Healthy salads for weight loss: Mastering the veggie-protein combos


Salads always make healthy accompaniments to meals. Fresh salads are good source of vitamin, fibers, and carbohydrates; let’s add some goodness of proteins to salads and that too low calorie vegetarian source of protein. Following are few salad recipes that not only combine veggies with healthy proteins, but also dressed without high fructose corn syrup and unhealthy fats to support your weight loss diet regimen.

Bean sprouts salad with buttermilk dressing
-makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 cup beans sprouts, ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes, ½ cup finely chopped onions, 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro.

For the dressing
½ cup salted buttermilk, ½ tsp black pepper, salt to taste.

Method
Soak beans sprouts in salted buttermilk for an hour. Using colander separate buttermilk and sprouts, do not throw away the buttermilk. In a salad bowl toss beans sprouts, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Pour buttermilk over the salad, sprinkle salt and black pepper, mix well and serve immediately.

Fruits and tofu salad
-makes 6 servings

Ingredients
1 cup soft tofu (unsalted) cut in to small cubes, 1 cup pineapple cubes, 1 cup cantaloupe (musk melon) cubes, 1 cup water melon cubes, mint leaves for garnishing. Small banana leaf (optional)


For the dressing
1 tsp lemon juice, salt to taste, 1 tsp honey

Method
Combine all the salad ingredients together except mint leaves. Add lemon juice, salt and honey and toss well. In an oval shaped salad dish place banana leaf and arrange fruit salad on it, garnish with mint leaves. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.

Pinto beans salad
-makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients
1 cup cooked pinto beans, 1 cup finely chopped spinach, ½ cup chopped red onions, ½ cup chopped yellow peppers.


For the dressing
½ cup low fat plain yogurt, garlic salt to taste, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ cup skim milk cheese (grated).

Method
In a salad bowl combine all the salad ingredients and toss. Add yogurt, garlic salt and black pepper, toss again. Divide salad in four salad bowls, before serving garnish with grated cheese.

Pasta Salad
-makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients
1 cup boiled and drained multigrain pasta, 1 cup chopped lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half, ½ cup black olives, 1 cup crumbled tofu.


For the dressing
2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp olive oil, salt to taste, 1 tbsp dry crushed dill leaves.

Method
In a deep bowl combine salad and dressing ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes and serve chilled.

This pasta salad can also be served as a snack.

Fruit salad with yogurt dressing
-makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 small banana (sliced), 1 apple (cubed), ½ cup seedless black grapes, ½ cup pineapple chunks, ¼ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup chopped almonds.


For the dressing
1 cup fat free vanilla yogurt, ¼ tsp salt.

Method
In a salad bowl combine all the fruits, nuts and salt, and toss gently. Pour vanilla yogurt on top of salad and refrigerate for 15 minutes, serve chilled. This recipe can also replace a regular fruits dessert. Sugar free yogurt can be used instead of regular vanilla yogurt.