids.
Power Ingredients: fruits, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, onions, greens
Yield:
6 Servings
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 84 (45% from fat); FAT 4.2g (sat 0.3g, mono 2.4g, poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 11.2g; FIBER 3.8g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1.1mg; SODIUM 123mg; CALC 47mg

Sweet Spiced Almonds
Benefits: You can store these at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
Power Ingredients: nuts and seeds
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 27 (50% from fat); FAT 1.5g (sat 0.1g, mono 1g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 0.8g; CARB 2.9g; FIBER 0.4g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.2mg; SODIUM 3mg; CALC 11mg

Read on for more great salad recipes...

 

Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad
Benefits: Grapes add polyphenol antioxidants, while the seeds and oil deliver vitamin E.
Power Ingredients: fruits, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, greens
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 81 (34% from fat); FAT 3.1g (sat 0.3g, mono 0.5g, poly 2g); PROTEIN 1.6g; CARB 13.1g; FIBER 1.2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.7mg; SODIUM 124mg; CALC 47mg

Watercress Salad with Pan-Seared Mahimahi
Benefits: Tomatoes boost vitamin C and deliver lycopene. Shallots are particularly high in phenols, a compound that may protect against cancer. Rounding out the dish with a lean fish delivers heart-healthy protein and fat.
Power Ingredients: tomatoes, vegetable oils, seafood, onions, greens
Yield: 2 servings.
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 220 (28% from fat); FAT 6.9g (sat 1.1g, mono 4.3g, poly 1g); PROTEIN 26.1g; CARB 13.4g; FIBER 1.9g; CHOL 93mg; IRON 2.7mg; SODIUM 468mg; CALC 95mg

Southwest Salmon Caesar
Benefits: Caesar salad is a popular starter or side. Adding grilled salmon elevates it to a main dish rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Power Ingredients: seafood, greens
Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 340 (36% from fat); FAT 13.6g (sat 3.8g, mono 5.2g, poly 3g); PROTEIN 34.3g; CARB 20.9g; FIBER 4.4g; CHOL 73mg; IRON 2.4mg; SODIUM 752mg; CALC 163mg

Mixed Herb Salad
Benefits: Adding tomatoes, fresh herbs, and pea shoots to a simple bowl of tossed greens boosts its nutrient content. Dressing it with monounsaturated-rich olive oil supplies even more. Pea shoots are the small leaves and tendrils from pea plants, most often snow peas. They’re a good source of vitamin A. Substitute mâche if your local market doesn’t stock pea shoots. Tip: To save time, use 1⁄3 cup chopped herb salad mix in place of the chive, thyme, and tarragon; look for it near the other packages of fresh herbs.
Power Ingredients: tomatoes, vegetable oils, onions, greens
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 55 (43% from fat); FAT 2.6g (sat 0.4g, mono 1.7g, poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 2.2g; CARB 7g; FIBER 2.3g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1.5mg; SODIUM 130mg; CALC 54mg

 

Mixed Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette
Benefits: Blueberries in the salad and in the infused vinegar contribute antioxidants. Start early on this recipe in order to make the fresh blueberry vinegar. Store leftover infused vinegar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; use it as part of a marinade for pork, chicken thighs, or duck.
Power Ingredients: fruits, vegetable oils, onions, greens
Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 60 (54% from fat); FAT 3.6g (sat 0.5g, mono 2.5g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 0.8g; CARB 7.3g; FIBER 1.3g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.4mg; SODIUM 115mg; CALC 30mg

Blueberry Vinegar
Power Ingredients:
fruits
Yield: 1 cup (serving size: 1 tablespoon).
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 7 (0% from fat); FAT 0g; PROTEIN 0g; CARB 1.9g; FIBER 0.1g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 0mg; CALC 0mg

Escarole-Arugula Salad with Roasted Peppers and Marinated Onions
Benefits:
Onions add potential cancer-fighting compounds that may also protect against diabetes and heart disease.
Power Ingredients: vegetable oils onions, greens
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup).
Nutrition Information: CALORIES 59 (38% from fat); FAT 2.5g (sat 0.4g, mono 1.7g, poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 1.2g; CARB 8.7g; FIBER 2.2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.7mg; SODIUM 221mg; CALC 39mg