Medically reviewed by Shanmukha Priya, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
Popular weight loss recipes and suggestions use salad like a ‘gaali’. Although their approach (replacing major meals with salads) is not correct, salads do have a world of benefits.
We give you 11 cheat codes to include salads in your diet with some salad recipes.
Still doubtful about salads? You can have a hearty chat with our dieticians using this Free Nutrition Consultation.
Essentially, healthy salad recipes usually include small pieces of food which may be mixed with a sauce or salad dressing.
They are typically served cold or warm. Salads for weight loss typically incorporate a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, cheese, cooked meat, eggs, whole grains, and nuts.
Healthy salads may be served at any point during a meal; as appetizer salads, side salads, main course salads, desert salads etc.
But for salads for weight loss, it is advisable to have appetizer salads as the first course of the meal.
Indians have become more health conscious from the last decade bringing in the trend of healthy salads.
People belonging to all age groups want to maintain a healthy weight and to have a fabulous looking body.
But it’s not so easy considering our customs, traditions, and the slew of celebrations.
All these occasions are marked by a variety of food items that contain loads of sugar, ghee, and other fattening items.
So, the best way is to lose weight by adding more of fiber with healthy salads in our diets along with regular exercise.
Cheat Codes to Include Salads in the Diet
Vegetables are the richest source of fiber. But most of us are sick of salads diets to lose weight fast because it feels like eating grass.
So it is very difficult to include salads twice a day. For such people here are some simple tips to incorporate salads in their daily diet:
1. Know the flavor combos
Keep an open mind about green salads with leafy options. Lettuce for one is a healthy salad recipe favorite.
But try including others like spinach, coriander, mint, cabbage, etc. All you have to do is know the flavor and herb combinations that go well with greens.
For example, garlic imparts a great flavor to spinach and you can look at using burnt crushed garlic along with steamed spinach leaves.
2. Stuff ‘em up
Ok, so salads for weight loss needn’t be just that, a bowlful of raw stuff. Prepare rolls with a good stuffing of greens and legumes wrapped in whole wheat covering.
You will definitely not feel like you are eating a simple salad. Like this Gluten Free Bean Sprouts Wrap
3. Know a Good Salad Combination
For example: Prepare a combination of salads with corn kernels, green peas, edamame (tender soya beans), tomatoes, coriander, bell peppers among others.
4. Don’t Forget the Protein
Remember healthy salad recipes also call for protein.
Vegetarians can play around with legumes, sprouts, and dairy products whereas the non-vegetarians have a world of options.
Here is a quick to make salad recipe with loadsa veggies and protein. Steam the gourds like yellow cucumber, red pumpkin, sweet potato, lady fingers or bhindi, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, and snake gourd.
Toss it with boiled pulses, pepper powder/chat powder, and a little salt.
For a protein punch for weight loss, you can also add a handful of nuts, seeds mixture or pre-flavored tofu. So much crunch and texture!
5. Wholesome salads anyone?!
Got leftover cooked grains? Add them right in, with an extra drizzle of dressing for a complete meal.
6. Salads masked as raita!
This is yet another salad idea that is sure to blow your taste buds up.
Prepare the salad like a Raita with more of vegetables and less of beaten curd.
Or if you have low-fat curd or greek yogurt around then you can go overboard on this protein and calcium treat.
7. Is it a soup? Is it a salad? You guess!
So soups are nothing but cooked veggies. How about you turn the tables and go for soups that require chomping and munching?
To start with, have a base of your favorite soup such as tomato, sweet corn or clear soups.
Then add lightly sautéed and spiced vegetables, cooked whole grains like quinoa or whole wheat pasta and voila! Soupy salads are ready to be served!
8. Salads for the protein lovers
Good salads are the ones which tempt you into eating healthy. So if you love your paneer/low fat cheese/ chicken or fish then add them to the salads for better taste and to cultivate the habit of eating salads.
9. Homemade salad dressings anyone?!
The real soul of the salad lies in the dressing. Now salads can be made equally calorie-heavy resembling a gulab jamun by the salad dressings too.
Healthy salad dressings can be a boon in this. Here are few homemade salad dressing tips to spice up those veggies
- When life gives you lemons, use them for salad dressings. Add chopped green chilies for the extra spicy zing to the tangy lemon dressing.
- Hung curd or Greek yogurt can be a blessing. Replace mayo with a low-fat hung curd dip.
- Here is the recipe for Tzatziki yogurt dip. If you love your mayo, then you can replace part of it with hung curd as shown in this recipe.
- Pureed greens or pureed beans can also make for salad dressings for a full-bodied flavor.
- Oregano, dried basil, amchur powder, bhuna jeera powder are all salad spice favorites! Try them and you will find yourself craving for salads.
If you are thinking of shopping for a ready-made salad dressing or anything that says ‘healthy’, BEWARE! There are a lot of bogus health foods for weight loss around.
How to weed them out? You need to have a keen eye with the labels. We have crafted a ‘How Healthy is your Health Food’ test.
If you pass this, then you can find out the unhealthy foods masquerading as healthy.
Here is an interesting tip. Your favorite Trujuice can actually double up as a healthy salad dressing too. Drizzle it according to taste and find yourself immersed in its flavor.
10. The convenience salad
The infamous lack of time bahana coming up when it comes to salads? You can battle it with this handy tip. Chop up a few veggies and store them in baggies or air-tight containers in the fridge.
When you’ve already got veggies on hand and ready to go, it’s easy to just toss them into a mixed salad.
11. Canned goodness
Store a few canned add-ons to salads to add unexpected texture and flavor. Salads are not just about the lettuce!
Try black olives, tinned beans (lima beans and garbanzo beans are both great in salads for a protein boost), canned baby corn, sun-dried tomatoes (great antioxidant), jalapenos, and more.
With all those cheat codes, including salads in the diet is super easy and also healthy. Plus, you are in luck!
We have a wealth of healthy salad recipes in our Possible Blog for you to look up and follow.
Here is our curated list of salads that you could try!!
So the next time you hear about the salad diet to lose weight fast, do not cringe and imagine boredom. Rather just an amalgamation of colors, taste, and health.
8 Handpicked Healthy Salad Recipes!
Our 8 handpicked healthy salads from our reservoir. Visit Possible blog for more!
1. The pomegranate peanut pepper salad: Alliterations and health are abound in this crunchy fruit and nut salad. https://possible.in/pomegranate-peanut-pepper-salad.html
6. Italian style hung curd mushroom and broccoli salad: One-word description: Creamy. https://possible.in/hung-curd-salad.html