A passion for salad, as long as it is light

THE CORRECT BASIS

– For a good salad you need to start right… with the salad. To avoid having a bowl full of simple green leaves in front of us, light yes, but a little sad, we remember that in addition to all the green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, endive, rocket, red radicchio and more, we can add spinach, beets and herbs, in a pleasant mixture raw cooked. Carrots, also raw or cooked, always add a touch of color, as do peppers, tomatoes and radishes. Up to this point the scales will not get angry: however, we must begin to pay attention when we switch to legumes, such as green beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils, whose calorie and protein content begins to rise. Better to avoid potatoes, or at least be aware of their energy impact, since they are carbohydrates.

CONCESSIONS TO THE PALATE

– If we start adding other foods to our beautiful colored bowl, for example a boiled egg, or a mozzarella cut into slices, or even pieces of tuna, shrimps or other fish, we must keep in mind that we are dealing with a real and your own single dish, whose contribution in terms of calories becomes a certain weight. If we are following a diet, we carefully evaluate which ingredients we are adding to our salad and how much the overall budget is. If then, as a final touch, instead of dressing our salad with a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of lemon juice, we indulge in a nice spoonful of mayonnaise of another similar sauce, we have composed a dish that surpasses largely the energy contribution of a large plate of spaghetti with meat sauce.

WHAT TO AVOID FOR A TRULY LIGHT SALAD

– Here are some tips to recognize the “false friends” who weigh down our summer salads and turn them into calorie bombs.

The corn

– It is a real killer in disguise: its beautiful yellow color and fresh and appetizing taste make us forget that it is not a vegetable, but a cereal, to be precise corn, therefore rich in carbohydrates. One hundred grams of boiled or canned corn provide an intake of 90 calories and, in addition, a high glycemic index. If we want an extra touch for our salad, it is better to use quinoa.

The cheeses –

They are very high in calories and, not surprisingly, are used extremely sparingly in diet food plans. Above all, fatty and mature cheeses, such as gorgonzola, taleggio, and brie are to be avoided. Better to limit even those usually considered lighter, such as stracchino and mozzarella, while it goes a little better with ricotta: to get an idea, let’s remember that a plate of caprese, the classic dish based on tomato and buffalo mozzarella, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, it has about 375 calories per 100 grams of buffalo, as much as a plate of pasta with tomato sauce. To “dispose of it”, it will take at least an hour of sporty walking.

Balsamic vinegar and sauces

– Good and tasty, it has nothing to do with his colleague, the wine vinegar. Because it contains sugars in quantity, while wine vinegar is much lighter and therefore to be preferred. Let’s also forget about mayonnaise, ketch-up and other similar sauces: if lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive oil are not enough, we can add some aromatic herbs or spices, but nothing more.

Fish, meat and eggs

– Provided you do not exceed in quantity, it is possible to enrich the salad with pieces of meat, preferably white, fish such as tuna and shrimp, or hard-boiled eggs. The important thing is to use light cooking for meat and fish, prefer natural tuna to that in oil and remember that, as we said before, we are no longer eating a fresh and light mini meal but a rich and complete single dish.

Nuts and oil seeds –

In small quantities, they can help create a balanced and complete dish, as well as giving a touch of good flavor and pleasant crunchiness. Perhaps, however, since they have a certain caloric intake, it is better to reserve them for a mid-afternoon snack or for aperitif time, when we can savor them with greater awareness.