Nutritionally-balanced Salad

Preparation Time:

10 Minutes

Difficulty:

2

Salad doesn't have to be boring. Spice it up with your favourite sauce or protein! Check out the file below for more tips

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Who says salads have to be boring, and who says they don’t make you full? If done the right way (aka nutritionally balanced), they can be a perfect meal packed with fibre, iron, folate, vitamin C, polyunsaturated fats, protein and many more goodness!

Ingredients

There should be 4 main components for a nutritionally-balanced salad. Choose as many in each component to your liking.


1. NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES (50%)

The more colour, the better. This should be the biggest component of the salad

  • Spinach

  • Rocket

  • Kale

  • Mushrooms, any type

  • Capsicum, any colour

  • Carrots

  • Cabbage, red or white

  • Onion, red or brown


2. PROTEIN (25%)

  • Eggs

  • Chicken breast

  • Extra lean beef mince

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Canned fish (e.g. salmon, tuna)

  • Prawns

  • Legumes (e.g. canned beans, chickpeas, edamame)

  • Greek yoghurt (as dressing)


3. CARBOHYDRATES (25%)

  • Boiled potato, white or sweet

  • Rice

  • Pasta

  • Bread crumbs / cubes

4. HEALTHY FATS (1 tablespoon)

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Fatty fish (e.g. canned tuna or salmon)

  • Sesame oil


Dressings:

  • French dressing

  • Sesame oil

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • Lemon

  • Greek Yoghurt dressing (with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, pinch of salt); Vinaigrette (vinegar plus honey, oil and jam)

Method

  1. Rinse, peel, and chop all ingredients

  2. Mix

  3. Add dressing

  4. Enjoy!

Nutritional Value

  • Non-starchy vegetables are rich in fibre, which is important for keeping us full. They are relatively low in calories and fat, meaning that you can eat a heap and be full with lower energy intake. They are also packed with phytonutrients and micronutrients, which play important roles for mood, anti-inflammation, metabolism and more (and different colours mean different micronutrients!). Lastly, they are largely responsible for our gut health, which influences our immunity, stress management as well as reducing risks in developing cancer and chronic diseases. Protein is important in meals to give satiety (sustained fullness), so that you’re not hungry within 5 minutes. It’s also important for tissue building and repair (e.g. hair, muscles, and nails) and is a main pre-cursor for neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Carbohydrates is the primary source of fuel for our body. In fact our brain prefers to use carbs as energy! (Plus: foods rich in carbs taste nice)

  • Having some fats with foods meant that the fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed more easily (aka vitamin A, D, E, and K). Healthy fats (mono- and poly-unsaturated fats) are also important for heart health, joint health, and brain health.