Spectrum Clubs


Nutrition Blog

Building Your Best Salad

Category: Articles

Tired of a big bowl full of lettuce and calling it a salad.  Let us (lettuce) help infuse some life into your salad bowl. It’s all about adding a little life to your ingredients.

Leafy greens, romaine, spinach, and field greens are often popular lettuce choices for tasty salads. Try a new variety even if you start by mixing it with a favorite variety. Make sure to steer clear of iceberg lettuce. It lacks the nutritional punch that its darker green counterparts contain.

There is not limit to the fresh, tasty color that adding new vegetables can add to a boring side salad.  Grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, fresh corn, shredded carrot, artichoke hearts, red, green or yellow peppers, red onion, green peas, and sliced cucumbers are just a few choices to get your taste buds excited as you cruise through the produce section. Go for color! Your salad will love you for it.

Not always considered a primary ingredient to salads, fruits can add a sweet addition to the lettuce, cheese, nuts, and vinaigrette combinations.  Strawberries, raisins, dried cranberries, blueberries, and mandarin oranges are all salad worthy choices for a fresh and flavorful summer salad.

Make your salad a meal by topping it with black beans, walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, hard-boiled eggs, diced low sodium ham or turkey, grilled chicken, spicy grilled shrimp, or grilled salmon.  Vegetables in and of themselves are nutritious, high fiber but relatively low in calories.  To add some satiety or fullness to your bed of greens, top with one or more of these tasty protein choices.

Never fear—it doesn’t have to be fat free plastic cheese.  Topping a salad with a small amount of real cheese (yes! REAL CHEESE!) can add such delicious flavor and creamy contrast to other salad toppings.  Consider feta, blue, gorgonzola, mozzarella, Swiss, or parmesan as a super salad topper.

Experiment with making your own dressings.  It takes just a few minutes using olive, canola or grapeseed oil, various vinegars such as red wine, balsamic, or apple cider, fresh squeeze of lemon, lime, or even orange, and various spices and seasonings.  These salad dressings last for weeks and will be all natural. You control the ingredients—no four- syllable chemicals you can’t pronounce.

Make it easy on yourself.  Get creative with your salads or try one of these easy salad combinations:

  • Spinach, sliced strawberries, toasted almonds, balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Mixed greens, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, raspberry vinaigrette
  • Leafy greens, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, thin-sliced red onion, black olives, parmesan cheese, and light classic Italian dressing
  • Romaine, diced cucumbers and tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese, Greek dressing


  • Articles
  • Recipes
  • Tips