Build a Smarter Salad

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

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

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
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...


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