LOSING weight is a permanent goal for many. We all know the drill, cut calories and exercise to lose weight and firm up. But the quality of those calorie-conscious meals also play an important role in helping you reach your goals.
Enjoying loads of vegetables and legumes in salads can enhance your meals and also add valuable fibre and complex carbs to your meals. Here are some favourites to get you started.
Beet and pineapple salad
4 large beets, roasted or boiled
2 cups pineapple chunks
2 pimento peppers, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped chives
For the vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs lime juice
⅓ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, stir or shake well and set aside.
Finely chop pineapple and place in a large glass bowl, peel beets and dice finely, add to pineapple, add the peppers and pour on the dressing, toss, add chives and refrigerate until ready for use.
Before serving add parsley and toss again.
Chickpea and tomato salad
2 14 oz tins chickpeas. Drained and rinsed
4 salad tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped fresh herbs, chives chadon beni, basil, mint
For the dressing
4 cloves garlic
½ tsp paprika
4 tbs red wine vinegar
4 tbs lime juice
½ cup vegetable oil
2 rounded tsp ground roasted geera or cumin
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Place the first three ingredients in a bowl.
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until well blended.
Add to channa toss to coat.
Serves 6 to 8
Grilled shrimp, corn and black bean salad
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¾ cup olive oil
4 tbs chopped fresh cilantro or chadon beni
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs ground geera or cumin
1 tsp good quality chilli powder
3 cups chopped, seeded tomatoes
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup chopped chives
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro or chadon beni
¾ cup chopped red onion or ½ cup chopped white onion
½ cup corn niblets
6 cups torn lettuce or watercress
1½ lb fresh shrimp cleaned and deveined
Make the dressing by combining lime juice with olive oil, pepper, garlic, geera, chilli powder and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Marinate shrimp in ¼-cup dressing.
In a large salad bowl combine lettuce, black beans, corn, chives, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.
Preheat grill or barbecue and grill shrimp for about 3 to 5 minutes until opaque and pink.
Toss salad with just enough dressing to coat adding more if desired, on a large platter arrange lettuce mixture, place grilled shrimp on top.
This classic French salad is satisfying and nutritious as it combines potato, green beans and tuna.
For the salad:
½ pound potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ pound fresh green beans
1 6½ oz-can tuna fish packed in water, drained and flaked
1 small onion, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water
2 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into strips ¼-inch wide
6 olives, coarsely chopped
1 medium-size head lettuce, washed and dried
1 large egg, hard-boiled and cut into wedges
1 tbs chopped fresh chives
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
For the dressing:
⅓ cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
½ sp salt
In a small saucepan, steam the green beans until tender crisp, about 6 minutes, drain and cut into 1½-inch pieces.
In a large bowl combine green beans, potatoes, onions, sweet pepper, tomatoes, tuna and olives. Toss gently to mix.
In a small bowl mix lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and mustard, whisk until well combined. Pour the olive oil into this mixture whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick.
Pour dressing over tuna and potato mixture and toss until well combined, you may add as much or as little dressing as you please.
Arrange lettuce on a large platter and spoon potato tuna mixture over top.
Sprinkle chopped herbs over top of salad, arrange wedges of cooked egg around salad and serve.