One of my favorite times of the year is summer. I like to spend the time outdoors and less time preparing foods. The best answer is quick, nutritious and healthy. Resist the urge to drive- through. Consider instead, tossing a quick meal together – full of health benefits – starting with pre-packaged salads.
Bagged salad kits are a great starting point to build a complete meal in minutes. They are a time-saving convenience and include pre-washed lettuce and greens, many times with added vegetables. By simply adding lean chopped meat, beans or nuts and additional fruits and vegetables, you have a complete, nutritious meal in less time than you may spend waiting at the drive-through. Change the salad dressing to compliment the theme of your salad.
Pre-packaged salads offer more variety with new blends of leafy greens, such as romaine, arugula and baby spinach – making them an easy way to incorporate more vegetables to a daily diet. They are also a smart choice for added health benefits, since dark green, leafy lettuce tends to be higher in nutrients, such as vitamins A, K and lutein.
Try tossing these quick and easy meals together in minutes by combining the following ingredients with pre-packaged salad kits – your wallet (and waist) will thank you! Use a Rotisserie Chicken from the kitchen or roast your own whole chicken.
Hy-Vee Dietitians’ Top 5 Summer Salad Picks:
Asian Chicken Salad
1 bag Dole™ Field Greens* + mandarin oranges, cooked chicken, snow peas, crispy noodles, almonds and Walden Farms Asian dressing, Hy-vee or Maple Grove Sesame Ginger dressing
Blackberry Salad with Avocado and Almonds
1 bag Dole™ Spinach* + celery, almonds, blackberries, avocado, feta cheese and Maple Grove Farms or Walden Farms fat-free raspberry vinaigrette
Grilled Chicken Summer Salad
1 bag Dole™ Leafy Romaine* + cooked chicken, almonds, strawberries, mandarin oranges and Louie’s light poppy seed dressing
Southwest Caesar Salad
1 bag Dole™ Light Caesar Salad Kit + tomatoes, bell peppers, red kidney beans, cooked chicken, whole-kernel corn and red onion. Add a pinch of chili powder to your favorite light Ranch dressing
Springtime Spinach Salad
1 bag Dole™ Spinach + strawberries, asparagus, red onion, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds, and Walden Farms raspberry dressing
Adapted from http://www.dole.com/recipes