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High Protein Salads

Salads can be a healthy addition to your diet and can even be served as an entire meal in one bowl. Adding certain ingredients to your salad, while eliminating others, can create a meal that contains several important nutrients. Leslie Bilderback reports in her book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sensational Salads," that eating a salad as a meal is a simple way to increase your protein intake as well as your intake of many essential nutrients.

Beans supply several grams of protein per serving and can be added to a salad to create a main dish. Martha Rose Shulman suggests in her book, "Light Basics Cookbook: The Only Cookbook You'll Ever Need If You Want to Cook Healthy," that white beans are a good complement to salads because they have a light flavor that combines well with many different ingredients. Add a can of drained and rinsed white beans to romaine lettuce and then add your favorite vegetables, such as cucumber and tomato, and toss with olive oil and rosemary.

Spinach and walnuts are considered some of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Combining them with low-fat cheese supplies several grams of protein as well as iron and omega-3 fatty acids. Combine fresh spinach with a handful of chopped walnuts and about an ounce of your favorite cheese. Feta and mozzarella are good complements to spinach and walnuts. A handful of dried cranberries will add some sweetness to your salad and a small amount of red wine vinegar will replace salad dressing.

Avocado and shrimp pair well together and supply several grams of protein per serving, notes Bilderback. Avocado also provides healthy unsaturated fats, which are good for the health of your heart. Shrimp is a low-fat but high protein addition to your salad that will enhance the taste of the vegetables as well. Start with leafy greens such as romaine, spinach or red leaf lettuce. Add sliced red onions, cucumber, tomato and avocado slices. Top with five or six grilled shrimp and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.

Lean chicken breast supplies several grams of protein and is low in fat and calories. Broil a chicken breast with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Combine romaine lettuce, black beans, fresh corn kernels, tomatoes, onions and jalapeno. Slice the chicken breast and layer on top of the salad. Serve with low-fat shredded cheddar cheese and salsa in place of salad dressing.

References (2)

  • "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sensational Salads"; Leslie Bilderback; 2009
  • "Light Basics Cookbook: The Only Cookbook You'll Ever Need If you Want to Cook Healthy"; Martha Rose Shulman; 1999

Photo Credits:

  • grilled chicken salad 1 image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.