Chopped salads-a game changer! by Christie Hunter, RD

I do love a good salad! Most people will agree that the best salad is the one that someone else makes. I have heard it time and time again but I’m not really sure what the magic is about someone making it but it does make salad taste different. While I like the variety a salad bar offers, I prefer being about to mix all my salad fixings together and you usually can’t do that with a typical flat salad plate. In other words, I am somewhat picky about my salads.

Salads are a great lunch option. It is the perfect way to get some dark green vegetables in during the day topped with a variety of color vegetable toppers. This is a way to boost your fiber intake, antioxidants, Vitamin C and E, folic acid. The added benefit of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk for diseases, in particular cancer. Don’t forget to add a protein source like grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, beans, or egg to assist with satiety and help you feel fuller longer.

One of the recent trends that I have seen with salads is more chopped salads available at local grocery stores and restaurants. Winston-Salem even has Chopt the restaurant that features a variety of chopped salads. The more finely chopped lettuce and mixed greens make the salad taste different and less bulky in your mouth. The chopped salads also mix all the ingredients together so it allows a little bit of everything in a single bite.

Grocery stores are starting to carry a variety of chopped salad bags that include the base salad mix, some fun toppings, and a dressing. Some of my favorites are the SuperFood salad mix that contains kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, craisins, and a poppyseed dressing. Another recent one that I tried is the Sunflower Crisp, which has cabbage, Romaine, kale, carrots, edamame, sunflower seeds, toasted quinoa with a sweet onion vinaigrette. However, my newest favorite is the Mediterranean Crunch Chopped Salad. You must try this one! I found it at Costco and I absolutely love the crunch in this salad. It is a mix of escarole, endive, broccoli, cauliflower, feta, flatbread pieces and basil balsamic vinaigrette dressing. For my lunches, I add a boiled egg and some avocado and it is a very satisfying lunch!

Don’t let the end of summer be the end of your salads. Try one of the chopped salad mixes and bring some pizzazz back to your salads. It may even taste like someone else made it! What is your favorite chopped salad?

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