If you are trying to 'lighten up' your evening meals without missing out, a substantial salad is the way to go. Packed with the right ingredients, it will be surprisingly filling and of course packed with all the right nutrients.
Start off with a classic salad (think Greek or green) and add a couple of ingredients you don't normally associate with a salad as a side, and voila, you have a main.
INGREDIENTS THAT BULK UP A SALAD
Beans, lentils and chickpeas : full of fibre, protein, B vitamins and all low-GI, so will keep you full. Soya beans are the only complete protein, i.e., provide all 9 essential amino acids needed for a million processes, including energy production and mood regulation.
Grains such as pasta, rice, couscous, barley wheat and quinoa: all provide important carbohydrates and quinoa is wheat and gluten free, low GI and a good source of iron and calcium.
Eggs: a poached egg is all the rage, but there is always space for a good 'ol soft-boiled egg. Fried egg does the trick too! Eggs contain naturally-occuring Vitamin D and their high sulpher is great for hair and nails.
Cheese: Feta comes to mind first, but blue cheese goes exceptionally well with cabbage, or try a slice of goat's cheese with beetroot, shaved Parmesan over iceberg lettuce, mozzarella - legendary with nectarines or tomatoes and basil pesto or Cheddar or Gouda sliced into small blocks and tossed in a salad with baby leeks and red onion.
The calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth and the other essential minerals, such as zinc, for skin health and to support the immune system.
TIP: You can also turn any salad into a main meal by wrapping it in tacos or tortillas, adding cheese and sour cream or mashed avo if you like.