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Do you love salads and looking for new ideas to spice up your greens?  Eating lighter and leaner is a great way to go if you are like many of us trying to live a healthier life. 

Nancy Hemlich of USA Today Health gives up some new ways to power up our salads and turn it to a meal. Check out this yummy recipes!

Power salads are getting their day in the spotlight as more cookbooks, magazines and restaurants feature combinations of nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, lean protein, nuts and other healthful foods.

“A power salad is what you eat for your meal — it’s the full deal,” says Jessie Price, food editor of EatingWell magazine, which featured the subject in a recent issue.

GALLERY: More power salads

When you are creating a power salad, you want to look down at your plate and make sure you see as many colors of the rainbow as possible, says Shira Bocar, deputy food editor of Whole Living magazine and a contributor to the new cookbook Power Foods.

RECIPE: Spring chicken and blue cheese salad

That colorful mix might include foods such as bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms, berries, citrus fruit, mangoes, apples, pears or dried fruits, which are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and fiber.

Your salad doesn’t have to have lettuce as the base. It can be cooked vegetables or grains, Bocar says.

Salads are an excellent way to help you meet your daily recommendation for fruits and vegetables. Most people consume less than two cups of vegetables and fruit a day, far below the recommended four or more cups, a recent study showed.

It’s almost impossible to eat this amount unless you have a salad at least at one meal a day, Price says. She has one with dinner, and while she’s making it, she packs one in a to-go container for the next day’s lunch.

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How To Make Salads A Powerful Item On Your Menu  was originally published on