It’s that time of year again. Bathing suit season is almost here, your summer clothes are beckoning, and you are most likely still trying to shed a few of the pounds you packed on over the long, cold winter.
This crunchy, colorful, filling, but low-calorie salad is perfect for this time of year. It is an ideal lunch or vegetarian dinner. It’s high in fiber and an amazing array of vitamins and minerals, so it will raise your energy levels (a must when dieting).
The salad is so delicious, you might forget it’s also good for you. Avocados are high in vitamin A, and a great source of monosaturated fats (they help reduce bad cholesterol), and they are a complete protein. Red cabbage, red peppers and sugar snap peas are packed with vitamin C and, along with carrots, high amounts of vitamin A. The beets, lettuce and onions add a complement of minerals and fiber.
The dressing is low-fat, but rich and satisfying. It’s also high in calcium and a great dip for raw vegetables. Best of all, the recipe is quick, easy and inexpensive to make, so enjoy.
Rainbow Avocado Salad
Makes 3 and ½ cups
3 whole, large leaves of romaine lettuce
1 to 1/2 large, ripe avocados diced
½ cup red cabbage diced
½ cup shredded carrot
½ cup red bell pepper
½ cup sugar snap peas (cut each pod in halves or thirds depending on size)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup shredded golden beets
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Wash romaine leaves. Dry and set aside on plates to be used as beds for each serving of salad. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to mix. Spoon a serving onto each romaine leaf. Top with a tablespoon of Lemon Buttermilk Dressing.
Nutritional analysis per serving 1 cup serving (salad only): About 205 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 10 g fiber
Low-Fat Lemon Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Makes 1 cup
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup light mayonnaise (Hellmann’s tastes best)
1/3 cup mixed, chopped chives and tarragon
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, herbs, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and rind, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. For tastier dressing, refrigerate it for a few hours before eating.
Nutritional analysis per tablespoon: 16 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 1 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 103 mg sodium; 17 mg potassium.