Monday, February 10, 2014

"Hearty" Spinach Salad

We are in the Valentine's Day spirit here at 360FamilyNutrition!  Yesterday we posted a Honey Yogurt Waffle topped with sliced strawberries in the shape of small hearts.  Todays post is the perfect healthy appetizer for your Valentine's Day dinner.

Inadequate vegetable intake is a common trend among among most American's diets.  We have a tip to help increase the vegetable intake in your household - cut veggies into fun shapes. Even the most picky eater of your family will have a hard time resisting the cute shaped veggies.  Our veggies of choice  for this salad were red bell peppers and cucumbers, but you could include numerous other vegetables (ie squash, tomatoes, etc).  Be creative!  For the households with kiddos, involve them in the preparation process by having them to cut out the shapes (with a cookie cutter).  Allowing them to assist in the meal preparation will further excite them about the future meal they are going to eat.

To complete the salad we added sliced almonds and low fat cheese.  Both of these food items contribute beneficial protein, however if consumed in excess can add substantial calories.  And almonds are "heart healthy" - another contribution to this "hearty" salad.  You could certainly add other foods that you have around the kitchen like seeds, dried fruits, chickpeas, or quinoa. The salad was topped with a homemade salad dressing made with a olive oil/balsamic vinegar blend.  You could use another olive oil based homemade dressing.

We are preparing for another ice/snow storm here in Atlanta. A few weeks ago we had a huge snow jam.  Due to the poor road conditions and poor planning the city experienced a horrific traffic jam, causing many Atlantans to abandon their cars on the side of the road or sleep in them.  What happened to the nickname "Hotlanta"?!  It doesn't seem so hot these days.  Guess we will have to wait and see if there will be a Snow Jam Part 2!

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith
"Hearty" Spinach Salad

by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Keywords: appetizer gluten-free low-carb nut-free vegetarian veggies vegetarian single serving
Ingredients (1 salad)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups spinach leaves, raw
  • 2 tablespoon low fat cheese (I sliced up some string cheese)
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon almonds, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Take sliced cucumbers and peppers and lay them flat. Gently press a small heart shaped cookie cutter into each. Make as many heart shapes as possible
2. Toss all salad ingredients together
3. Top with salad dressing
Serving size: 1 salad • Servings: 1 • Calories: 154.4 kcal • Protein: 7.4 g • Carbs: 11.7 g • Fat: 10.0 g • Fiber: 3.3 g • Sugar: 2.7 g • Sodium: 129.5 mg
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