TIP OF THE DAY: Lettuce Salad | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures TIP OF THE DAY: Lettuce Salad | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: Lettuce Salad

You can make a salad with celery as the main
ingredient. Photo and recipe courtesy
Whole Foods Market.

Commit to having at least one large plateful of salad every day. A salad first course will fill you up so you’ll eat less of the main course, which is typically starch and protein. And you won’t be hungry for dessert. Feel free to have seconds.

Lettuce is a low calorie food. Most varieties have just 5 to 10 calories per cup. Just don’t heap on creamy dressings at 100 calories/tablespoon. Instead, use a vinaigrette with heart-healthy olive oil or a reduced-calorie dressing. And pre-dress the salad immediately prior to serving. This enables you to use the least amount of dressing to cover the ingredients.

No matter how you might enjoy a crunchy salad of romaine or an iceberg wedge, it gets boring day after day. So here’s how to enjoy a different salad every day:

  • Find a good produce market and go to town with a different lettuce—or mix of lettuces. Switch among arugula, bibb lettuce, Boston lettuce, curly endive, endive, leaf lettuce, mâche (lambs’ lettuce), mesclun mixture, mizuna, oak leaf lettuce, radicchio, red-tip leaf lettuce, romaine (cos), Swiss chard and watercress.
  • Keep it interesting by adding at least two non-lettuce items to your salad: beans, beets, carrots, celery, cheese shavings/shredded cheese (in small amounts), cherry tomatoes/sundried tomatoes/tomatoes in season, cucumber, fennel, fresh fruit (berries, julienne of apples or pears; orange or tangerine segments), green beans, mushrooms, olives, onion or green onion, peas, pickles and other pickled vegetables, sprouts, water chestnuts, etc. There are scores of choices. You can add rice, grains, even leftover bacon—in moderation.
  • And don’t forget the herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, parsley or other favorite will really pick up the flavor of your salad.


Speaking of celery, you can make a salad with a base of celery—or fennel, green beans or any green vegetable . Here’s a recipe from Whole Foods Market that serves four:


Crunchy celery and sweet, tender citrus create a lovely salad that shows how just a touch of a highly flavorful ingredient—here feta cheese—can elevate a dish without adding too much fat or sodium. And balsamic vinegar is one of the great, high flavor/low calorie ingredients one can use in many different dishes.


  • 5 honey tangerines, Murcott or Satsuma oranges
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups (about 1/4 pound) mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup roughly chopped celery leaves
  • 3 cups sliced celery



1. Squeeze juice from one of the oranges into a large bowl.

2. Add feta cheese and vinegar and mix with a fork, mashing the cheese to make a dressing.

3. Peel remaining citrus and separate into segments. Transfer to bowl with dressing.

4. Add salad greens, celery leaves and celery and toss well. Serve.

Nutrition Per Serving: 110 calories (15 from fat), 1.5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 17g sugar), 4g protein


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