3 Power Salads to Help Bust Afternoon Cravings

April 3, 2013
healthy salad

With the arrival of spring, most of us are anxious to shed that extra winter weight. We find that a lot of our clients start to try to shape up by opting for salads at lunch. Unfortunately, most people make a critical and surprising mistake—they go for a salad made only of veggies and protein. By afternoon they crave a major boost because, without carbohydrates, your brain doesn’t receive the fuel it needs.

Luckily you can prepare these three healthy salad recipes at home. They’ve all got less than 400 calories and just enough carbs to squash cravings. Plus, they serve up the perfect combo of satiating fiber and protein to help you get lean just in time for summer.

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Each salad calls for a teaspoon of olive oil. This works really well when you use an oil mister to disperse the oil.  From there add your favorite flavored vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon or lime, depending on your palate.

Chicken Cheese Crunch Salad
2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
4 ounces grilled chicken
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup string beans
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp slivered almonds
2 Ry-Krisp, Wasa, Scandinavian bread (or other similar whole grain low-calorie cracker—each large sheet has 16-40 calories)
1 Swiss Laughing Cow light wedge
1 tsp olive oil
Flavored vinegar to taste (optional)
Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste (optional)

Top a bowl of lettuce with chicken, cucumber, mushrooms, carrots, string beans, raisins, and almonds. Spread a cheese wedge on the crackers and break them into pieces, creating “cheesy croutons”.  Drizzle oil over salad along with flavored vinegar of choice or fresh lemon and mix.  If you don’t want to grill your own chicken, this salad works well with pre-sliced grilled chicken breast. 
 
Egg, Apple, and Sunflower Salad
2 cups mixed greens (any of your choice)
1 hard-boiled egg chopped
1/4 cup chopped artichoke
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 chopped green apple
1/2 cup each sliced cucumber
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup jicama
1/2 cup carrots
1/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
Flavored vinegar to taste (optional)
Fresh squeeze lemon juice to taste (optional)

Add mixed greens to a bowl.  Top with egg, artichoke, sunflower seeds, apple, cucumber, celery, jicama, carrots and tomatoes.  Mix ingredients together.  Drizzle with olive oil and flavored vinegar of choice or lemon if desired. The apple, sunflower seeds, and jicama add a delicious crunch and sweetness that complement the flavor of the tuna.

Fiesta Salad
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn (canned or frozen, thawed)
3/4 ounce low-fat cheese
1 ounce avocado
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

Mix all ingredients except the oil and lime juice. Drizzle the oil and the lime juice over the salad and mix again. This Mexican-inspired salad is super satisfying and the flavors explode in your mouth. 

TELL US: Which of these salads sounds the best to you?