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Healthy Protein Suggestions For A More Satisfying Salad, Part 2

Continuing on from our recent tip on adding healthy fats and grains to your salads, here are some suggestions for incorporating healthy protein into your salads to keep you satisfied longer. 


  • Beans: Beans are rich in folic acidmagnesiumpotassium, B vitamins, and soluble fiber.  And at 20-25 percent protein by weight, they are an excellent choice for vegetarians, vegans or those who prefer to minimize their meat consumption. They are low-glycemic-index foods and an important part of my Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. Good examples are chickpeas (garbanzo beans), adzuki beans, and black beans. You can also use hummus (made from chickpeas) as a creamy, high-protein dressing!
  • Lentils: As the quickest legume to cook, lentils offer a good source of fiber, magnesium, protein, and iron. Just one cup of cooked lentils contains over 15 grams of dietary fiber and provides 37 percent of the Daily Value for iron. 

Animal Proteins: 

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Egg whites are a great source of protein, and the yolks contain an astonishing array of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, E and K, plus iron. Choose cage-free eggs that are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Salmon: Like other oily fish (herring, sardines, mackerel), salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, protect against heart attacks, and possibly reduce one's chance of developing cancer. Choose wild-caught Alaskan salmon to avoid the contaminants in farm-raised fish.

Simple Steps To Making Your Salad More Satisfying, Part 1

Ever eaten a salad only to be hungry again an hour later? The key is to incorporate healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes into your salad, making it both filling and delicious. Try adding these fats and grains: 

Healthy Fats: 

  • Avocados: The fat avocados contain is monounsaturated, which is heart healthy and does not raise cholesterol. Avocados also are a good source of fiber. They provide glutathione (an antioxidant), folate, and more potassium than bananas.
  • Nuts: In addition to their healthy fat profile, nuts provide you with vitamin E, trace minerals, fiber, and in the case of walnuts, vital omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are relatively high in calories, so enjoy just a few on your next salad.

Healthy Grains: 

  • Quinoa: This grain has the highest protein content of any grain, containing all nine essential amino acids - a rarity in the plant kingdom. Quinoa is also a good source of manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other essential minerals.
  • Wild Rice: Although not technically a grain, wild rice is quite the nutritional powerhouse. It contains almost twice the protein and fiber as brown rice, and is also high in B vitamins, manganese, zinc, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium, while being relatively low in calories.

Don't miss our next blog post, when we cover what healthy proteins to add to a salad!

How to make kale salad

Kale is among the most nutrient-dense of all commonly consumed vegetables. One cup provides 1,327 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, 192 percent of the DV for vitamin A and 88 percent for vitamin C. The Tuscan Kale Salad is one of the most popular dishes at True Food Kitchen, a line of restaurants based on Dr. Weil's nutrition insights. Here, on the restaurant's patio in Phoenix, Ariz., watch Dr. Weil and Chef Michael Stebner demonstrate how to make this traditional Tuscan salad that includes strips of Italian black kale, fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, grated pecorino Toscano cheese and breadcrumbs. These bright, refreshing flavors combine to bring the sunny taste of Italy to your table.

Watch Dr. Weil make Tuscan Kale Salad and get the recipe here!

Seasonal Recipe: Strawberry, Fennel and Arugula Salad

Strawberries are in season – and this salad is a perfect way to present them! Not only are strawberries an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, they are full of antioxidants that can help promote heart health, and protect against cancer and inflammatory diseases as well. Make this salad for company or for yourself.

Eating with the seasons isn't just a catchphrase. Each season brings new foods just hitting their peak; in this case, strawberries and arugula, some of the welcome early harbingers of spring. In addition to having an incredibly sweet taste, strawberries have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Get the recipe for Strawberry, Fennel and Arugula Salad!

Seasonal Recipe: Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad

Asparagus is in season in April – making this a wonderful recipe to try this week! It not only tastes delicious, but the asparagus is a good source of vitamins K and C, potassium and folate, all of which help support heart health and healthy fluid balance. Find out how to make this company-worthy starter!

When making the Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad, placing the "shaved" slices of peeled asparagus spears in cold water causes them to curl up into a unique, spiral shape, adding to this beautiful salad's visual appeal. White asparagus has a mild flavor that we prefer for this salad. However, green asparagus will actually curl better than the white.

Make the recipe this week!

Check out other great recipes!

5 Ways to Make Your Salad Healthier

Try these suggestions the next time you make a saladInstead of choosing iceberg lettuce with a ranch dressing, why not switch out some ingredients for a salad that will not only taste delicious, but provide you with the nutrients you need to keep your energy levels high? Try these suggestions the next time you make a salad - you can use these at the salad bar too!

  1. Greens: Choose dark leafy greens such as Swiss chard, kale or spinach. They are good sources of vitamins A and K, contain minerals and phytonutrients, and add a dose of fiber to salad bowl.
  2. Vegetables: You can’t go wrong adding almost any veggie to your salad bowl, as they are a rich in flavonoids and carotenoids and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Instead of limiting yourself, expand your veggie additions and go for a little bit of everything from the color spectrum. Consider yellow bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, carrots, avocados and onions for a variety of interesting tastes and textures.
  3. Protein: Add some protein for energy – healthful choices include cooked wild Alaskan salmon, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids; steamed edamame, which provides isoflavones that are protective against cancer; omega-3 enriched hard-boiled eggs; or some organic, hard cheese such as Jarlsberg or Parmesan. Kidney and black beans are also excellent choices, and offer added fiber in addition to protein.
  4. Grains: To help promote healthy digestion and reduce the spikes in blood sugar that promote inflammation, add some whole grains to your salad. Brown rice, quinoa and barley are tasty additions to salads.
  5. Dressing: To minimize additives and unhealthy oils, make your own dressing. A base of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, some vinegar and fresh herbs can be dressed up however you want: add some spicy mustard, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes – the choices are unlimited and the result will be tastier and healthier than store-bought dressing.

Eating Anti-Inflammatory Made Simple
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How to Make Tuscan Kale Salad (Video)

Tuscan Kale Salad is one of the most popular dishes at True Food Kitchen in Phoenix. Here, on the restaurant's patio, chef Michael Stebner and Dr. Weil demonstrate how to make it. Michael also explains some of the unique features that have made True Food Kitchen one of the most popular restaurants in Phoenix.

Here's the recipe for Tuscan Kale Salad.

How to Make Turkish Spinach Salad (Video)

Dr. Weil demonstrates how to make a Turkish Spinach Salad - a dish that highlights the natural flavors and simplicity of the Mediterranean diet. Be sure to use a good-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Here is the recipe for Turkish Spinach Salad: